pattern recognizers

Scoble posted a great analogy 2 days ago which was ignored amidst the religious context. He said this:

“Our brains are extraordinary pattern recognizers (think about it sometime — why can you look at a tree and instantly recognize it as a tree?). Our brains totally freak out when presented with something that has no pattern. Hey, look at the white noise on your TV sometime. You’ll start seeing patterns. You brain HATES not being able to see patterns.”

10 minutes ago I was trying to figure out why I’m so frustrated with the information architecture of the site I’m developing at work and the idea of the brain as a pattern recognizer helps makes perfect sense of that frustration. The client (in this case represented by anywhere from 1 to 8 people of a 1200 person company) has decided that they want a 3 column layout AND a 2 column layout and a single column layout… each with different navigation schemes, and with no apparent order. This frustrates me to no end, but there’s not much I can do or say to change their mind.

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