Curse of Knowledge
What is the Curse of Knowledge?
The Curse of Knowledge sounds like a bit of a paradox but it’s something we all experience. It’s a cognitive bias that prevents those who are better informed from understanding something from the point of view of a lesser-informed person. This is because once you learn something, it is very hard to unlearn it. The effect is more pronounced the more specialist knowledge a person possesses.
The Curse of Knowledge can make it harder for us to talk about or explain things to others. It can also make it difficult to judge how detailed instructions need to be to help a new user complete a process. Being able to communicate your knowledge is an essential communication tool for marketers – especially when your product is a service that requires some explanation. The impact of the Curse of Knowledge is doubly significant online, where you don’t usually get a second chance to deliver your message.
Designing a website or interface to be intuitive is an important aspect of User Experience (UX) design. However, it can be difficult to know what a person will intuit from the visuals and text you create. One way to address the blind-spot caused by the Curse of Knowledge is to use a user-feedback tool. Five-second tests can show you how easy it is to extract the key information from your webpage, whilst session recording software can show you where frustrations occur.
The Curse of Knowledge can also make it difficult to create persuasive messages for advertising campaigns or product pages. It is not always obvious what a visitor will assume from the information you provide, and what you need to explicitly state. In this case, A/B testing is a useful tool.
Curse of Knowledge
The difficulty of approaching your products and materials from an uninformed perspective is one of the biggest challenges facing marketers. Using tools such as A/B testing, session recording and five-second tests can help you to create user-friendly web content.