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Sunday, October 25, 2015

Distraction is an ageing issue. Not a new subject

Way back in 2008 I wrote a blog (Distraction is an ageing issue)

Research, appearing in the Journal of  Vision, and that is covered into today's papers, returns to this subject and reports:

Older people have vision that is three times slower than younger people when required to cope with distractions, which could make them more dangerous drivers, new research suggests.
A study led by psychologists at Nottingham Trent University found over 65s processed visual information just as quickly as 18-30 year olds when tasked with recreating a single object’s orientation after it had briefly appeared on a computer screen.
But when additional ‘distracting objects’ were added to the screen as part of two further experiments, older people became significantly slower at processing the original object.

This subject was also reported in the US earlier this year.

I am not really sure why it has been labelled as 'vision' issue since the problem results from cognitive ageing. Interestingly, the US research goes on to show that training can help compensate for the distraction effects. That is a new one to me.

From a marketers point of view it is vital they understand this issue since it impacts so many of the customer touchpoints - product design, digital channels, signage .... the list goes on and on.

I just wish that the designers of car instrumentation took some notice of this issue. From what I can see they totally ignore it. Dick Stroud

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