The article for week 11’s learning portfolio is all about performance load. “Performance load is the degree of mental and physical activity required to achieve a goal” Lidwell, W., Holden, K., & Butler, J. (2003). If a task has a high performance load it will take longer to complete and there is a greater chance that more errors will be made. In contrast to that if the performance load is lower then the task will be complete faster and with fewer errors. Performance load is divided into two different types. They are cognitive and kinematic loads. Cognitive load is the mental part of completing a task. “Cognitive load is the amount of mental activity required in accomplishing a goal…” N/A (2011). The other type of performance load is kinematic load. Kinematic load is the amount of physical activity that is required to complete a task. It is important in design to reduce the amount of performance load because it makes it easier for people to comprehend.
The Chunking technique is what is referred to when chunks of information are placed together. The study behind chunking is that the human mind can only remember a few pieces on information at any one time. The more information we are presented with the less likely we are to remember it. To help retain the information we view it is best to present the information into little ‘chunks’. By chunking information we are more likely to retain it. Chunking plays an important role in design and visual communication because it is about displaying information. That is why when planning a design it is important to think about how it will display that information. For example, if you were to go onto a web site all about cars it would be to difficult to read through it all if all of the information about each car was just crammed on to the one web page. It would make it difficult to read and process that information, as well as remember any of it. In contrast to that if the website had different pages for each car and that the text was broken up into easy to read chunks it would make it easy to process the information that was being presented and it is more likely to be retained. Chunking plays such a big role in design because quite often it dictates it.
Psychology is important when looking at design because design can have such a big impact on the mind. When we see a particular design it makes us feel a certain way. Design is responsible for triggering emotions. Whether it be a visual design like a sculpture or a practical design like the layout of a computer key board these designs effect our mental well being in some way. A dark and rusty sculpture may make us feel depressed just by looking at it. The design of that sculpture has had a mental effect. If a key board was to be laid out with the keys on the opposite side of the board from where they would conventionally be it would create mental frustration.
Malamed, C. (2012) The elearning coach: Chunking information for instructional design. Retrieved from:
Lidwell, W., Holden, K., & Butler, J. (2003). Performance Load. In Universal Principles of Design (pp.
148‐149). Massachusetts: Rockport.
Towers, A. (2010, November 22) usablilty friction: cognitive load Retrieved from http://usabilityfriction.com/2010/11/22/cognitive-load/
N/A (2011, December 4) Principles of Design #36: Performance load. Retrieved from: http://www.doctordisruption.com/design/principles-of-design-36-performance-load/