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    Do You Ignore The Clutter

    An interesting thing happened to me the other day. I was having diner with a friend at a Mexican place and I had a craving for a quesadilla. I scoured the menu for quite a few minutes and came up with nothing.  I sat there thinking to myself “how can a Mexican place not have quesadillas on the menu?  Perhaps they don’t actually eat quesadillas in Mexico and this place is hardcore authentic.”

    Now I have no idea if they actually eat quesadillas in Mexico or not.  Frankly, I am more interested in food that tastes good than if it is placed into the “correct”category.  That said it was still a let down.  I had settled on something else and was ready to order, but I made a comment to my friend about how bummed I was.

    It took him about 10 seconds to locate them and point it out to me.  What, you might ask, was my problem?

    I’m not sure if it is from reading too many blogs, going to too many websites, or just filtering out stuff just because but I missed the whole section.  After looking at it a bit closer I think I figured out why.  It was made to stick out.

    That might sound a bit counter-intuitive at first, but its not.  I skipped it because it had a different background then the rest of the menu.  It was colored to stick out.  But for whatever reason my brain just skipped it.  Near as I can figure, it is just because if the menu was a webpage that is where the advertisement would have been.  Or at least it was blocked off and so my brain just read it as advertisement even if it was in the wrong spot to make sense.  I just ignored the whole section.  Keep in mind that this is while I am activly searching, trying to find something in the menu and I still skipped the whole thing.

    For me it proves how cluttered the world is.  It proves how hard it is to stand out.  It proves that the game has changed.  What used to stand out and draw attention no longer works because people’s brains have been overstimulated with advertisements.  Do you even notice the product placement in moves/shows?  Sometimes it is painfully obvious and you can’t miss them (and then it just looks dumb) and the other times you miss them entirely.  Too much clutter.

    Do you ignore clutter?

    This has been a Thought From The Cake Scraps.

    3 responses to “Do You Ignore The Clutter”

    1. Chris says:

      Yeah, that’s happened to me before. It could just be bad design though because I don’t have that problem at every restaurant.

      But since I’ve started using adblock for firefox, things have become a lot less cluttered. Especially those dumb flash ads.

    2. Ryan says:

      I’m with you on that one David, but for me it happens at just about every restaurant I ever go to. I just can never find what I’m looking for. When I have found what I was looking for, I remember it and remember where I found it so I can avoid a repeat of the searching. This was all well and good when I was 10 and didn’t have many responsibilities, but I’m constantly adding new things to my brain that it’s become more difficult.

    3. Rosemarie says:

      I definitely ignore clutter. Sometimes I feel bad for those poor advertisers who pay to put up all the ads because I hardly ever pay attention to them. Sometimes when I’m watching something on Hulu or playing a game via the free game consol, I’ll click on an ad as my way of showing appreciation for their sponsorship. I wonder if there was a way to gauge how effective TV ads were (i.e. the click-throughs like there are on the Internet) what the results would be???

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