The Community Of Over 578,000

Home ›› Design ›› Change Blindness

Change Blindness

by Michael Grossman
Share this post on
Share on twitter
Tweet
Share on linkedin
Share
Share on facebook
Post
Share on reddit
Share
Share on email
Email
Share on print
Print

Save

What are you paying attention to, and what are you missing?

Change Blindness

Depending on what we focus on, our brains can be completely blind to obvious changes going on around us. This is called “change blindness,” and it is unnerving when you observe it. Below are a few examples of this in action.

This first video is an experiment conducted at Harvard where 75% of the people in the test don’t notice that the man in front of them has turned into a different person. This was conducted in a formal test setting. The people involved were interviewed after the experiment to better understand their perception of events.

This next video shows change blindness being used as more of a parlor trick. Magician Derren Brown exploits this blind spot in a much more dramatic way. Changing clothes, race, and gender doesn’t seem to matter to these people on the street. This demonstration isn’t as controlled, but is a lot of fun to watch.

The last video is an “Awareness Test” that has been around for a while. You can run this test on yourself and on others.

The concept of change blindness highlights a potential problem for UX professionals. Most of the time, user researchers and UX architects begin their research with specific goals in mind, and are focused on a specific aspect of the product. But with this focus comes the risk that they will be blind to other aspects of the user’s experience. What are we failing to capture when observing people using the products we design? We need to reserve space in our work for uncovering those things that we don’t know we don’t know, and make it an official part of the process. We will observe more of the moonwalking bears that teach us valuable lessons about our users and our products.

post authorMichael Grossman

Michael Grossman,

Michael merged his skills in graphic design and multimedia into a career in User Experience Design after graduating with a B.S. in Jazz in 1989. He has delivered projects for clients including Kenneth Cole, Merrill Lynch, Apple, Time Warner, NFL Properties, AOL, Toshiba and W&R Grace. He has spent the last 20 years designing great experiences. Visit his UX Blog, his website, or follow him on Twitter.

Share on twitter
Tweet
Share on linkedin
Share
Share on facebook
Post
Share on reddit
Share
Share on email
Email
Share on print
Print

Related Articles

The road to a good customer experience can be full of potholes. How do you navigate such a treacherous path? One key way is through product thinking.

What is product thinking and why does it matter?
  • Product thinking is key to shaping the best customer experience possible as it helps to identify problems and solve them.
  • By providing a holistic perspective on a product it differs from design thinking and reveals the real product value for customers.
  • Because of its strategic importance, every team member should hone product thinking skills. It’s more than a working framework, it’s a mindset, a culture of customer experience.
Share:What is product thinking and why does it matter?

“Holistic design” sounds like a new flashy trend that’s used without a real meaning behind it. However, the term was present long before UX design was born. Nowadays, when we use “product design” for digital products and “industrial design” for things, “holistic design” makes a comeback to UX design.

What Is Holistic Design? The Future of UX or a Buzzword?
  • To apply holistic design principles is to consider different facets of a product, stakeholders’ interests and the environment within which it functions.
  • Best practices of holistic design consist of involving stakeholders, being sustainable, creating an ecosystem, and, last but not least, going beyond digital.
  • When it comes to holistic design in UX, it’s essential to apply design thinking and reflect on the design system, make sure that solutions are inclusive and consistently invest in UX research.
Share:What Is Holistic Design? The Future of UX or a Buzzword?
Frame 1 Holistic Design

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Check our privacy policy and