Up Close Versus Far Away

Sydney Opera House Up Close & Personal

The up close experience tells us what something truly feels like. From AussieDingo’s Flickr photostream.

It’s always hard to tell how something will truly work without using or experiencing it firsthand. The fidelity increases greatly if you are able to use a new tool, device or technology intimately. You can see how comfortable, tactile or responsive something is. When we are looking at something with our eyes, that’s the enticement part. The visual appeal is important. It helps us imagine what the promise might look like. It removes the risk we feel.

Up close is necessary to truly get a feel for whether something will work and perform well. I have bought computers only to return them after using them rigorously and finding the experience less than ideal. I have tried software and found too many friction points to make it worthwhile to integrate into my workflow.

People are a variable as well. Services happen in a personal way with lots of variability. The fit, competency and connection I feel with someone comes best through working together. It is experienced up close and personally. There’s where the pleasantness of the experience or the shortcomings fall out.

As our choices increase dramatically and our access is easier than ever to the things we are looking for, we still need the up close experience. It tells us what that last five percent is like. It’s that gap which makes all the difference for valuing something or someone over the long haul. Whether we are dealing with an inanimate smartphone or a high level professional services firm, we are looking for trust and fidelity. The trust comes from experiencing the promise we hoped for culminated in our own experience. The fidelity is the overall experience itself and how it delights us to continue engaging.

There’s the paradox of today. The far away view of a thing can be done well. It’s the marketing and essence of a promise. In the end, the up close is what validates and reinforces the truth of what was being purported in the first place. We can’t seem to get away from this and our senses have only increased from the abundance of choice and quality we have today.

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