How rewarding would it be to hear that customers were completely enamored with the results of their digital transformation? Sadly, 96% of clients express dissatisfaction with their digital transformation and modernization initiatives. Perhaps a major concern is that two of the cornerstones of digital transformation, namely, improved customer engagement and customer awareness as well as control of customers' own profiles or accounts, often fail to meet expectations. Failure to deliver on the promise of these human-centered factors of digital transformation can be all that is required to convince customers to select an alternate digital partner for enhanced customer engagement and customer experience. Therefore, formulation of a competitive solution to this problem is now critical for many businesses and the digital experiences they can offer.
One type of solution, "gamification," which has garnered some measure of success in intensifying customer engagement and customer experience with IT applications, commonly involves awarding points or rewards to users, in return for successful completion of tasks. Given the success of this relatively minor application of this type of solution, imagine the potential of infusing applications with more robust elements of gamification in digital experiences and the digital environment as a whole.
Suppose that in a more extreme implementation of gamification, users were empowered to view their own relationship with a vendor in terms of a visual representation of the logical relationships among the components that comprise their user profile or account.
For example, instead of a user attempting to assimilate mortgage loan data displayed in myriad text boxes, spreadsheets, or dashboards, envision an interface in which the user is allowed to view the logical relationships among various account quantities, such as the initial loan amount; the initial monthly payment; any additional one-time payment; additional monthly payments for, say, two years; the final interest paid; and the total loan amount. This is the effect of gamification.
Now imagine the impact of enabling relevant visual components of this user interface, which reflect the above amounts, to be manipulated on screen by the user, to perhaps create "what-if" projection scenarios, by varying the amounts inputted for, say, the one-time payment, or for the additional monthly payments. Of course, this could be done in a traditional user interface, by entering some sort of "projection" mode, entering different values into text boxes, and then finding everything that changes as a result. But that would distance the user from their actions. A much more human-centered interface would instead allow the user to manipulate value-containing objects on the screen, perhaps using (apparent) analog, sizing controls, and then viewing message-like effects, as these effects are distributed to other visual components, whose displayed values would then change as a result. Other use cases could also involve adding, editing, deleting, or moving such visual components.
The dynamic visual components described by this humanized interface could simply consist of circles (or ellipses), connected by lines (with or without arrow end points). This type of structure is defined well by graph theory, where the circular components are known as vertices (or nodes), and where the connecting lines are known as edges (or arcs). For most business cases, edges would connect more than two vertices. In graph terminology, we would say that the user interface contains vertices, connected by what are termed "hyperedges" (edges that connect more than two vertices). Each vertex and each hyperedge would normally be associated with a property set, making the resulting graphs be termed a "property graph." Graph structures containing hyperedges are termed hypergraphs. So, this new type of user interface could be termed as Hypergraph EXtreme (HEX) Gamification.
In addition to providing the basis for a more humanized user interface, HEX offers several other important advantages. Since program coding is based on logical relationships among entities, the entire development life cycle (analysis, coding, testing, deployment) could be modeled on the same graph entities, as those developed by HEX. Also, since HEX provides a (graphical) type of logical language for describing business problems and solutions, a level of standardization can be realized across applications and across teams. For the same reasons, HEX could be applied to every industry segment, from financial services to manufacturing.
For complex applications, elements of all life cycle phases, including associated data, could be stored in a property graph database that supports hyperedges, such as Neo4j, HyperGraphDB, or AWS Neptune. Once stored in such a highly performant graph database, complex queries could be performed, leveraging whichever querying language the selected graph database employs. Also, any number of graph algorithms (e.g., shortest path) could be employed, for use in very complex scenarios. Graph "coloring" could also be offered, as a feature to select a single vertex from each hyperedge, perhaps forming a decision path, for example. Mature graph databases, such as Neo4j, also offer features for exporting and for visualizing graph structures in standardized formats.
HEX implementations would be future-proofed, in the sense that hyperedge creation, placement, and sizing performance could be enhanced, by cloud parallel processing, when that becomes economically feasible. Also, smooth visual transitions of HEX interfaces could be powered by the new analog compute cloud processors, when they become readily available.
In the end, HEX solutions would empower customers to take command of their own digital experience, engendering product and brand loyalty, by creating greater customer affinity with their digital environment. The result would be enhanced customer awareness and relationships, leading to higher levels of competitive success for enterprises.