Digital Content Design - building blocks
A major characteristic of digital content that makes it different from the traditional medium is that it can be consumed in non traditional settings. For example PARC has done identified the notion of "micro-waiting" as a new way that users engage content.
We are also exploring the categories/thresholds of "information overload." The obvious implication is how can technology help users find the nuggets of useful information given the constant deluge of data from all sources.
Embodied Interaction Framework
Beyond understanding these building blocks, there are teams at PARC exploring the issue of how to design an embodied interaction framework that leverages natural human behavior to alter system state or trigger interaction. Or, in plain(er) English, create devices/solutions where a user does not need to learn a new "language" to interact with technology. What makes PARC's approach unique is that this explicitly incorporates social science and psychology insight, also areas that PARC has a long history of advanced work, into the technology design.
Moving from Content Creation to Content Consumption
Although nobody would dispute the truism that content creation and consumption are the two sides of the same coin, people don't always think of it that way. Today, there seems to be little understanding of the consumption side beyond aggregate measurements to meet the needs of content creators/providers.
Let's flip the lens around and ask how to measure and deliver consumption pattern in the eyes of individual consumers. If we can make it seamless and nearly invisible, this could ignite the next phase of the digital revolution.