Information overload: ''Interesting page, but how the heck did I end up here?''

How can browsing the web

spark creative thinking?

Role: Ideation, User Research, Testing, UX/UI, Project Communication   I   2019 - NOW

User story, creative research: Looking for inspiration online

Sevenclicks.org is an approach to rethink the information architecture of Wikipedia. Creativity and broad thinking are stimulated by guiding the user from his initial search topic to unexpected, yet related subjects. 

Context & Problem

Problem

Solution approach

Sevenclicks aims to harness the power of the mass of available information and encourage exploring. Users should easily see the path they took and recollect their train of thought. The overview should help braoden our thinking and more importantly, spark new ideas and creative solutions.  

The sheer amount of available information online can be overwhelming and difficult to navigate through. Many people experience getting lost within the mass of pages and articles. You click from one hyperlink to the next, ending up on an interesting article without knowing how you actually ‘landed there’. 

Leaving our initial topic realm helps broaden our thinking and knowledge. More importantly it can spark new ideas and creative solutions that leave the ‘obvious path’.

We offer a simple tool, that makes you get the most out of your research by structuring it for you and have all encountered topics on one page.

Now you can easily see the path and the connections between the topics.

Challenges

User research:

When do people need to brainstorm or do creative research? 
What is their goal and expected outcome of researching online?

Interaction Design:

The proposed concept is new to the potential users, so the interaction has to be easy to understand for initial use. Where is the balance between giving too much information and not enough?!

Interface Design:

Wikipedia articles vary heavily in structure, size and information type. How can the interface be structured to fit any article? 

“Serendipity. Look for something, find something else, and realize that what you've found is more suited to your needs than what you thought you were looking for. ”

- Lawrence Block / Author -

Creativity is mostly defined in Psychology by divergent thinking and combining distant concepts. Research shows that the ‘successful idea’ is commonly the idea that combines concepts that are thematically further apart from the initial given topic realm - so broader thoughts are linked to successful, creative ideas.

 

Main sources:

B.R. Lawson, Parallel lines of thought, Lang. Des. 1 (4) (1993) 357–366.  

GV Georgiev, DD Georgiev, Enhancing user creativity: Semantic measures for idea generation, Knowledge-Based Systems 151, 1-15  

Diverging & Converging - The path to innovation is no straight line

Using the data from surveys and interviews, these 3 personas could be identified

Experiments & Testing

User test (n=50)

After releasing the first prototype online, a user test was conducted to improve design and functionality of the application. Participants were asked to use Sevenclicks to research a topic of their choice, and afterwards completed a questionnaire. The objective of the test was to measure perceived ease of use and usefulness of the tool based on the Technology-Acceptance-Model II (Venkatesh & Davis, 2000)

The technical realisation was done in partnership with a developer, and progress discussed in weekly meetings. For the development, designing and user testing did go hand in hand. Due to the novelty of the idea, it was important to involve user feedback early in the process. Functional prototypes and experimental mock-ups were frequently created and tested along the way.

User recording through Hotjar tracking tool

Longterm Tracking

Through exhibiting the application valuable qualitative input was collected. Hundreds of visitors could use the application for the first time and give first hand feedback. To allow long term tracking of usage and performance of the application, Google Analytics and Hotjar are installed to track the user experience and identify potential for improvements. 

User test results - TAM II

User test KPIs, after TAM model

9Overview.jpg
8Step-Seven.jpg

Based on insight from the user tests, added features of the redesign are a complete path page with links to Wikipedia, 

a graphical timeline on the buttom of the page and the ability to increase pictures.

Impact

The project was first launched and exhibited at the Dutch Design Week 2019, and could built a growing international user base since then. Contact with the Wikimedia Foundation NL was established to discuss further developments and more collaborators on future projects could be found such as the business consultancy Jump Movement BV from Eindhoven. 

Learnings & Outlook

Through exhibiting the application valuable qualitative input was collected. Hundreds of visitors could use the application for the first time and give first hand feedback. Long term tracking of usage and performance is installed to track the user experience and identify potential for improvements.

The release of the MVP-application initiated discussion and feedback with potential user groups and helped to narrow the focus and target group. This allowed for additional research with more detailed specifications and goals for a redesign. These actions are combined under the project: The Find Engine 

A collaboration with a business consultancy was started where Sevenclicks is used as part of workshop sessions for company teams, under the name: Beyond Brainstorming.
 

Shown at:

Part of themuseum.online by Fiona Herrod, online / launched January 2020

Guest lecture on Creative Research, University of Ludwigshafen, GER / 30-04-2020

26th Biennale of Design - Common Knowledge, Ljubiljana, SI / Symposium - 07-02-2020

Dutch Design Week - DAE Graduation Show, Eindhoven, NL / 19-10-19 - 27-10-19

SEVENCLICKS.ORG

Theoretical Background

User Research

Launch & Impact