TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Re: Is there a term for this? From:Joe Weinmunson <litlfrog -at- gmail -dot- com> To:Milan Davidović <milan -dot- lists -at- gmail -dot- com> Date:Mon, 6 Feb 2012 11:51:54 -0500
All three, I think. Gene links to an article that includes the term
"Directed Attention Fatigue"; I think that's a pretty good description of
number three. Context for this: a friend is responsible for the website of
a department in state government. As in many large bureaucracies, his work
is often defined by squeaky wheels within the organization: "We think this
isn't prominent enough, make it more noticeable." The immediate situation
is people complaining "I can't find out how I'm supposed to do online
training to get this license." The right sidebar of the homepage lists "How
do I . . . ?" tasks. "How do I take an online training course?" is the
second entry. :) My friend is looking for a coherent way to tell his
supervisors a) If these users can't find the second thing on a short list
on the homepage, what else are we supposed to do? and b) If we try to make
it more prominent by bolding or blinking the text or making it fly around
with winged pigs, then what do we do when somebody complains that users
can't find the THIRD item on the list?
2012/2/6 Milan DavidoviÄ <milan -dot- lists -at- gmail -dot- com>
> Are you looking for a term to describe
> - the "someone doesn't notice them" part?
> - the "moving everything to the top in bold blinking colored fonts"?
> - the solution doesn't really solve the problem part?
> - two or all of the above three?
> Milan DavidoviÄ
> On Mon, Feb 6, 2012 at 10:55 AM, Joe Weinmunson <litlfrog -at- gmail -dot- com>
> > A friend of mine wonders:
> > "So if you have a list of items on a website, printed document, or other
> > means of communication, and someone doesn't notice one of them, it seems
> > me that moving everything to the top in bold blinking colored fonts,
> > it might briefly solve the problem, does so by causing the problem for
> > next two times . . . is there a term for what I'm talking about, and is
> > a concept in use?"
> > I certainly know what he's talking about, but I'm an informally trained
> > lone tech writer. Does anyone have any suggestions?
> > --
> > Joe Weinmunson
Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to
You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-
To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-leave -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com