“The greater the effort to accomplish a task, the less likely the task will be accomplished successfully (Lidwell, Holden & Butler, 2003)”.
Cognitive Load is the amount of effort the brain has to do in order to understand, solve, or retrieve things from the memory. The human mind is only able to process a limited number of information at a time, so that usability can be improved by reducing the amount of cognitive load users have to use.
Some of the ways to reduce the amount of cognitive load used are: Minimizing the “noise” around you, “Chunkin” information by reducing the number of things users have to be thinking, focusing on the most relevant information to perform a task or even reducing the number of choices (Towers, 2010).
On the other hand, kinematic load is the amount of physical activity put in order to perform a task (Number of steps, movements etc..). For example, when typing on your computer the kinematic load being used is how often you are typing the letters in order to form words in a document. Strategies for reducing the kinematic load used to perform a goal might include reducing the number of stepts taken to reach an objective, minimizing travel distances or even delegating repetitive tasks to machines.
In conclusion, design is supposed to reduce performance load as much as it can. This can be done by deleting information that is not relevant, chunking relevant information and/or providing memos to assist in difficult tasks, technology is supposed to help people to reach their best concerning the amount of performance load used, so that we can expect that tasks will become easier and easier to complete as the time goes (Lidwell, Holden & Butler, 2003).
Barjwa, H. (2011). Content Chunking: Designing Precise, Engaging Web Pages, from http://www.ivoryshorewebsite.com/content-chunking-designing-precise-engaging-web-pages
Harrod, M. (2008). Chunking, from http://www.interaction-design.org/encyclopedia/chunking.html
Lidwell, W., Holden, K., & Butler, J. (2003). Performance Load. In Universal Principles of Design (pp.
148‐149). Massachusetts: Rockport.
Towers, A. (2010). Cognitive Load, from http://usabilityfriction.com/2010/11/22/cognitive-load/