Monday, December 21, 2015

layout matters so very, very much

Steve Harvey misread the final card for the Miss Universe pageant and Miss Colombia had to relinquish her crown to Miss Phillipines... a humiliation for all concerned, but especially for whoever put this piece of crap card together:
Humans make assumptions when they take in information visually: they subconsciously expect things to fall in patterns and rhythms, and making text big and bold doesn't always emphasize: in fact the opposite - it can cause things to be mentally labeled as unimportant background context.

(My friend Josh brought my attention to something I had missed: ELMININATION ?? Man, what a lousy job all around.)

Of course, one of the most infamous examples is the Florida 2000 Election "Butterfly Ballot":
People made assumptions about alignment and spacing and correlation, and so we got Elderly Jewish Reitirees for Buchanan, aka "Pitchfork Pat" - an absolute statistical and demographic anomaly. Because of this terrible layout Florida's electoral votes went to Bush and the popular vote was over-ridden. It is not too much of a stretch to say that the Middle East would look very, very, very different today if someone if someone had been better at their job.

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