Re: Is there a term for this?

Subject: Re: Is there a term for this?
From: jimmy -at- breck-mckye -dot- com
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 06 Feb 2012 17:49:31 +0000

I've seen this. If a thing isn't being clicked, it's assumed that's because it needs to be noticed. In reality, though:
- emphasising the thing makes the layout of the whole page incoherent, which means users can't navigate through the content well
- giving the thing ad-like qualities (colours; bordered backgrounds) makes users ignore it by default (they've trained themselves to sift out non-content after a decade of wading through spam)
- the thing probably wasn't being clicked because it was irrelevant, didn't make sense or wasn't appropriate at that stage in the user's workflow, and giving it giant pink lettering isn't going to change that.

This, however, is rarely enough reason for most stakeholders. I'm afraid the only real course of action is to do some user testing and exploit their comments as ammunition, or, if you can, use things like web analytics and A/B tests to prove your points with data.

On 06.02.2012 16:51, Joe Weinmunson wrote:

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
http://twitter.com/altmilan
http://altmilan.blogspot.com
http://ca.linkedin.com/in/milandavidovic


On Mon, Feb 6, 2012 at 10:55 AM, Joe Weinmunson <litlfrog -at- gmail -dot- com>
wrote:
> 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
to
> me that moving everything to the top in bold blinking colored fonts,
while
> it might briefly solve the problem, does so by causing the problem for
the
> next two times . . . is there a term for what I'm talking about, and is
it
> 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




--
Joe Weinmunson

Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to
be beautiful.
--William Morris
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References:
Is there a term for this?: From: Joe Weinmunson
Re: Is there a term for this?: From: Milan Davidović
Re: Is there a term for this?: From: Joe Weinmunson

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