I always leave with a bittersweet sense of having gained a number of valuable observations (based on what I’ve seen), but remarkably few meaningful inferences (that is, what I think it all means). […] A very common observation during a user test is when the participant misses the instructions that would have helped them complete the requested task. The easy inference is that people simply choose not to read, or not to read thoroughly. But this conclusion makes the error of confusing an attention span with a conscious choice. Maybe they didn’t notice the text because they weren’t paying attention instead of noticing it and choosing not to read it.
"Boards don't hit back"
March 12, 2013