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In modern life, a large amount of information is circulating on a daily basis, which reaches the individual through multiple available communication channels and in multiple formats. Consideration of their impact on the individual has led to the definition of the concept of information overload. There is no single, nor generally accepted definition of information overload, but this term can be understood based on everyday experience.

The term information overload refers to the negative impact of too much information on the performance of information processing, as described in an article by the Harvard Graduate School of Education published almost two decades ago. The efficiency of an individual in using information in work is diminished by the excessive amount of relevant and potentially useful information available to him. The amount of information received then exceeds its cognitive potentials aimed at processing and using information.

a drawing of a man surrounded by numerous symbolic sources of information

Information overload - where is the problem

Although information is potentially useful, the question of when information becomes a nuisance is also relevant. The answer depends on a better understanding of the basics of human information behavior and the way this behavior works and changes over time. Thanks to the "wireless revolution", today it is possible to transfer information and communication devices practically everywhere, which significantly increases the possibility of communication and the period of exposure to various information. 

The availability of a larger amount of data also increases the availability of high-quality content that provides the possibility of more effective perception and correct reasoning. Collecting and processing new information in the cognitive process is one of the foundations of successful learning and corresponding education. 

 

Difficulties in organizing information

However, a valuable resource such as information, if not organized and controlled, can be a stumbling block in decision-making and learning. The new era of digital communication channels has enabled unhindered, but also non-selective access to a large amount of information. Recent research in the field of psychology indicate difficulties that occur when exposed to a large number of data sources at the same time. This phenomenon makes it difficult to retain valid information. 

the girl holds a finger to her forehead and a phone in her hand

Individuals are exposed to larger amounts of data than they are able to process effectively cognitively. The situation is further aggravated by the fact that the information disseminated via the Internet may be of questionable quality, which is a consequence of the simplicity and uncritical nature of publishing on the Internet. The whole problem can lead to potentially dangerous errors in assessment, errors in understanding, but also to anxiety, and acute and chronic stress.

 

Impact on marketing

The Internet has significantly reduced communication costs and expanded them reach and availability of the target audience. This in turn results in huge by increasing the number of messages that can be sent and received, which can potentially produce detrimental effects of information overload. On example email This phenomenon is recognized by marketers as one of the main reasons for the failure of the campaign. When the volume of incoming emails exceeds the processing capacity, the person tends to become very selective and often neglects marketing messages in his email inbox.

Consumers feel overwhelmed by information in marketing. They are constantly flooded with data and offers. In marketing, the goal is to communicate to improve and sustain your business. If this communication with clients is not successful, then the success of advertising campaigns cannot be satisfactory either.

 

How to overcome the problem?

The question is how can we help our users avoid information overload. What can we do to try to alleviate the burden of information?

Keep things simple and relevant. The less information you present, the easier it is to understand. Information that truly meets the needs of users will be selected and extracted from the mass of other information. Also, information needs clarity to be effective. Explain clearly what to do with the information. What action should the user take? Make it easier for users to take action.

There is no doubt that dealing with this issue and problem at the same time means dealing with a good user experience. Make sure that the potential client is not overwhelmed and suffocated by information from you, when it is already an everyday experience that he lives. Our opinion is that they will know how to appreciate it.

 

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Made by Nebojsa Radovanovic - SEO Expert @Digitizer