Calm technology is a growing trend in website and application development that could have a significant impact on the marketing world. The essence of this approach involves managing high volumes of information to cut down “noise” and shape streams of data that are displayed for the user so that they may not become overwhelmed. This also allows them to focus on one particular task at a time, or on what is important to them in their experience with an app or site.
Another name for calm technology is “ubiquitous computing” coined by Mark Weiser, considered to be the father of the idea. The goal of this approach is to reduce distractions in workflow while maintaining functionality. The whole idea is about streamlining digital technology so that it may be inserted into our daily lives in the most seamless, calm and natural fashion. This is opposed to the idea of virtual environments, for example, or the process of bringing the “real” world into the virtual. Rather, calm computing seeks to blur the line between the natural and the digital by integrating technology into our everyday life experience.
A good example of this idea in action on a website is the Facebook ticker. Its real-time information stream would be too fast and overwhelming for users, so it is put out of the way to the right of the screen. Users can instead focus on their newsfeed timeline in the middle of the page, which is streamlined and shaped by both hidden algorithms and user filters.
From a marketing perspective, this idea is popular on social product discovery sites like Buyosphere and Discoveredd. Instead of reflecting a virtual store, these online consumer services shape streams of content in a social context to recommend products to users. This curated process is based on processing data about interests, likes and social trends in order to evolve a more targeted and streamlined flow of information towards a buyer.
People are welcoming this trend of reduction of information online, and the consumer world is a primary target. This filtering of information doesn’t necessarily work well with traditional models of advertising that seek to bring as much information and choice to a potential customer, but with the right team of SEO and digital marketing experts such as Blue Hat, a business owner can harness this new type of flow of information and potentially benefit even more in the long term.