As Director of Research for Ball State University’s Center for Media Design, Mike Bloxham has directed numerous studies involving media consumption. I called (actually skyped) Mike to ask him a few questions about how he observed tweens and teens using media… social or otherwise.
During our discussion he talked about how tweens and teens are “natively attuned” to interactivity. From their early intro to Webkinz and Club Penguin virtual worlds, today’s tweens are remarkably comfortable with play and interactions that cross various media. This experience is informing how they view the world. As touch screen devices become the norm, many young children expect the world around them to respond to their touch or comment.
Bloxham’s research has documented how this generation can expect true interactivity. Brands will need to adapt to this mode and engage with their audience without creating an interruptive experience.
Mike Bloxham is the former Director, Insight & Research for the Center of Media Design (CMD), Ball State University. He champions research in interactive television, eye tracking and usability testing, the Digital Home and Heathcare Facility, the Digital Middletown Initiative, and was part of the team that produced the ground-breaking Middletown Media Studies – observational research that measured the exposure of 400 people to fifteen different media and seventeen different life activities throughout the day in 15-second increments. He has worked in media research and consulting for 17 years and his clients have included Microsoft, Cablevision, BSkyB, Le Monde, Procter & Gamble, MTVEurope, Time Warner and the British Government. Mike has recently left his position at Ball State University to pursue an opportunity in the private sector.