There are more than 15 billion connected devices in the world. But according to Cisco’s numbers, that’s less than 1% of all the things that could be.
The Guardian and Cisco wanted to help technophiles and luddites alike discover just how far connected technology has come, and where it's heading. But how do you capture imaginations with the Internet of Things when attention spans online are notoriously short?
They reached out to us for help to spark curiosity and bring their connected technology showcase to life.
Cognitive load – otherwise known as TMI (too much information). People find it tough to process lots of detail at once – especially if there’s too much jargon. To celebrate the whole spectrum of advances in connected technology, we needed to keep things simple and digestible – no crowded pages and no ‘word soup’ to switch off all but the most hardwired techies.
Limited attention – Usability expert Jakob Neilsen says 79% of us only ever skim the headline when we read content online. It makes sense - with so many messages bombarding us, our brains filter out the noise and only focus on what’s novel and interesting to us. If it doesn’t make us curious, we’ll scroll right past it.
Reciprocity and Incentives – “What’s in it for me?” is pretty much the deciding factor in whether readers give you the privilege of their time. If you want to incentivise people to read, to participate, to give you their attention, it needs to be clear from the start what they get in return.
The Guardian and Cisco settled on an ambitious novelty to ignite interest and draw in readers; they created The Internet of (nearly) Everything - an interactive search engine, spinning out snappy content on connected tech topics, from cats to toilet seats, swimming to voters and sex to football.