The Biological Imperative of Intelligent Content

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Information about The Biological Imperative of Intelligent Content

Published on March 3, 2014

Author: IntelligentContent


The biological imperative for intelligent content @nozurbina 1

Me (Noz Urbina) @nozurbina Newly independent content strategist and trainer, founder of Urbina Consulting Author Co-author of “Content Strategy: Connecting the dots between business, brand and benefits” Blog - Less Work, More Flow on Congility events chairperson Congility 2014 18-20 Jun

The problem We have been side-swiped by change too many times. Web shocked us after print, and mobile after desktop. 3

The problem And we’re still not ready for wearable & augmented. 4

Empathy @nozurbina Go from reactive to proactive We need go return to fundamentals. To truly, deeply understand each other, so we can better predict trends and optimise for 5 them in advance.

Sources and reviewers @nozurbina MIT & Stanford Lectures Slides, models & drafts reviewed by Clinical Psychologist Alberto Soler & Kontchín Soler, PhD in Psychobiology @nozurbina - 6

To influence behaviour… …we must understand behaviour Behaviour starts and ends in the mind We need to (constantly) redefine To invent physics, Newton had to redefine various words like “mass”, “force”, “time”, and “motion”. He was trying to describe things never @nozurbina - 8 before described. We need to (constantly) redefine Digital technology is putting the same pressure on communicators. People have never communicated this way before. @nozurbina - 9 We need to (constantly) redefine We must build the new conceptual vocabulary required, so we can discuss the issues and work out solutions. @nozurbina - 10

The topic Communication and the mind

The topic Communication and the mind Increasing complexity is pushing communication specialists of various disciplines together.

The topic Communication and the mind We need to think of language at the level of “systems”, not words or pages.

The thesis

The thesis Intelligent Content better supports our biological, mental processes than traditional content

The thesis So let’s look at these processes…

WE ARE SENSE MAKING MACHINES We’ll make it up if we have to 17

BABY @nozurbina We’re born with on a biological mission to start to fill our minds with information about the world around us. 18

Semantic models Semantic models are semi-conscious mental storage units. We can call up a semantic model instantly and know how to react or interact. 19

Do you want to make me cry? Prevent me from building my semantic models. “Mommy, I need data!” 20

Do you want to make me cry? A toddler needs input to their models in the same way they need food or sleep. 21

QUALITY CHECK How good are our models? 22

A & B are the same colour @nozurbina Wikimedia commons 23

But they aren’t @nozurbina Wikimedia commons 24

But they are! @nozurbina Wikimedia commons 25

Yet they aren’t @nozurbina Wikimedia commons 26

But they are @nozurbina Wikimedia commons 27

Yet they aren’t @nozurbina Wikimedia commons 28

Yet they aren’t @nozurbina Our models and processing clearly aren’t perfect Wikimedia commons 29

Thinking Systems 2 and 1 Brain economics and the cost/benefit of cognition 30

Thinking System 2 @nozurbina Slooow • Plays poker and chess (unless “Expensive” • Contains our conscious experience Tiring you’re a master, and can use System 1) • Analyses, reflects on and digests content • Taxed when learning new skills • Delegates to System 1 whenever possible 31

Thinking System 1 @nozurbina Fast! “Cheap” • “The zone”, “the gut”, “the heart”, “lateral thinking” and inspiration • Drives, plays violin (any embedded skill) • Picks up on body language, style, mood, metaphor, symbolism, etc. (using associative memory) (Nearly) Effortless • Uses compression & semantic models • Skims content (using keywords, colour, shapes and other fast cues) 32

FEEL THE DIFFERENCE Answer these questions (out loud or in your head) 33

FEEL THE DIFFERENCE What’s your first name? 34

FEEL THE DIFFERENCE What month were you born? 35

FEEL THE DIFFERENCE How do you spell the month after that month – backwards? 36

FEEL THE DIFFERENCE Feel the effort spike? If the month had a long name, you might even have had to look away from the screen momentarily. 37

FEEL THE DIFFERENCE That’s the difference between data System 1 just returns vs data System 2 needs to work for. 38

System 1 can: System 2 can: Read and understand largeprint and/or familiar words Try to reason out the meaning of new words (if Complete the phrase “bread and…” System 1 doesn’t offer up a satisfying definition) Drive a car on an empty road Drive in heavy traffic or adverse weather conditions Get which country is referred to by: “Stars and stripes, Apple pie, and optimism” Search for an address on a row of houses Find the “submit” button on a form Compare two products to establish their overall value 39

@nozurbina System 1 says these are the same. System 2 can realise they really aren’t.

@nozurbina System 1 uses compression to take the fundamentals from the right and match it to the model on the left. @nozurbina Compression creates errors. We see what is not really there (Look up pareidolia and apophenia)

BUT THERE’S MORE System 1 doesn’t just make compression errors visually… 43


Who suffered more? @nozurbina Patient A Patient B 8 Pain 10 8 Pain 10 6 6 4 4 2 2 0 10 20 Time in minutes 0 10 20 Time in minutes Each patient rated their pain over time. B suffered more pain, for over twice as long, but doesn’t remember the experience as negatively as patient A. 45

Who suffered more? @nozurbina Patient A Patient B 8 Pain 10 8 Pain 10 6 6 4 4 2 2 0 10 20 Time in minutes 0 10 20 Time in minutes In controlled pain studies, subjects given an option will choose to suffer more pain, for longer, provided that it tapers off at the end. 46

Memory trumps experience The remembering self is a storyteller …what we get to keep from our experiences is a story. What defines a story are changes, significant moments and endings. Endings are very, very important. 47

I wanted to give a Delta Air Crew positive feedback on an experience, and I was faced with this. It doesn’t work on a phone and takes a lot of work to fill out.

I just gave up.

So not only did the air crew team not get their praise, my memory of whole the experience went from positive to negative because of the web team.

Now I tell the story as “my disappointing Delta experience” instead of my “amazing, brand-identity-altering Delta experience”.

For each user/brand interaction: If you do a hand-off to another silo, team, page or process that ruins the end of the user’s story, your hard work is simply wasted.

THE EXPERIENCE TO IDENTITY PYRAMID The semantic ladder for anything with interactivity 53

I.D. Categories Patterns Memories Rewards Models Inertia Compression Easier access (identity) (stories) Experiences 54

I.D. Models Categories Patterns Memories Rewards As we experience things they get “rolled up”, level by level for efficient storage Inertia Compression Easier access (identity) (stories) Experiences 55

I.D. Categories Patterns Memories Rewards Models The details of user experience eventually and systematically build brand identity, but only after multiple layers of heavy compression Inertia Compression Easier access (identity) (stories) Experiences 56

Our brains reward the creation of new models and IDs But it’s always “cheaper” to relate new ones to old ones

This is why “first impressions” are so impactful. With no history, experiences apply quickly to identity. Subsequent experiences have to outnumber or overwhelm earlier ones to make changes. Memories Rewards Models Categories Patterns Inertia Compression Easier access I.D. Experiences Dopamine is the brain’s “reward” chemical. If activated, it will cause the hippocampus to create a more 59 potent “write” to long term memory. Memories Rewards Models Categories Patterns Inertia Compression Easier access I.D. Experiences Memories created in the presence of dopamine are recalled and pushed up the Experience-I.D. Pyramid more easily. 60 Memories Rewards Models Categories Patterns Inertia Compression Easier access I.D. Experiences These memories will have a stronger impact on related models, whole categories, etc.. This impacts System 1’s associative memory. 61

@nozurbina Today’s web uses these same constructs. E.g. Hashtag searches on G+ pull associated concepts, just like in the mind’s associative, semantic model-based storage. 62

HOW WILL YOUR BRAND STAND UP TO COMPRESSION? 63 @nozurbina Get it right, and your brand will enjoy powerful positive inertia and associations. Users will forgive bad experiences more easily. 64

INTELLIGENT CONTENT Intelligent content enables agility from experience to identity 65

@nozurbina Intelligent Content The Mind Free from format, i.e., takes messages and meaning across devices, styles. Compresses out details, retains only the key content memory. Rich in metadata – uses tagging to make associations. Associative by nature. Uses structured content models. Builds models and uses them frequently and easily. Machine-validation-ready and reusable to make diverse yet consistent stories. “Likes” finding patterns and consistency using System 1. Gets tired out by needing to parse inconsistency, which needs System 2. 66

Brochure x App @nozurbina Modelling template by the Rockley Group

Brochure x App @nozurbina Intelligent content uses semantic, structural models of content and tags it for associative use in various contexts (e.g. related links, taxonomy filtering, autoindexes or reuse by compilation…) Modelling template by the Rockley Group

Brochure x App @nozurbina This model explicitly maps out the various semantic components of a feature overview. All content of the type “feature overview” should match the model. (computers can quality check content structures for you if you create semantic, structured content) Modelling template by the Rockley Group

Brochure x App @nozurbina Your content creators and end users will internalise these models. (allowing System 1 to move through them more easily)

Intelligent content supports tailored delivery Same content Create Manage components Serve & Transform @nozurbina Everyone Profile D …with WPT/ processing tools Profile C …in CCMS (Structure -aware) Profile B …in structured Authoring Tool(s) Profile A ???

SO NOW WHAT? Your System 1 does everything it can to restore the status quo.

SO NOW WHAT? New ideas are “brain-expensive”, so they are naturally dropped during compression, or we try to mould and fold them into existing ones.

SO NOW WHAT? So take a deep breath and tell System 2 to take charge!


Attitude shift @nozurbina Stop framing the user in the window of the medium. Assumptions and analytics aren’t enough. Find out who they really are.

Embrace structure @nozurbina Check out for great designer quotes about “ the grid system” Visual designers get that structure isn’t the opposite of beauty and the consistency doesn’t kill creativity. Why can’t content people do 77 the same?

HOMEWORK Specific lessons and terms to take home (some of which are in our book. Nudge nudge, wink wink) 78

Embrace Intelligent Content @nozurbina • Write for system 1 and system 2 • Explicitly define the semantic models implicit in your content – Map out the different perspectives and contexts in which content will be used • Give creators clear tools to create and visualise their work across contexts • Store semantic content so machines validate it and can help you deliver tailored experiences 79

Embrace Intelligent Content @nozurbina • Measure user memory of whole journeys – UX is just a means to an end – Digital alone CANNOT SHOW a customer’s full journey • Set up your team properly – “Chief content officer” and “chief experience officers” are becoming real things – Get content creators, strategists, engineers (and the rest) who understand the value-add of each other’s work • Start bashing your boss’s System 1 and 2 80

And join us for Congility 2014: “Driving customer experience from across the enterprise” THANK YOU! Q&A? 2014 Conference 19-20 June Use promo code “ICC14” before April 30th & save 30%

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