The five rules of engagement – how future tech will impact user experiences

How can organisations harness new tech to stay relevant and deepen relationships.

While digital transformation offers new ways for organisations to reach audiences, it also gives consumers access to more information and empowers them to be more selective in their consumer choices.

A new report by Adobe in partnership with Goldsmiths, University of London, looks at the potential impact of emerging technologies on experiences – online and offline.

The research combined input from industry experts, consumers, CEOs, marketers, creatives and more and took the form of focus groups, experience sampling, interviews, desk research, survey  and field observations.  Twelve members of the general public spent eight days experiencing new technology, including wearables, AR and VR.

Engaging experiences are vital

To set themselves apart, organisations are looking to create great audience experiences – ones that are emotional, personal and meaningful.  In turn, customers want seamless technology that enhances human interaction and makes their lives easier.

The five rules


85% of consumers switch devices during online tracks.  Businesses must break down organisational siloes and provide seamless services.  Tech must understand customer context and intent – and organisations must integrate tech at all levels of engagement.

Empathy – getting deep and meaningful

32% of consumers say that a great experience must be meaningful – and 19% say a great experience must be personal.  Consumers want emotional connections.  The power of new tech means that organisations must exercise empathy when using new tech.


The conversations around tech and privacy are usually about data privacy but new tech also offers opportunities for people to disconnect and ‘reduce digital noise’.   This will give consumers more power to control the brands they interact with and the opportunity to create a digital world ‘private to themselves’.


The changing relationship between people and machines means that users want experiences that integrate into their lives seamlessly.  They are looking for a ‘I want to do it again’ experience. Knowing how to interpret data will be a fundamental skill of the future.


Too much personalisation can be predictable.  People want to discover new and unexpected things.

What makes the difference between a good and a great experience?  Words and phrases used by participants included:

  • Memorable
  • Human interaction
  • Inspiring
  • Above and beyond
  • Playing by the rules, but building in rebellion
  • Trust
  • Authenticity
  • Power in the user’s hands
  • The human element is so important

You can download the full report here