Chapter 9. Minimizing Cognitive Load

Cognition is the processing of information from the world around us. It includes perception, attention, pattern matching, memory, language processing, decision making, and problem solving. Cognitive load is the amount of mental resources needed to perform a given task.

All user interfaces make cognitive demands on users. Users must master special rules of system use, learn new concepts, and retain information in short-term memory. They must create and refine a mental model of how the system works and how they should use it. Systems that use purely auditory interfaces further challenge human memory and attention because they present information serially and non-persistently.

Successful user interface designs must ...

Get Voice User Interface Design now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.