Today I am looking more closely at Inattentional Blindness. What is Inattentional Blindness?  According to  “Universal Principles of Design” by Lidwell, Holden and Butler.  it is “the failure to cognitively process a stimulus that is presented in clear view, leaving the observer without any awareness of memory of the stimulus.”

Take a look at this video to see this concept in action: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/multimedia/videos/Part-II–How-Many-Times-Do-They-Pass-the-Ball.html

When navigating the web, opportunities to become engaged in other areas or be captured by other stimuli could go unnoticed especially if a user comes on with a purpose and is scanning a site to find relevant information. They could be so focused on a task at hand that they do not register other things unless they are similar to what is being sought.  A way to address this is through the prominence of sections on a site (putting information that is often sought at the top or giving it more real estate on the site) and also having headings or imagery to draw attention to what a visitor might be seeking.

Let’s take this further and extend it to job searching – if an employer is seeking certain qualifications or skills in a candidate then applicants would naturally want to address these areas and make this content prominent on their cover letter or resume.  Failing to do this will result in your application going unnoticed!

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