The Impact of Usability on End-User Attention Span

My classmate Kate T recently wrote about feeling overloaded with all the new technology she’s been trying out. My Word Press is not cooperating with letting me comment at the moment, so I’m cross-posting my comment here.

Kate, I’ve been feeling the same way: inundated with new tools and technology.


I’ve found myself signed up for so many little technology accounts just to try them out, they start to blur together. My reaction is to cut back to the ones that work without too much hassle. For instance, one info-graphic tool has terrific graphics, but I had to sign up for more of an account than I wanted, AND the type was so tiny, I could hardly read it, and no option to increase the font size. If I had had two out of the three, I might have attempted it.


I think the needs of the end-user is a big factor in the usability or usefulness of a given tool. As a user with many things to do in little time, I have an internal rubric for how much time I am willing to put into making something work. After a certain point, I abandon a tool and try something else.


I think content creators need to be aware of this factor as well. All the snazzy design in the world does not help you if your application is not legible or useful. That then reminds me of our blog sites. We are working on both how they work and how they look.

(Cross-posted from Kate’s Power Play on Technology Overload.)