Where do the aha! moments come from that we’d like our site visitors to experience? We have been intrigued lately about the concept of liquid networks, discussed by Steven Johnson in the TED talk Where Good Ideas Come From.
In a nutshell, the idea of liquid networks (named for the bars and coffeehouses where people meet to share ideas) is that while aha or Eureka moments seem to dawn on us suddenly, they are actually the result of a slow processing of lots of ideas we are exposed to over time. As explained by Johnson, “An idea is a network of neurons firing in sync . . . it’s a new configuration that has never formed before. And the question is: how do you get your brain into environments where these new networks are likely to form?”
We rely on modern websites to do much more than act as unidirectional information delivery mechanisms. Through content tagging, online engagement mechanisms, community, and front-end widgets that encourage discovery of related new content, we can encourage serendipitous connections to form, making those “new” ideas and aha moments likely to happen.
That’s why one goal we have for every website is to create an environment where users can be drawn in unexpected directions for relevant nuggets of information that help inform their understanding of the world in surprising ways. If you’d like to see how we can help you give your users some Eureka moments, give us a call.