Question 1: Summary
“Performance Load is the degree of mental and physical activity required to achieve a goal” (Lidwell, Holden & Butler, 2003). Performance load has an effect on the time required to do the job and as well as the amount of errors that are likely to occur which overall determines the chance of successfully accomplishing the goal desired. If there is a high performance load required then this would increase the amount of time required to be dedicated to the job, consequentially a knock on effect would occur and a same increase would happen regarding the chances of errors being made. Overall this would result as a decrease in successfully accomplishing the goal. The opposite effect would happen if the performance load was low, decrease the time needed and chances of errors finding an overall increase in the goal being achievable. The two forms of Performance Load are: Cognitive Load which involves the mental requirements such as memory, in particular the working memory and long term memory (Bozarth, 2010). Cognitive Load also includes perception and problem solving where as Kinematic Load involves the physical requirements such as number of steps or movements, the amount of force needed (Lidwell, Holden & Butler, 2003). Creating tasks to be easy and simple as possible will reduce the Kinematic Load reducing the amount of errors and increase the chances of completing the overall task.
- Bozarth, J. (August 3, 2010). Nuts and Bolts: Brain Bandwidth – Cognitive Load Theory and Instructional Design, from http://www.learningsolutionsmag.com/articles/498/nuts-and-bolts-brain-bandwidth—cognitive-load-theory-and-instructional-design
- Lidwell, W., Holden, K., & Butler, J. (2003). Performance Load. In Universal Principles of Design.
Question 2: Chunking
“Chunking is a strategy used to improve memory performance” (Anonymous, CA Software in Practice, 2012). Chunking involves putting pieces of information together in a way that is easier for you to remember. These Chunks of information should be small however the larger they are and the more you can remember, the better. Once you start using this technique and train your brain to remember more, the larger the chunks will become. “The chunking principle requires you to classify the items into groups to reduce information overload” (Anonymous, CA Software in Practice, 2012). In terms of chunking in relation to design and visual communication, less usually means more. By overloading material such as PowerPoint slides, websites and WebPages, brochures and hand outs, the most important information will result in confusion and unsuccessful communication. The information that you want to be remembered is lost in all the other information and noise going on within the design. Keep it simple by chunking the information that is relevant to one another together and then chunk it again into what really is important and what could be left out, ask yourself, will the individual who reads this be able to remember the information that I am trying to communicate?
- Anonymous. (2012). Chunking Principle. CA Software In Practice, from http://www.chambers.com.au/glossary/chunking_principle.php
Question 3: Psychology in Design
It’s important to have aspects within design that do incorporate and including psychological theories as having an understand of how the humans work, read things, interact with different mediums and media etc makes it easier for graphic designers to construct work and ideas which are easy for the user to utilize, it allows the designers to create communication and convey messages through their work knowing that what they are creating will engage with the audience due to the knowledge about Psychology they have. It’s almost like a cheat sheet in a way. For example, it has previously been tested that when we read, we focus on the first couple of words at the start of each sentence before skipping the rest of that sentence and moving onto the next. We scan material, not necessarily read through every word of that paragraph, so designers can use this information to their advantage. Psychology can assist designers to play on emotions, feelings and attitudes also.
- Johnson, J. (2011). Design Meets Psychology: Putting Maslow’s Hierarchy Needs to Work. Design Shack, from http://designshack.net/articles/business-articles/design-meets-psychology-putting-maslows-hierarchy-of-needs-to-work/