MOMA Exhibit Presents Innovative Concepts For Interaction Design And User Experience

By Margaux Joffe

Likeable Media’s creative team recently visited the MOMA to experience a new exhibit called “Talk to Me: Design and the Communication between People and Objects.” The exhibit was incredibly fascinating, and we geeked out for several hours over innovative gadgets, interfaces and data visualizations from designers around the world. Below I share 3 of my favorite pieces from the show, and my thoughts on how brands can leverage these interactive design concepts to engage with their consumers. I think these examples were particularly successful because they tap into the basic human desires for entertainment, play and exploration.

1. The Night of the Living Dead Pixels

This book allows a user to navigate a choose-your-own adventure story through folding patterns and QR tags that link to online video segments. This concept could definitely be used to integrate online video content with printed marketing materials, or in-store displays. Several companies, such as Range Rover, have been experimenting with interactive narration, and it's great way to engage consumers. Perhaps a retailer could run a :30 tv spot with a cliffhanger ending, and then invite viewers to visit their store locations to scan a QR code and participate in the rest of the interactive story, with a chance to earn discounts or rewards along the way?

2. SMS Slingshot

From prehistoric caves, to subway tunnels, and now even Facebook walls, humans have consistently shown the desire to tag their surroundings.  The SMS slingshot taps into this ancient desire, and harnesses new technology to allow users to type text messages and blast them onto surfaces, where they appear within a splash of color and are tweeted at the same time. The concept of the SMS slingshot is powerful because it facilitates an opportunity for brands to engage with modern consumers who are tired of passively receiving paid advertising, and who want to express themselves and interact with the screens around them.

Now imagine you are an airline and want to promote your new service from JFK to LAX. You could set up screens and cameras in iconic locations in NYC and LA, and invite people to slingshot messages to each other from opposite coasts. Cameras would capture the messages as they land and be livestreaming the scene so New Yorkers could view their messages in LA and see the reaction and interaction of the crowd on the opposite cost. Each message could automatically be tweeted with the campaign hashtag and the video could be livestreamed to the brand's Facebook page.



3. Hungry Hungry Eat Head

Hungry Hungry Eat Head is an installation that encourages interactive play in a public place. Participants are given large cardboard QR codes, which are transformed by video-tracking technology into three-dimensional animations of animals and monsters. Companies could leverage this video-tracking technology to create public installations in key cities that would entice consumers to interact with their brand through play.  Imagine a fitness brand sponsored a giant Kinect-like game in Bryant Park, and users could compete against their friends in a virtual obstacle course and win free products or giveaways from the brand. The whole experience could be integrated with social media – users who check-in to the installation on 4square or Facebook could earn exclusive badges or rewards.


I encourage everyone to check out the exhibit for yourself in person or online. Let me know which designs and gadgets were most interesting to you!


Talk to Me is on view at the Museum of Modern Art (11 West 53rd St.) through November 7.