Information Overload – The Resolve | Part 2

PART 2


Consumable Information

It’s a wonderful gift to be able to construct information, as it allows to convey knowledge, awareness and wisdom to one another. It’s one of the amazing powers humans have at their disposal. But we’ve all heard this popular saying;

“With great power, comes great responsibility.”

It became easy for us to share information about our lives since the advent of certain types of media. The evolution of that power can be witnessed within many of the social networking websites we use today for instance, doesn’t this give us the responsibility too, then?

Whether we’re writing a 300 paged book, shooting an hour of video or just sharing some photo of ourselves somewhere, the responsibility is on us to make sure that the message we convey is clearly understood across the board and doesn’t leave anyone puzzled.

Let’s now briefly understand some of the insights we’ve collected through our research by asking this question; how could we construct information that is easily consumed by the learner or the observer? The answer is simple, we need to understand the factors that lead to information becoming consumable. Below is a list of the factors we would consider while constructing any kind of information. These factors are responsible for maintaining the balance between the outcomes of information either being useful, or just ending up as overload, and they are:

  1. Value
  2. Structure
  3. Quantity
  4. Time

Value

Any part of information that’s of value, will always clarify what it was constructed for. In other words, information that carries out its purpose; to inform, is the information that’s of value, rather than what obscures the matter into further confusion. Below are a few suggestions which will increase the value of any part of information.

Valuable information standing out from the noise.

Valuable information stands out.

Uniqueness

Information has to be unique, and has to stand out among others. It can always be based upon other facts, but by no means imitate other information. Otherwise, it lacks originality and adds to the noise. Having to re-read information is a tedious task for anyone’s time. If some part of information is retold by another, without a difference between each, it would be puzzling as to which one must be studied. Since each part of information lacks uniqueness, we end up consuming more information than required.

Reliability

Information should always be judged by how dependable it is. If it is supported by sound facts, it will always correspond with truth. Information must always be based upon other preceding information. Keeping that in mind, information should always reveal everything that it was constructed over; it should transparently expose all the sources it was developed upon.


Example

A good example of reliability are the citations used by various online authoritative sources such as encyclopedias. If you read any article, you’ll usually see a piece of information that’s cited by a link to one of the sources it was derived from. These citations help readers to discern solid facts from vague opinions. At the end of the article, there’s a “sources” reference, which lists all relevant knowledge over which the article was established. This lets readers view the total quantity of verifications supporting the information in question.


Well Narrated

Everyone loves hearing a good story, especially if the story is narrated in a well-defined way. Relatively, if the story was told in a monotonous way, nobody would remember much. Consider our Grandmothers for instance; when they gather children around and tell interesting stories, they convey them gradually being careful not to leap a lot. They take the time to describe each and every character within the story, visualizing all fascinating environments, depicting every important factor in the story. Then, as an effect, the children remember the story much better. Similarly, before we construct any part of information, we must consider how we’re going to present it. We must deliver even the most obfuscated parts of information as if we were narrating an exciting story. Also, the message being conveyed in the information has to be clearly sensed, should stand out, and be comprehensible effortlessly.

The instant we use information, our minds get to work in retaining it. This is done by creating fitting recollections which aid in the information’s remembrance in the future. Subsequently, when we recall it, we think of the main triggers of the material and most of those designed retentions come at us instantaneously.

Sharing Examples

The use of examples within information is a great way to express its meaning in practical real-life situations. Examples help us understand more than just the idea of the subject. The information can first present the main concepts, then move onto sharing some case examples of that information being applied.

Impressions & Design

Design is a principle used for almost anything we make today. The structure of the paragraphs can be designed to be attractive and engaging. The use of appropriate fonts and colors, designs of layouts, etc. can greatly influence the reader’s feelings.  Although, it should be taken care that design doesn’t turn into a distraction, for that diverts from the intent of the information.

Visuals

At times it would be best to share information by imagery rather than text, since images contain messages which if explained in writing, would take some effort. We can witness this factor playing its part in many of the info graphics we see around the web. Visualized information is retained more easily and at the same time imparted more efficiently. For instance, suppose; while driving, what would it feel like if all the sign-boards on the roads would turn into paragraphs of text? Would it be possible to read every one of them whilst driving? Absolutely not.

End of part 2


We appreciate you reading this article! Please follow our blog so you could receive the update of the last part of this 3-part series in which information about the remaining factors: Structure, Quantity & Time will be shared.

If our readers have any opinions on the matter, then please leave your comments and let us know of what you think so that we could be more advised on the subject to better our actions. Thank you.


Authors
Photo of Sherbaz

The challenges that oppose me each day, teach me the importance of life growing stronger. Knowledge intrigues me for this same reason.

Photo of Jan Sher

The things that matter to me in life, revolve around the extent at which I must go to ensure fulfillment and gratification.

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