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A an idea lightbulb man expressing an aha moment to a woman.

Aha Moment

When you can practically see the lightbulb turning on

The nuts and bolts: An Aha Moment is where a previously incomprehensible problem or concept is suddenly understood. It’s when you have a sudden insight or realization at a certain point in time, during an event, or during an experience.

Remember those days in college when you’d stay up all night? No, not that night the cop caught you stealing that stop sign. Although, that was really funny. We’re talking about when you’d pound hard at the keyboard on an essay that was due at 7 a.m. You don’t know where the paper’s going. You’ve lost focus. You’ve had too much coffee. Then a chemical lightning bolt bursts between sleepy neurons and WHAM! You’ve got it.

That was an Aha Moment. The moment of truth where everything — the idea, the process, and the situation — clicks. Eureka! To turn a cliche, the lightbulb goes off and shines bright.

Bright Lights, Big Brain

Now let us hit you with some knowledge. A lightbulb might not be far from the truth. The folks at WebMD report that your brain becomes a hotbed of electrical activity during an Aha Moment. Get this, a study shows that a third of a second right before the Aha Moment people have an explosion of high-frequency brain waves — the kind associated with some super-charged processing of information, says WebMD. That’s wicked! Guess that means we’ve got a lot of pumped gray matter around our offices.

Can I Get An “Aha!”

Aha moments happen fast. Say you’re with a client in a strategy meeting, and you will blaze through our plans for the client’s project. Then the client will slightly lean her head back and smile. At that moment, she’s seen the future as you’ve described it and all the awesome possibilities it will bring.

Another Aha Moment can happen during brainstorming sessions. Picture it, we’ve all been at the same thing for a while, slumped over dozens of sketches. We think we’re out of ideas. Then someone shouts out an idea and everyone snaps to attention, recognizing the idea as brilliant. The idea spurs a chain reaction that ends in a nuclear burst of creativity and innovation.

As customers visiting a website, it’s that sweet moment when we realize that the site offers exactly what we’ve absolutely needed. But we all know how easily that Aha moment can turn sour if something on the site is jacked up — something as seemingly innocuous as finding the company’s phone number, for instance. Yeah, that can turn an Aha Moment into an “Oh” moment.

Make Sure You Don’t Ruin an ‘Aha Moment’

Take your site for a test drive to ensure your target audience is hitting the right Aha Moments. Gauge the site’s performance.

Website Design Test

Capture a quick yet precise evaluation of your website’s performance by considering usability, net promoter score, and visual appeal.

Use this template for:

  • Concept Testing
  • Check to see if your site contains any Aha Moments
  • Validate design choices you’ve made to ensure that user needs are met in a satisfying way
Use Template