Overheard: Word of the Day

Jan 8 2008   10:27PM GMT

Overheard: Inattentive blindness

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

The last few days I ‘ve been looking at how to improve the whatis.com definition pages on the search sites so visitors who are interested in diving deeper into a topic can do so without having to search around.

There is related content located on the right-hand side of each definition page, but I find myself ignoring that side of the page and the clickthrough numbers are telling me that lots of visitors are probably not seeing the information that’s there.

I came across two interesting videos explaining why I fail to notice the right-hand side of the page and thought I’d share them with you. The concept the videos examine is called inattentive blindness or perceptual blindness. It’s not only why we’re able to block out banner ads on web pages, its also why we miss things that could be useful too.

Do you have a suggestion for how to improve our definition pages — besides getting rid of the ads? :-)   I’d love to hear your ideas. Email me at mrouse@techtarget.com  or drop a comment at the end of this post. Thanks!

Video #1: Count how many times the lunch box gets passed.

[kml_flashembed movie="http://youtube.com/v/LBL2SbRj5CA" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Video #2: Students participate in an experiment. View video by clicking here.

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