Performance load.

Part 1: Summarise.

If a person has a higher performance load, they are more likely to be unsuccessful in their task. However, if a person has a smaller performance load, they are more likely to be successful in what they have to do. There are two different types of performance load. Cognitive load is the amount of mental activity it takes to complete a task. The computer became more popular when people didn’t have to use as much cognitive memory. Kinematic load is the physical side. When Samuel Morse invented the Morse code, he made the more popular letters easier to do than the others. E was just a dot, while Q was a longer dash, dash, dot, dash. Design should minimize performance load in the best way possible (Lidwell, Holden, and Butler, 2003).

Task load is the amount of time it takes to complete a task, divided by the amount of time you have to complete the task. Values higher than 1 indicate a higher workload (Gawron, 2008). He, McCarley, and Kramer (2013) did a experiment on drivers, to see how much they would lane change if there was lateral wind. The research found that if they focused on where their car was in the wind, then other aspects of their driving decreased.



Gawron, V. (2008). Human performance, workload, and situational awareness measures handbook. Boca Raton: CRC Press.

He, J., McCarley, J., & Kramer, A. (2013). Lane keeping under cognitive load performance changes and mechanisms. Human Factors: The Journal Of The Human Factors And Ergonomics Society, 0018720813485978.

Lidwell, W., Holden, K., & Butler, J. (2003). Performance Load. In Universal Principles of Design (pp.
148‐149). Massachusetts: Rockport.


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