Week 3. Question 1
Performance load can be broken down into two different sections, cognitive load and kinematic load. These are categories that determine the amount of mental activity required to accomplish a task and the degree of physical activity of a task. “The greater the effort to accomplish a task, the less likely the task will be accomplished successfully”.
Cognitive refers to the mental workload that is required to complete a certain task (Towers, 2010). The outcome of the task either being successfully completed to the best degree or an unsatisfactory effort, “depends on the perceived cognitive workload”(Erlbaum, 2003). This creates a direct relationship between perceived cognitive work and the quality of this task being achieved. For example learning a subject in a native language would be considered a load cognitive load and highly achievable whilst learning the same subject in a foreign language is considered a high cognitive workload and dramatically decreases a chance of success. To manage larger task you must find ways to cut down large cognitive loads into smaller more achievable manageable loads in order to successfully complete a given task.
Kinematic load is the amount of physical activity that a given task requires to complete it (Lidwell, Holden and Butle, 2003). The same principle applies for this type of load as well. The higher the physical demand of a task the less likely it will be completed to a good degree and vise versa. Even if it is a small physical effort to complete a task, you can increase efficiency radically just by dropping small amount of physical demand required to perform a task. Examples of this include removing a leaver on a slot machine, a fast pay credit card machine or typing instead of handwriting. These are all medial tasks that have been simplified physical demand to increase efficiency.
Chunking is a technique of remembering large bits of information that are associated with each other or a particular area. “It is based on the idea that short-term memory is limited in the number of things that can be contained” (Mikhailov, unkown). The human brain can remember around five to nine individual bits of information in short-term memory at once. A phone number is conveniently seven numbers, which is an average number of information, stored at once; however longer numbers such as a credit card sequence, which are 16 digits long. Through chunking the numbers we can break it down to an eight number sequence by increasing the number. For example, the credit card number is 1010232345456789, which is too complex to remember. However if we group the numbers we decrease the cognitive workload and it becomes easier to remember, for example, 10 10 23 23 45 45 67 89. Chunking can be tailored for a design that conveys some message of visual communication at great depth of first glance. These techniques would normally be found on billboard advertisements where they aim to communicate a sizeable amount of information and hold your attention in a small amount of time. By grouping similar information, a company can convey larger chunks of information to the public with less effort on their behalf if they follow the guidelines of chunking. This may involve breaking up certain important details in text, bolding numbers or changing their telephone numbers to words like “1800 reverse”.
The authors studied psychology to effectively discuss visual design, I believe that an understanding of psychology and an insight to the human brain is highly necessary to effectively communicate a visual design. A detailed understanding of how the human mind perceives colours is fundamental in understanding how an audience perceives a design. The main factors that you must consider is the colour and contrast you want to create. The higher the contrast between two colours the more effective your design will be. You must avoid shades that are different colours but are both dark as they do not create enough visual contrast. The human eye finds this harder to read, resulting in a weak visual design. The designer must also be aware that humans are highly critical beings and our first opinion on something will generally dictate the mood. Based on this opinion we with either foster positive or negative feelings towards the design. An understanding of this will inform the way a design will look in its final stages, therefore an understanding of psychology is very useful in making effective visual design for a target audience.
Access card. Keys or key pads for access to a building is now out dated.
Vacuums are cutting down cleaning time drastically and the Kinematic load required.
Siri is shortening both types of performance load. There is no need for typing or remembering numbers now.
Towers, A.(2010, November 22). Usability Friction. Retrieved may 20, 2012 from http://usabilityfriction.com/2010/11/22/cognitive-load/
Mikhailov, S.(2004, June 13). Develop memory skills. Retrieved may 20, 2012 from http://ababasoft.com/mnemonic/
Lidwell, W., Holden, K., & Butler, J. (2003) Aesthetic-Usability Effect. (Available from faculty of Education & Arts, Edith Cowan University).
Erlbaum, L.(2003) Educational Psychologist. 38(1),1-4. Retrieved May 20, 2012, from http://cis.msjc.edu/evoc/637/References/Pass-CognitiveLoadTheoryAndID.pdf
Retrieved May 20, 2012, from http://www.rootr.net/im/iad/security_access_card_control.jpg
Jan 23rd, 2012 by Allen Thornton
Thornton, A. (2012, January 23). Siri. Retrieved May 20, 2012, from http://www.ntiva.com/blog/2012/01/siri/
Retrieved May 20, 2012, from http://hometools.onsugar.com/Vacuum-Cleaners-12319570