Tom Jepson Creative

I don't mean to state the obvious, but...


Obvious: Something easily perceived or understood; clear, self-evident, or apparent.

As creative professionals we have a lot of very specific knowledge; things which are logical and therefore obvious to us. It is easy for us to take this logic and obviousness for granted.

For example: in line with to Hicks' Law, having a limit on navigation items will help people using our websites. We understand the rules and the logic behind the behaviour this supports; to us, it's kind of obvious that not overcrowding the menu is likely to reduce overwhelm and mental friction. To someone else though it may be neither logical nor obvious. Why wouldn't you want to put all the things in your navigation menu? People will always look there first so you should put all those choices in there.

To people outside our profession these things aren't obvious and it's pretty unfair of us to assume otherwise. Something could appear logical when presented with the right argument however it would never be implicitly obvious since it is brand new information; an unthought within their sphere of interest.

We have a responsibility to use our knowledge of the logical and obvious to educate others. Demonstrate whenever you can why and how a concept has logic and then how this logic can become the obvious when a frame of reference is adjusted.

Explain clearly, help people learn, and don't assume that the obvious is obvious!