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Design Loves Data: Ancient Minds in a New World

By Client Leadership Team

This is the first article of a 7 part series titled “Design Loves Data”.

Today, we have new data. Our world has evolved drastically since our hunter-gatherer days, yet strangely our most primal assets—our brains—have not had the time to evolve with us. We have ancient minds in a new world. And our new world constantly wants more data. We try to squeeze more data, more productivity, connection, value, fun—Data—into every moment. You could say that we like our data just the way we like our portions, BIG, and preferably with unlimited refills.

But what, really, do we mean by data? What is data made up of? Sure data is information, but it is also more. Watch this clip for a moment. It is from the 1940’s, where two researchers created the animation featuring two triangles and a circle, all bouncing around a box.

THERE WAS NO PLOT. NO DRAMA. JUST DATA. YET IT IS HARD TO WATCH THIS AND NOT PUT A STORY TO IT.

 

VIDEO: Experimental study of apparent behavior. Fritz Heider & Marianne Simmel. 1944

We crave stories in data. But who would care about random triangles moving around screens. I will give you a hint: the Navy funded this project. And if you look at the Navy’s radar, it’s populated with a lot triangles moving around. Yet computers can’t read stories, they can’t sense emotion. Where they transmit data, we scan for emotion—decoding movements as aggressive, calm, even safe-to-surface. We illuminate patterns with story so they actually mean something.

STORIES BOLSTER DATA AND DESIGN LOVES DATA.

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