Using Banner Blindness
I’ve been kicking an idea around in my head recently.
Designers could exploit Banner Blindness by putting instructions inside of “banner adds”. Normally users will completely ignore them. But if they get “stuck” and start searching the screen for help, they’ll find it in the banners. This lets designers put a lot of explicit instructions on an interface, without increasing the amount of text a user has to read (they will just ignore the banners as if they aren’t there).
Of course there is the danger that users will always ignore the banners. But I strongly suspect that once they figure out that the banners always contain helpful information, they will remember to scan them if they need help.
The interface would probably look about as ugly as a GeoCities website from 1995. A good graphic-designer is the person to ask here. Unlike on the web, the banners would be closely integrated with the interface. So that cuts down on teh ugly. But then again, the banners have to be different enough to trigger Banner Blindness…
The banners take up screen space, even if they are ignored. This limits how much informative stuff can be visible.
More on this concept later.