Live from Congility: The biological imperative for intelligent content

The biological imperative for intelligent content: Why nature says we should give content more agility, by Noz Urbina

Congility2014The problem: Constant change. How can we keep up?

This session will move us from reactive to empathetic and proactive.

  • Newton had to create new words
  • He was describing things never before described
  • Digital communication is forcing us to change the way we describe the world
  • We’re talking about things we’ve never done before

Information and the mind

  • We make sense of things that don’t immediately mean anything
  • Even babies can see a shape chasing another and begin rooting for the victor – they immediately make sense of what they see
  • An illusion: when your internal semantic model doesn’t match the outside world
  • Our models and processing (clearly) aren’t perfect

Sense vs. sense

  • Thinking System 1
    • Fast and effortless (semantic memory)
    • “In the zone”
    • Non-rational
  • Thinking System 2
    • Thinking “consciously”
    • Words and numbers
  • Often we can do both
  • Trying to do both at once sometimes is tough though
    • Walking + doing math = people will stop doing one!
    • It’s a system of prioritization (usually prioritizing System 1)
    • When we search for an address, we turn down the music (reduce the cognitive load)
  • Memory trumps experience
    • “The remembering self is a storyteller” -Daniel Kahneman
    • The ending is remembered more strongly than the middle

There is a ladder of understanding

  • The ladder of understanding:
    • Experience – I see Jerry, we get drunk, I feel bad the next day
    • Memory – I remember this
    • Pattern – It happens regularly, I notice a pattern
    • Categories – I categorize this as “bad idea”
    • Models – It becomes a model of “spending time with Jerry is a bad idea”
    • Identity – I begin thinking “Jerry’s a jerk”
  • The farther up the ladder, the harder it is to recover
    • One bad experience is easy to overwrite
    • A bad identify takes a TON of experiences to overwrite
    • This is why racism exists – it’s also why branding (GOOD branding) is important
  • Social media mimics the brain
    • The brain rewards with dopamine when we understand things, to make us more susceptible to learning new things
    • Social media rewards with likes and related things you might like to mimic this

Your creators and customers will internalize your models

  • Onboarding can make use of how the brain rewards learning new tasks
  • System 1 in the brain looks for models and structure
  • Semantic content fits into this perfectly – it gives us the models and structure we’re looking for
    • Simplified model of a complex reality
  • The brain also tried to remove information that doesn’t fit the current belief system
    • System 2 is what works hard to get new information in
    • This is why we need to create content for both System 1 (that aligns) and System 2 (to think deeper)
  • So we need to
    • Give users the semantic models they need
    • Use semantic markup in content
    • Measure user memory of whole journeys
    • Experience is a means to the memory afterwords

Unfortunately this is how the brain works

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