(This is the third in a series about cognition and how it relates to medical product design).
The last post talked about how our minds can fill-in visual information that’s missing. Just as we can add missing information, we can also filter out information that we don’t need. Perception is selective. We naturally filter information and pay attention only to what we need for the task at hand. Details that aren’t salient are ignored.
This is a critical concept, and medical product designers should remind themselves often about this characteristic of cognition. One of our primary jobs is to make devices as intuitive to understand and to use as possible. We do that by providing visual cues that allow people to understand how the device should be manipulated. With the plethora of functionality that modern technology allows us to pack into devices, it’s easy to fall into the trap of presenting too much information at once. Devices that people find confusing usually provide too much similar visual information that users then need to filter in order to begin to understand.
Which one of these do you think would be easier to use?: