Remember the old Internet, with its wacky designs; multi-colored, multi-sized fonts; and dancing-gif-filled pages? Good times, good times.
If only we'd had something - other than basic good taste and sense, which many of you obviously ignored - to tell us that those pages were just too cluttered, too overwhelming. Perhaps some sort of software...
It's about a decade too late, but a team of MIT researchers have developed a software that can measure the clutter of a page or map, according to this item from News.com. The software uses a mathematical model - created by researchers in MIT's Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences - that determines what makes an object harder or easier to see in visual displays.
The research was partially funded by the National Science Foundation and you can download the software for free. Consider that a bit of ROI for your tax dollars.
Of course, clutter is somewhat subjective. You may see clutter where I see neat, organized stacks. To learn how the MIT team nailed down a working definition of clutter, check out this news release on MIT's Web site. You'll also find a link to the software.