Fuji Xerox Australia : Defusing the display
Poor execution dampens a show of technical wizardry.
Fuji Xerox Australia, a regional subsidiary of the Japan-based document services company, uses an annual report to show off its technological wizardry.
Fuji Xerox Australia’s online annual sustainability report for 2010 includes a universal left-hand navigation option for ‘Explore augmented reality’. The link opens a page containing a blacked-out viewing screen on which is superimposed an ‘allow/deny’ request for access to the visitor’s camera and microphone. Options are offered in a line below the screen to “Watch our demonstration video” or “try our augmented reality troubleshooting guide”.
Clicking the video option opens a page of instructions for using the ‘augmented reality’ feature but that is rapidly obscured by the overlaying of a screen in which a commentary-free video demonstrates how to use the back page of the report to trigger the feature on a computer screen. A copy of the report or a print-off of the back page is needed for the process to work. Following the instructions launches an animated three-dimensional, pop-up book style display.
It’s arguable that in Fuji Xerox Australia’s case the inclusion of some visual fireworks in an online report is justifiable – on marketing grounds – rather than just a bravura display of technology for its own sake. But, even leaving aside whether or not a sustainability report is the most appropriate choice, the way it’s been executed renders the inclusion of the feature just as questionable.
Not only the functionality but also the terminology (‘augmented reality’) is unfamiliar enough to need some explanation and encouragement to explore: the landing page for the link offers none, which can only add to the bafflement created by the page layout. In the absence of any preview information, its focus on a request to allow camera and microphone access that cautions “you may be recorded” is more deterring than inviting. The overlaying of the instructions page – which should be default landing page – with the silent demonstration video and the need to have a copy of the printed back page to hand are further self-defeating disincentives to engage with the feature.http://www.fxasustainability.com.au/index.php
First published on 21 September, 2010