d i g i b y t e s | Aprilish 2020

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Why April Seemed So Short

What happened to April? It’s no mystery why many of us are experiencing the passing of time in similar ways. The novelty of isolation in March heightened the ways we were cataloguing the memories of our first trip to the market in masks, or our first Zoom happy hour. Our brains made “extra space” for these novel experiences, making time feel slowed down to a glacial pace. Once we got into more predictable routines in April, suddenly time felt sped up. That’s why your childhood may have seemed like a slow, delicious passage of time, because of how your brain recorded each brand-new experience. Then, once you settled into a career or parenthood (or both!) your life may have felt like a blur. [Source]

Considerations

Also, what day is it? And what was I doing again? That scatter-brained feeling can be caused by our stress response attempting to keep us adaptive. Kind of like what it feels like when we receive a scary diagnosis. Are we designing experiences that honor this phenomenon? We talk a lot about creating seamless touches. Is it possible that a newly diagnosed person actually has the capacity to appreciate and remember a “seam” or outlier experience? And, what ways can we honor the “blur” of disease maintenance, temporarily popping people out of the ferris wheel of day-to-day sameness?

Apple and Google Sittin’ In a Tree…

Apple is making a slight tweak to the process of unlocking newer iPhones while wearing a mask. Although Face ID is still unusable while wearing a mask, the latest beta version of iOS 13 jumps directly to the passcode screen if you swipe up while your face is covered. [Source]

Additionally, Apple has a major COVID-19 development underway in conjunction with an unlikely partner, Google. Together, they have released the first version of their developer-focused exposure notification API, previously called the ‘contact tracing API.’ The primary intent of this API is to allow public health agencies develop apps that send a notification if you’ve been in proximity to a person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19. [See a diagram of how this exposure notification would work]

Considerations

Two of the ‘big 4’ tech behemoths work together to bring leading edge tech to the masses? That’s lifechanging. But, will concerns around user privacy affect adoption? What can you do to ensure deeper trust in how your team or brand handles user data?

Facebook Is Beta Testing Virtual Hugs

Facebook has decided to add a new reaction emoji – the ‘care’ emoji. It’s the first time that a new ’emotion’ has been added since the ‘like’ button was expanded to include more reactions back in 2015. The ‘care’ reaction means that people can now virtually show empathy as a response. On Facebook, it takes on the form of hugging a heart, and on the Facebook Messenger app, it’s a pulsing heart. [Source]

Considerations

In some ways, COVID-19 is considered the great equalizer. Empathy is a little easier to come by when we’re all in this together. Although we all have exhausted the email greetings that reference “these uncertain times” or “our new normal,” it is appropriate to build in genuine, empathetic check-ins to end user communications. In fact, here’s one: How are you doing today? I’m doing OK. I sincerely hope this digibyte has helped you in some way. Please take care of yourself. ❤

by Nicky Battle
Senior Vice President, Engagement Strategy


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