Why are we feeling overwhelmed when we look at this shelf? The designer (a deliberate designer?) smartly made the tag yellow to get the customer’s attention, but the effort fell flat when the yellow tag was used for nearly every item on the shelf. By repeating the tag over and over, no longer is there a single or few sale items emphasized. The little yellow tag has become the emphasis through repetition, and the actual item for sale has been de-emphasized. It is a lot of visual noise and what do we do when something is noisy? We turn away—and that is not what one would want from a customer when shopping in one’s store.


Also, how much additional time does it take to adhere the yellow tags to the shelf and remove them after the sale? Can you image how long they spend making sure they’ve put the correct tag to the correct label? And the information on the page is exactly the same except for one SKU code!

What is the workaround for this situation? In our ever more sustainability minded country, maybe they should offer less selection? That does not seem likely but how about one of these ideas:

—a single, large, yellow sign in close proximity to the shelving with sale information

—a store app highlighting sale items

—and for those that don’t use mobile technology, how about a sign with a mobile label scanner placed near the shelves?

The next time you design something, think about where you want the emphasis to be and enhance that area through scale, color, shape, whatever, just be intentional and think it through.