Chapter 7

Our Attention is Limited; Our Memory is Imperfect


Human attention and memory, like vision, have strengths and weaknesses. This chapter describes some of those strengths and weaknesses as background for understanding how we can design interactive systems to support and augment attention and memory. It begins with an overview of how memory works and how it is related to attention. It includes implications of memory characteristics for user-interface design, and quick tests of short-term and long-term memory.


memory; short-term memory; long-term memory; working memory; attention; capacity; activation; features; forgetting; modes; mode errors

Just as the human visual system has strengths and weaknesses, so do human attention ...

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