Ever see the term “TMI” in electronic communication and wonder what it means? Hint: it’s probably not referring to Three Mile Island, the Transcendental Meditation Institute or a particular type of mini-stroke (this is also a hint about our particular generation).
No, TMI refers to “too much information”, an acronym that conveys the reader’s complaint that the writer is over-explaining a point or getting a bit too graphic in their description for the reader’s taste. And with everyone feeling moved to share their personal opinions and activities these days (no matter the relevance or likely interest), it’s little wonder that a term like TMI was coined and is often invoked. But we digress…
A broader definition of “too much information” includes what seems to be increasingly more common for each of us, and that’s “information overload”. The Center for Neural Decision Making at Temple University studied information overload and concluded that when faced with too much information, the human brain tends to freeze up. The study showed that as the amount of information given the participants increased, so did their anxiety about the problem. Eventually, their brains became over-saturated and they began making poor choices. If only there was some way to add additional hard drive capacity.
So how does this relate to Capital StreetScapes? We’re in the signage business, and so we know there are better and worse ways for a residential development, municipality, retail center or school campus to design and manage their signage. If it’s confusing, poorly placed, contradictory, or if there’s simply just too much information being targeted at visitors, brains can start shutting down. Faulty or unsafe decisions can be made. And even if the reaction is less severe, a negative impression can nevertheless be the result, and that’s not good for anyone.
Let Capital StreetScapes help in your next signage project. We can steer you in the right direction without causing a brain freeze. Our staff has years of experience providing creative solutions to signage challenges that both assure compliance with existing regulation and communicate effectively, avoiding information overload for your traveler. After all, a mind is a terrible thing to burden.