There are many ways you can “chunk” information to reduce the cognitive load on the user, when you chunk items together you create a more concise and structured object. chunking in a sense is a way of grouping ideas together, a very easy way to think about this is how a programmer programmes. Programmers are taught that there are thousands of different ways to program the same task, but only one of them is the most concise and chunked together. For example if I wanted to create a code that helped children learn counting numbers in groups of five, and wanted the child to define where the number would start from, there are many ways I could tackle this task. one example of doing this code very poorly is this.
(input from child) = StartNum
Print; StartNum +1
Print; StartNum +1 +1
Print; StartNum +1 +1 +1
Print; StartNum +1 +1 +1 +1
Now this code will do what I want it to do, but it is poorly designed and not the best most concise way I could design my code. Take this code for example that does the exact same thing.
(input from child) = StartNum, RoundNum = 0
(Loop) Print; Startnum + RoundNum
(End loop if) If RoundNum = 4, End
This code has been chunked together from the first example by using more concise code. This is an example of how chunking can increase design efficiency. We started off with seven lines of code and ended with only having 4, This type of efficiency puts less stress on the computer and reduces file size, both of which are important when realising how important efficiency is. We have reduces the cognitive load through better designed code.
This article talks about the different types of factors that effect the performance of a task. there are evidence about how having a clear vision of the end result keeps the person completing the task on track (Herrick, 2009). this reduces the cognitive load because the worker doesn’t need to think about where the task will go next, he only thinks about what hes doing right now. Although, creating more efficient methods of communication could yield worse results. There are arguments to be made that doing things like using acronyms, which are more efficient, can have the adverse affect; Because they might work on computer systems doesn’t mean that they will work with us (Hasman, 2014). The design of Facebook and Myspace was completely different, Facebook puts little cognitive load on the user compared to Myspace; and this is one of the reasons Facebook won the battle of social media because their design was far better than Myspace (Hartung, 2011). Designs affect on learning is also noted by Joyce McLeod “We chose to view the three key elements of classroom management — efficient use of time and classroom space.”(McLeod, 2003, Pg 183) she also goes on to explain this will increase student achievement when they are put in an efficient environment.
Herrick, S. (2009). How unplanned task management work kills your effectiveness. http://cuberules.com/2009/09/01/how-unplanned-task-management-work-kills-your-effectiveness/
Hartung, A. (2011). How Facebook Beat Myspace. https://www.forbes.com/sites/adamhartung/2011/01/14/why-facebook-beat-myspace/#5de8ce77147e
McLeod, J. (2003). The key elements of classroom management : Managing time and space, student behavior, and instructional strategies. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
International Conference on Informatics Management, and Technology in Healthcare Athens, Greece). (2014). Integrating information technology and management for quality of care (Studies in health technology and informatics, volume 202) (A. Hasman, M. Househ, & J. Mantas, Eds.). Amsterdam: IOS Press.
In the Aesthetic-Usability Effect (2003) the primary idea is that if a person perceives a design to be aesthetic they inherently believe it to be easier to use. This also effects the users mood when interacting with the design; the more aesthetic, the greater the acceptance or attitude towards the object or user interface.
One example of this is Myspace, which in 2006 “..winning market share from other social networks – in June, it captured 80% of social networking traffic, up from 76% in April. Facebook is second with 7.6%.” (Cashmore, 2006) due to its original social media ideas Myspace thrived, but its biggest problem was that the user had trouble navigating the site; its ease of use was terrible. Knowing that a persons perception of aesthetic design to relate to a person want to use that an object over its competition, Facebook destroyed Myspace by creating a user interface that was incomparable to the cluttered nature and poor design that was Myspace. Myspace failed to identify a users need it was their death, they were more interested in creating new features which in the end made Myspace even more hard to use and exacerbated the issue for every user.
Another factor that relates to the reason why we use media that is easier to use is due to anxiety. According to Raafat George Saadé, we use certain computer related mediums more that others because we receive anxiety from them if they are poorly designed “Past research has shown that computer experience is a strong predictor of whether or not a user will suffer anxiety symptoms while using a computer. Moreover, a substantial amount of work has been done to study the effect of previous computer experience on anxiety and on ease of use of information technologies using the technology acceptance model. However, few, if any, have investigated the role of anxiety in mediating technology usage experience on perceived ease of use…..anxiety was shown to present some moderating influence on perceived ease of use.” (Saadé, 2007)
Saadé, R. (2007). Mediating the impact of technology usage on perceived ease of use by anxiety. Computers & Education, 49(4), 1189-1204. doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2006.01.009
Cashmore, P. (2006). Myspace, Americas Number One. http://mashable.com/2006/07/11/myspace-americas-number-one/#i37V1lHva5qz
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