A Whole New Web Site

Ken Yarmosh, Former Viget

Article Category: #Design & Content

Posted on

Read this sentence. You just used the left hemisphere of your brain. That's because our brains are contralateral, which means the left side of the brain controls the right side of the body and vice-versa. In case you are still trying to figure that out, in the West, we read left to right.

Left-brain thinking has traditionally been associated with traits like order, analysis, and logic and jobs in accounting, engineering, and the medical field. But the future, according to Daniel Pink, is in right-brain thinking or at least in it playing a much more significant role. Pink's A Whole New Mind provides a compelling argument for the impending transition of society's influencers to be right-brain thinkers. These thinkers are aesthetic, contextual, and metaphorical and typically have been artists, inventors, or storytellers. In Pink's future, many left-brain jobs, products, and activities will be outsourced, automated, or less valued due to globalization and incredible efficiencies created by none other than left-brain thinkers (in particular Pink's three agents of change are Abundance, Asia, and Automation). The conclusion is simple: whip your right-brain into shape. Start exercising those right-brain muscles. 

Pink outlines the "whole new mind" he believes is critical in this coming era, indicating the need to complement function with design, argument with story, focus with symphony, logic with empathy, seriousness with play, and accumulation with meaning. The whole new mind is not the absence of the first; it is the inclusion of the second. 

Should Pink truly be prophetic, his conclusions would have significant implications on how businesses and organizations interact and communicate with clients, customers, and constituents on the web (you saw this coming, didn't you?). Perhaps elements of his whole new mind are already here. Blogs have created a more conversational ("play") tone than the traditional corporate web site. Simply having a web site ("function") is no longer a competitive advantage; successful sites have great design. Good sites don't just have copy that sells people ("argument"); they tell a story. Pink's vision of the future, while still untested, doesn't seem unrealistic. 

We definitely see the need for a "whole new web site" with many of our clients and more generally, in our industry. Web agencies or web groups within organizations won't succeed with left-brainers alone. They'll need right-brain thinkers to help integrate and synthesize web presence ("symphony"), to craft narrative content ("story"), and create meaningful web experiences ("empathy," "design," and "meaning"). 

Get ready for a whole new web site. 

p.s. - We're actually already pretty good at those.

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