When a computer slows down and stutters, we often hit the refresh button (F5 on windows machines). When that doesn’t help, we reboot the system. Even if that doesn’t fix it, we perform a factory reset.

We humans often model our computers and software after ourselves. Several of our daily rituals – making the bed, brushing our teeth, the morning’s coffee and newspaper, taking a shower and starting work at 9 AM are refresh routines that take us back to a familiar state. A good night’s sleep is our equivalent of rebooting a system, while a vacation serves as a factory reset.

Despite our penchant for novelty, familiarity is an unconscious and basic human need. That is why brands are consistent with their fonts, logos, colours and with the experience you have learnt to expect when you buy something they offer.

Familiarity serves as the legs that novelty can stand on.

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