You probably notice every day that some objects in the environment are easier to notice than other objects. For example, workers at sports stadiums often wear bright yellow shirts, which are very easy to see. While the crowd may blend in together, the workers are prominent and are easy to notice when you want a drink or something to eat. In this assignment, you will further explore how people engage in visual searches and what features of a stimulus make a search easier.
Think of a time when you had to locate someone in a crowd, such as a participant in a parade, a friend in a packed theater, or a runner in a marathon. Based on your experience, respond to the following:
- Were you successful in locating the person? What strategy did you use?
- Did your search make use of the pop-out effect? How? If not, how might using the pop-out effect have resulted in a successful or quicker search?
- Did you conduct a conjunctive search? If yes, how did the number of distracters and features affect your search?
- Using the principles you have read about in this module, how would you make material in a long e-mail stand out in order to ensure that the reader notices it?
Visual searches are also very important in warnings. Warnings need to stand out from their background. The warning must first be noticed, then read and understood. For example, a stick figure could be performing an ambiguous action and have an “X” through it. You therefore understand that while you are not supposed to perform some action, you do not understand what that action actually is.
Give two examples of a poor warning. Did you understand them? Why did you have difficulties with them? What features could be modified to make the warnings more effective?