MEX Notes: Only a Few Can Multitask –

  • Only a Few Can Multitask – – We started exploring the effect of simultaneous multi-platform interactions on user experience back in 2009 and it has remained a consistent theme for MEX ever since. The growth in the number of digital interfaces users are exposed to at any one time means design must anticipate a continuous state of partial attention among users. A Twitter exchange with Howard Rheingold pointed me to this New York Times piece on a Univetsity of Utah study exploring how users coped with driving and using a mobile phone. Only 2.5% (so-called supertaskers) were able to do both simultaneously without any impact in performance. Everyone else suffered a performance impairment of 20 – 30%. Something to consider when designing a mobile app which may be used by a customer who is also interacting with a laptop, TV and tablet at the same time.

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