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Myth of Paying Attention

Myth of Paying Attention

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.


Brad Nunnally

April 04, 2012

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  1. Brad Nunnally @bnunnally The Myth of Paying Attention Big Design

    Conference June 2012 #MythAttn
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  7. We have busy lives We rely on past expectations &

    habits There are gaps between interactions Mislead by our peers Training Fails
  8. Leap is a start

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  13. But, why does it happen?

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  17. Change Blindness

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  19. Would You Notice?

  20. Would You Notice?

  21. Here’s The Proof

  22. Here’s The Proof

  23. 1999

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  25. 2005

  26. 2007

  27. 2010 http://www.lukew.com/ff/entry.asp?178

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  30. Selective Attention

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  44. We’re all a little slow 80 Millisecond Rule Perception occurs

    before understanding Our minds constructed the “present”
  45. It’s all a guessing game Memory + Perception + Expectations

    = Reality Sometimes part of the equation is wrong Blind Men & The Elephant
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  48. "I did not see that big red bar at the

    bottom that says click here for more information" “How did I NOT see that?” “I must have missed that button” “I could have used what?” “Ohh, well that makes sense now that I see it.”
  49. Screenshot from PE Usability Testing

  50. Screenshot from PE Usability Testing

  51. Screenshot from PE Usability Testing

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  59. Well, technology is a glittering lure. But there's the rare

    occasion when the public can be engaged on a level beyond flash, if they have a sentimental bond with the product. Don Draper
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  69. So What? Understanding the limitations of the human brain provide

    us with an opportunity to create better designs earlier in the process. Allowing for more critical issues to be identified during usability testing.
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  71. So What? We still have monkey brains It is easy

    for people to get tripped up by technology Knowing the Brain = Better Design Effectively plan major redesign projects Understand basic human behavior to augment their experiences Utilize the power of choice
  72. Online Sources - http://kippt.com/feed/bnunnally/ JhCuSVb708qvLWzpxZ5C/fallacy-talk Photo Sources - http://kippt.com/feed/bnunnally/ JhCuSVb708qvLWzpxZ5C/fallacy-pictures

  73. Thank You! Brad Nunnally Lead User Experience Designer Perficient Experience

    Design Email - brad.nunnally@perficient.com Twitter - @bnunnally SpeakerRate - http://spkr8.com/t/11331