The user as a Brand

Originally posted on Quora:

I envision a situation where interface design will involove more conceptual work based on user personas. We currently use AB testing to find the best design for a particular goal, but it is becoming possible to track user trends across multiple sites thanks to the interconnectivity of the social graph. This would allow AB testing based on the USER, not the site.

Let us surmise that one user responds positively to a shopping site design that aims to trigger an emotional response (vibrant colors, quality art, humor) and they stay on the site longer, dive deeper into content, and complete more goals than they do on less “emotional” sites.

User two responds similarly to a different shopping site with clean, logical presentation with no extraneous design. Just the products and their descriptions.

The ability to track these users across multiple sites would allow us to create a custom “designed” site for each user upon their vist. Current practice is to create what works best for the most amount of people, but what happens when we can create what works best for EACH user dynamically and individually?

I think that the building blocks (currently html/css) of presentation will change drastically as more frameworks are created that allow faster creation and implementation of ideas. 

As these building blocks become dynamically generated based upon information gathered from a wealth of browsing history, it is the content and ability for a user to interact with that information that becomes critical. Interface designers will need to be ready for multiple interfaces – mobile, 3D, Augmented reality, voice, motion – that all adapt to the the persona using them, and present a cohesive brand and experience.