Delightful Encounters with Technology

Kids at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh were so stressed out by getting MRIs that they often had to be sedated. As a response to this, innovative minds turned the MRI machine into a pirate ship - changing the experience (and lessening the need for sedation) dramatically! I love this example of turning something difficult into something fun.

I've been thinking about it ever since I heard about it. Are there other opportunities to take experiences that are either difficult or even just boring and turn them into something delightful?

I've heard of dentist's offices that show you a movie while you are having dental work done. My son's pediatrician has lots of toys in her office, which keep my son occupied while we wait for her to see us. Medical examples seem most obvious, but are there library technology examples of turning something difficult or even just boring into something delightful?

McPherson College's Miller Library here in Kansas created a graphic novel (complete with zombies) to teach information literacy. KOHA users have been brainstorming ways to gamify the library catalog. AWE's Early Literacy Stations take a computer and make it more engaging for children in the library by giving it a colorful keyboard and a graphical interface. When I was doing a lot of technology training for libraries, I remember the staff from one library decided to decorate the computer monitors to make the machines feel less intimidating.

I'd love to hear about examples that inspire you as the pirate ship inspired me (from library or non-library settings)!



Have you ever seen this video, "The Dreaded Stairs?" They made stairs fun. :)  

I love it! I looked at some of the other videos that were part of "The Fun Theory", too -- The R-Squared conference has me thinking about innovation a lot. These examples are great.



Great video! I love how interaction and recognizable metaphors help ease the gap between humans and computers. Even simple things can work! I remember seeing computers at a rural library that each had a Marx Brother's name. The librarians said that it humanized them a bit, and made it fun for the patrons who used them. I'd love to hear about both the techie and the non-techie ways libraries have made technology fun.