Cognitive Biases, Websites, and Language

Our brains have their favored ways of perceiving life. Our perceptions are often inaccurate. These skewed perceptions are called cognitive and social biases. We all fall prey to their pervasive influences. I have always wondered just how much our cognitive patterns effect how we consume a website.

Brain Preferences

A human computer is attached by a cable to a box © Cristi Jenkins CreationsThe human brain likes things to be predictable and comfortable. This cognitive bias is a main reason why humans tend to approach things in life the same way over and over again.

Our brains also predispose us to be creatures of habit. As such, I suggest that these patterns can also apply to how we approach websites. When we encounter patterns that are familiar to us, our brains can more easily make sense of them. Continue reading

A Librarian’s Take on Good Web Design

book

“How may I help you?” It was a phrase I reiterated numerous times throughout the course of a day. As a librarian, I listened to the patron’s request and tried to decipher what the patron desired.

Sometimes the patrons needed a little help. “Are you sure that the recipe you want is for something called ‘wedgies.’ I think that they are called ‘pootato’ I mean ‘potato wedges.’” Cough and slight smile. Once I clarified with the patron what he or she wanted, then it was easier to provide the desired information. Continue reading