Users are not like us — they view the world with a completing different filter. As designers, we’ve trained ourselves to notice every little detail about a design — everything grabs our attention. We assume that users do the same when coming to a site or using an application for the first time. We assume that all those details that took us, as the designers, hours to figure out just right will catch a user’s eye and invoke pleasant thoughts and emotions that go along with facilitating a positive user experience. But, that’s not how our brains work. In fact, the average user will miss almost everything within their field of vision when working with a design for the first time. This phenomenon occurs all the time during usability studies, much to our bewilderment.
Fortunately, recent research within neurological and cognitive science offers some clues to why this behavior occurs. This session will review several concepts that shows how little people actually pay attention to the things they interact with, and will provide some tips and tricks for getting past this mental limitation.