Performance Loading

Performance Load

In the provided text, Lidwell, Holden and Butler discuss performance load. They talk about how if a performance load is high, the completion time and errors increase, while the probability of successfully completing your task decreases. Alternatively if your performance load is low, the completion time and chance of error decreases, while the probability of success increases. They go on to cover two types of performance load, cognitive load and kinematic load.

Cognitive Load

Cognitive Load is the amount of mental activity needed to successfully complete a goal. Mental activity includes perception, memory and problem solving.

Kinematic Load

Kinematic Load is the level of physical exertion required to complete a task. The provided text used Morse code as an example, discussing how Samuel Morse designed Morse code to keep kinematic load as low as possible. He assigned simpler codes to commonly occurring letters, and complex codes to letters like Q which occurred much less.


Chunking is the breaking up of bigger sets of information into smaller groups of data in order to memorise them. In ‘Introduction to Psychology: Gateways to Mind and Behaviour’ Coon and Mitterer (2008) used a set of 12 letters and asked the reader to memorise them after reading them once. The letters were ‘T V I B M U S N Y M C A’, they then asked the reader to reread them, while chunking them together as TV, IBM, USN, YMCA. This was a perfect example of chunking in practice. The idea behind chunking is that STM (short term memory) can theoretically hold 5 to 7 units of whatever a person is trying to memorise. By stacking information, we are able to memorise 5 to 7 sets of information, rather than only 5 to 7 individual pieces of information.

In ‘Visual Tools for Transforming Information into Knowledge’ Hyerle (2000) discussed how the brain processes chunked information, and how it is an occurring phenomenon even when a person isn’t actively trying to chunk information. This is also the case when retrieving long term memory, as according to Hyerle, this is how the human brain stores information.

Psychology is Necessary when discussing effective visual design

Discussing psychology is an important part of understanding how different theories of visual design work. Looking back on every design theory we have learnt through the learning portfolio module so far, they stem back to the psychology of the human brain, and how it interprets design. Aesthetic usability is about the brain interpreting a design as more usable and appealing due to physical appearance. The theories of consistency in relation to aesthetic, function, internal and external systems that I discussed in previous post entries all relate to the brain using that consistency to understand new components in an object.

Hyerle, D. (2008). Visual Tools for Transforming Information into Knowledge (pp. 77) Corwin Press.

Coon, D, Mitterer, J. (2008). Introduction to Psychology: Gateways to Mind and Behavior. (pp. 255) Cengage Learning.

Facing History and Ourselves. Chunking. May 29, 2017,

Tate, A. (2015, September 17). Design Psychology: How to Combine Neuroscience and Design to Engage your Audience. Canva Learn. Retrieved May 29, 2017, from


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