Presentation of Complex Information
There are many
situations in which presentation of complex information is required:
the dashboard of a car, the presentation of data, the presentation of a
webpage... The principles of good design tell us that in all
things we should seek an elegant simplicity. In real life, that is not
can Psychology help?
way humans process information depends on the content of the
information. Think about it: you naturally point to an object in the
world, rather than trying to describe its location; equally, if someone
speaks to you, you usually talk back rather than writing them a letter,
or trying to mime your answer!
There are basic
principles which identify the processing mechanisms humans use to
process complex and multi-source information (a visual display and some
auditory information, for example), and these can be used to provide
information in a way which humans find easy to process. This knowledge
extends to placement and type of switches on the dashboard, but is
mainly concerned with the way humans process the information.
The research in
this area is tried and tested, and used in everyday, real world
problems, from NASA scientists to car dashboard layout to presentation
of data using PowerPoint. It has been proven to improve user
performance, from preventing errors and accidents, to speeding up
response times, to just plain getting the message across.
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