PhD Program in Design


The Serendipitous Web

The Serendipitous Web:
Mechanisms and Processes for Designing Online Serendipity

Ricardo Melo
Supervisor: Miguel Carvalhais


This research proposes the creation of a methodological framework that will allow designers to implement a basis for serendipitous discoveries. We trust this framework will allow for the discovery of new, uncommon and meaningful information on the Web. This project aims at creating this framework through an analysis of the serendipity phenomenon and its relationships with information seeking as well as the observation of current relationship with available systems and platforms.

With the increased personalization of existing online systems, users no longer have access to the full Web, but rather to a catered stream of content that the systems perceive to be relevant not to the users, but to a constructed persona of them.

We believe that by seeking online serendipity (the accidental discovery of meaningful information and the creative capacity of making insightful connections with it), we may recover some of the unlimited and unconstrained possibilities of the Web.

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