After reading Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Blink, I am beginning to realize how essential moments of experience, what he refers to as, “thin-slicing”, are to how we think about innovation and online relationships.
He states, that humans could never have survived as a species without the ability to make very quick decisions based on very little information. Thinking about this statement in relationship to our digital media culture we have adapted to the world wide web of information. We often choose to have multiple screens open simultaneously listening and playing multiple forms of media in one slice of time. How have our instincts as a species grown to understand and utilize these experiences? Are we training our brains to absorb multiple sources and small bites of information as a singular glance? If so, then we need to create, design and innovate around the notion of rapid cognition. We need to brand our ideas in the simplest of terms assuming that our customers will have even less than 30 seconds to establish an impression. One example is DVR, we are a fast-forward society, but what if we create advertisements that while you fast-forward flash one singular word, image, or message. It would seem to appear that your fast-forward is in slow motion but in fact it would be a lasting blink of an impression.
“Louis Cheskin, a marketing pioneer of the early 20th century, developed the theory of Sensation Transference essentially that consumers didn’t just consume a product, but the totality of the product, including the packaging. Through this phenomenon, consumers would transfer the emotions generated by product packaging to the product itself, literally ‘tasting’ a product the instant they saw it.” We need to think and test the power of experiencing sensation transference in relationships to online media, products and innovations. How might we package our innovations online with the goal that our customers feel the experiences of our design?
“Good improvisers seems telepathic everything looks pre-arranged.” Johnstone writes, “This is because they accept all offers made – which is something no “normal” person would do.” p.116
This acceptance of all offers made is exactly how creatives use collaborative brainstorming. We lay every single ideas on the table with the hope that one idea will be sticky. But, what if we brought an outside voice into the room every 15 minutes to take a glance at the table? How might their snap judgements of our ideas without any context influence our creative decisions?
“Our unconscious reactions come out of a locked room, and we cant look inside that room. But with experience we become expert at using our behavior and our training to interpret – and decode – what lies behind our snap judgements and first impressions.” p.183
According to Match.com, 1 out of 5 relationships start online. How has our ability to “thin-slice” influenced our online relationships?
For example, if you met someone face-to-face, even for a brief moment you would instinctively make snap judgments. You would base them on their appearance, body language, facial expression and tone of voice. But, if you only have a photo of a face online and words on a screen to establish an impression, than, how have our experiences online influenced our relationship decisions? If you had spoken directly to this person than you would better interpret their use of language and pick up on tonal cues. But, if you never heard this persons voice and only read their descriptive language on the screen then it might be difficult to understand their context. So, when we think about developing relationships online for business or pleasure, we should consider Malcolm Gladwell’s notion of “thin-slicing”. We should establish our identities online with our tone of voice, use of body language, images and words as simplistic, direct and in context as possible. Because you never know how one blink might influence your life.
“This is the gift of training and expertise – the ability to extract an enormous amount of meaningful information from the very thinnest slice of experience. To a novice, that incident would have gone by in a blur. But it wasn’t a blur at all. Every moment – every blink – is composed of a series of discrete moving parts, and every one of those parts offers an opportunity for intervention, for reform, and for correction.” p.241