How can browsing the web
spark creative thinking?
The website Sevenclicks.org is a creative research tool that takes you on a path through the vast communal knowledge of Wikipedia. Creativity and broad thinking are stimulated by guiding the user from his initial search topic to unexpected, yet related subjects.
Sevenclicks.org is an approach to rethink the information architecture of Wikipedia and customize the interface to a more explorative and creative way of researching information online. To start your path, the application enables you to search for any article from the Wikipedia database. Together with the desired article, a list of related topics is presented to you.
After choosing the one, that inspires you the most you move on to the next article where another list of related topics is displayed to you to choose from. This step gets repeated seven times. In this way the user moves further away from the initial topic and explores new subjects while still being able to relate them back to the original search term.
Wikipedia is arguably the biggest accumulation of Communal Knowledge, and one of the most frequented websites worldwide. It contains more than 40 million articles in different languages. All of them are created, maintained and reviewed by the members of the global Wikipedia community.
It is a great source of knowledge, mostly used for quick fact checking and learning.
However, the sheer amount of available information can be overwhelming and difficult to navigate through. Purpose and usage are thereby limited by the design.
Many people experience getting lost within the mass of pages. You click from one hyperlink to the next and end up on an article without ‘knowing’ how you landed there.
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. 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’.
‘’Psychological accounts that consider convergent and divergent production as separate and independent dimensions of human cognitive ability allow one to think of creative problem solvers as divergers rather than convergers, and to associate creativity with divergent thought that combines distant concepts together.‘’
B.R. Lawson, Parallel lines of thought, Lang. Des. 1 (4) (1993) 357–366.
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.
-See point X below-
“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. ”
Using the data from surveys and interviews, these 3 personas could be identified
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 key findings of the test helped to understand strengths in the application and to identify areas of improvement. The positive perception from testers from professions outside of the 'creative' industry showed that the methodology could be applied to various usecases and underlined the general importance of creativity in professional and academic research.
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.
Dutch Design Week - DAE Graduation Show, Eindhoven, NL / 19-10-19 - 27-10-19
26th Biennale of Design - Common Knowledge, Ljubiljana, SI / Symposium - 07-02-2020