How to Prioritize Your Design

Each product and every information process thrives on prioritization. Furthermore, the human perception has put its focus on the prioritization of information, underlying its importance.

Our body’s physical condition requires us to prioritize. Out of the 30-100 million bit/s of available information, we can only consciously perceive 100 bit/s. To emphasize this we need to consider a renowned example which illustrates our brain’s performance and ways of functioning which proves that our reading habits do not change as long as the initial and last letter of the word remains the same.

 

 

The brain poririzeptis the most ipmanortt lrtetes and caerets the raimnenig stenence besad on waht is arleday kwnon.

The brain prioritizes the most important letters and creates the remaining sentence based on what is already known ( Rawlinson 1976 ).

For the processing of information, this means that you need to set anchor points throughout entire interaction processes in order for your brain to stay focused and work with the information properly. In the absence of such anchor points, obstacles and operating errors are inevitable.

Thus there is also no point in presenting important information on an equal level with other functionalities. Let’s have a look at another example.

Please select the most important word below:

 

 

Were you able to select the right word? No? Actually, it is not feasible because all the words are prioritized on an equal level. When all words are prioritized on an equal level in an interaction it is not possible to reach the goal.

How about the next example?

 

 

Clearly, this makes the task easier, since an entire combination of words was highlighted and was thereby put into context. However, the word we are looking for could still be any of the six highlighted words as there is not distinction among them.

 

 

Highlighting allows you to set graphic accents. An additional prioritization, such as altering the size of elements makes the filtering of information even easier and allows one to quickly grasp information to be focused on – and which information can be skipped. Additional grouping of information further facilitates the interpretation.

 

 

If the goal was now to make one word stand out even more and be noted as the most important one, a product developer could also hide all other words making the one word an entire new product. Then the only word left is prioritization.

 

In contrast to the first example, it is very easy to understand. In order to design in a clear and comprehensible pattern these prioritization steps should be incorporated into every development of products, services and processes. Let’s review the presented ways of displaying information.

  • Prioritization through color and size
  • Grouping
  • Omitting or hiding information

 

This prioritization must be designed in a holistic manner, from the basic problem definition down to the last detail. Thus, processes become clear and visible to the audience.

Through sustainable optimization measures and a clear depiction of the problem solution, it is possible to reduce process duration from two days to two hours or to achieve major sales increases. However, these are only a few of the possible effects that can easily be reached in your organization when you begin to apply these methods and principles. The prioritization of processes can result in a significant business success.

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