Secrets are currency, especially for people who have no cash. In the digital age where everything is available all the time, we crave surprise and want to share knowledge. Choosing who we share with, who gets to know, is power today.
“The digital era has given rise to a more intimate custom. It has become fashionable for young people to express their affection for each other by sharing their passwords to e-mail, Facebook and other accounts. Boyfriends and girlfriends sometimes even create identical passwords, and let each other read their private e-mails and texts” (New York Times).
“(Speakeasies) can be found all over the United States, skulking in the shadows. Obtrusively furtive, they represent one of the strangest exercises in nostalgia ever to grip the public, an infatuation with the good old days of Prohibition… Make it illegal, and they will come. If the authorities will not oblige, make it feel illegal” (New York Times).
AmEx has launched a travel service that provides a series of surprises rather than an itinerary. “It creates sense of anticipation. (‘What will happen?’) And serendipity. (‘What could happen?’) And adventure. (‘This should be great!’) Most of all, it delivers a warm current of randomness. Our life is unpredictable” (Harvard Business Review).
Are straight-forward, simple, intuitive experiences—which have been the pursuit of good design for ages—over?