Melissa Martin

Final Destination: Creating a Better Afterlife for Our Digital Treasures

Sunday, March 26 11:40 am – 12:00 pm

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Session Summary

Products have a perspective problem. Their view of a user’s journey is too narrow and fails to account for one of the most basic human qualities of their customers – mortality.

Many digital services that generate personal content and data provide, at best, deactivation and/or memorialization options. This approach addresses profile access control or removal but neglects needs surrounding content collection, preservation and inheritance. People increasingly view their digital content as valuable heirlooms, serving as rich records of their life’s experiences to be shared beyond their lifetime. In reality, friends and family of deceased customers are left with little or no options to retrieve these heirlooms in any meaningful way. The result is large amounts of rich, personal and emotionally significant content left to float in a digital purgatory, just out of reach to those who treasure it most.

Products that sit within highly personal and social spaces have an obligation to their customer community to address these needs. This session will present a framework and set of guiding principles for supporting this underserved, yet important, phase of a product’s user experience.

About the Speaker

I currently serve as Lead Designer at Collective Health where I lead cross-disciplinary teams on the design of our administration product. As part of this work, I’m interested in ‘whole life’ experience design, which promotes the idea that deep, universal human events, such as death, should be considered core contexts (rather than edge cases) to be designed for in products and services.