The term ‘chunking’ refers to the breaking up of long strings of information in to chunks making the information easier to commit to memory. It works by breaking up the information into smaller portions as it has been proven that long stings or chain of information are harder to memorise. It can be used for most mediums such as text, sounds and video (Harrod, 2002). In Martin Harrod’s article he states that the simplest example of this is phone numbers. For example:
0432423014 is harder to read than if it was broken up: 04 3242 3014
Chunking is ideal when specific and important information needs to be memorised but it is long winded. The breaks allows the brain to, rather than memorise a long string with no breaks, to see the information in a simpler manner therefore making it easier to memorise. The information is still the same, however the brain interprets it in a different way, it stimulates the brain’s memory centre and shorter segments are inherently easier to memorise. While chunking makes memorising chains of information easier it should be used with cation if the information needs to be analysed or searched within a search engine it can make the task harder and more time consuming that searching for it in it entirety.
Harrod, M (2002). Interaction Foundation of Design chapter 43; Chunking. Retrieved from: https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/book/the-glossary-of-human-computer-interaction/chunking
Meyer, K. (2016). How Chunking Helps Content Processing. Retrieved from: https://www.nngroup.com/articles/chunking/
*please note the phone number used in the example is not an active number
Performance load is the amount of cognitive and physical activity needed to perform a particular task, whether it is mentally or on a computer. This article discusses ways to reduce performance load in order to increase efficiency and decrease errors.
Cognitive loads are constrained by working memory, and the effective management of which is instrumental in performance management as shown by the efficacy and popularity of “The Learning How to Learn” course on Coursera. The article states how minimising this load increases adoption and enables wider use.
Kinematic load is the compounding of possibilities of errors over long action chains; the article cites the example of Morse code as the reduction in required actions produced value through both efficiency and success rates. This principle has been the cornerstone of virally effective UI design as employed by popcorn time with its two click solution as analysed in the book Design for Hackers.
However as a counterpoint it has been shown that reducing the combined cognitive and kinematic loads can have a detrimental effect on performance as discussed in Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder. in this text airline pilots were shown to not maintain adequate levels of concentration to effectively respond to events despite the catastrophic outcomes that could result from their negligence or mistakes.
In conclusion thought must be taken in designing interfaces such that ease of use and chance of error are prioritised although when deciding which action chains to redesign first use of the Pareto principle should be applied as generally a minority of the possible actions are undertaken in delivering the majority of the actual use cases.
Learning how to learn course: https://www.coursera.org/learn/learning-how-to-learn
Taleb, Nassim Nicholas. (2014). Anutfrigile: Things That Gain from Disorder. Random House Trade.
Kadavy, David. (2011). Design for Hackers. Wiley
Tim Ferris. http://tim.blog/2008/06/24/the-margin-manifesto-11-tenets-for-reaching-or-doubling-profitability-in-3-months/