Performance load is the mental and physical activity required to achieve a goal. The theory is when “performance load is high, performance time and error increases.”
Cognitive load is the amount of mental activity required to accomplish goals such as remember specific texts of a book while Kinematic load is the degree of the physical activity required to accomplish a goal. It is important to design – remove unnecessary material, provide memory aids and help accomplish certain tasks.
There are three types of Cognitive load: Intrinsic Cognitive load, extraneous cognitive load, and Germane Cognitive Load. Intrinsic Cognitive load is the “inherent complexity of the task in hand”. (Towers, 2010). To make it easier is to simplify the information into smaller units that can be dealt easier. Before re-integrating the information back as a whole. Extraneous cognitive load is the way information is presented and structured. Both the intrinsic and extraneous load are addictive, combined to form a load of a task (Towers, 2010). Germane Cognitive load is the load we want to maximise it. It is the capacity available to perform the mental work that leads to understandings. “The success of cognitive load theory in developing strategies and techniques which result in both reduced training times and enhanced performance is of paramount importance to the education and training industries” (Cooper, 1998).
Cooper stated that it is beneficial to combine elements to form a smaller number of groups, which is referred as a “chunk” of information (1998). In terms of visual and design communication, Gestalt’s Law of Proximity one of the theories for “chunking” information. According to Debbie Jenson, Paul Martin Lester wrote: “the law of Proximity states that the brain more closely associates objects close to each other than it does [when] two objects are far apart” (2005). The way it is categorize is based on the underlying meanings, or logics that can be defined within a group. For example is a shopping list contains many different elements By categorising products by their structure, it enables us to remember a pattern rather individually. By having a group containing only fruits: apples, oranges, lemon and cherries, it is easier to remember an unstructured group such as one with organs, grapes, toothpaste and beef. It reduces the need to memorise individual information on its own.
Psychology is necessary as it notifies designers the various patterns and intertextual links it conveys in the public mind. Become aware of the various things. Colour is important because “ visual perceptions also factors inbto the user experience because visual cues are often the basis for mental association.” (Withrow, 2003).
Cooper, G. (December, 1998). Research in to Cognitive Load Theory and Instructional Design at UNSW. School of Education Studies, the University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
A, Towers. (2010 Novemeber 22), Cognitive Load Retrieved from: http://usabilityfriction.com/2010/11/22/cognitive-load/
Withrow, J. . Cognitive Psychology & IA: From Theory to Practice. Retrieved October 2009, from the Boxes and Arrows Web site:
“Cognitive Load Theory” (n.d.) Retrieved from : http://www.southalabama.edu/oll/mobile/theory_workbook/cognitive_load_theory.htm
Figure 1. A remote control reduces the cognitive load by allowing the person to have control over the television features. It also involves kinematic load by the pressing of the buttons.
Figure 2. The calculator is a device that requires cognitive concentration when it is used. However the it reduces the load by solving equations instantly.
Figure 3. A pen is cognitive and kinematic. A ball point pen reduces the Kinematic load as it has a constant supply of ink applied to the ball-point therfore does not need to be dipped in ink before it can used for writing.