Performance load 4

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Computer- The computer used to just be a bunch of numbers, which you had to remember combinations to be able to do certain tasks. Now it is so much easier to use a computer, there is no need for remembering the number combinations, so there is less work load.

Mobile- The mobile phone, when it first came out was like a brick. It was big and fat, and had buttons. Now most mobiles are touch screen, and only has a menu button, on/off button and a volume button.

Car- While driving a car, you have a lot of responsibility. You are having to worry about the actual driving of the car and also other people, either in other cars, or walking on the footpath. This is a high performance load. They are now building new cars, which help you to avoid collisions. If the car senses it is going to hit something, the steering wheel will turn on its own to avoid the collision. This is taking away from the performance load of driving.

Performance load 3

When you know how a person reacts to certain things, it is easier to design a website for their needs. This is why Psychology is important in design. Without it, you are guessing. You don’t need a PHD in Psychology to use it in your design. There are a few simple Psychology principals you can use. (, 2012)

Visceral reactions is reactions our ancestors had which helped their fight or flight instincts. Our brain still thinks like that when we are near food, shelter, danger or reproduction. Pattern matching is the way we see everything, varying from peoples faces to words. We subconsciously hunt for familiar things. When we see repeating patterns, we know we have seen it before. If we don’t recognise the pattern, we automatically think we are seeing the thing for the first time. (, 2012)

References,. (2012). 10 Psychological Principles to Design With | Psychology of Web Design | 3.7 Blog. Retrieved 2 November 2014, from

Performance load 2

Performance load 2: Chunking.

The word ‘chunking’ in the information sense means to break information down into smaller parts so it’s easier to learn (Melamed, 2009). When George A. Miller founded the chunking concept in 1956, he said the brain could only hold 7 (give or take 2) chunks of information at one time. It is now thought to be closer to four or five. Cognitive researchers have also found out it depends on the information and the abilities of the person (Melamed, 2009). A learner’s brain is already full of information, so a big task for a course designer is coming up with information a student can easily remember (Melamed, 2009).

When planning a class, there are four simple steps which can make chunking easier. Step one: Start at the highest level. Start with a module with more information.

Step two: Modules into lessons into topics. Break down the modules into lessons, which can then be broken down into topics. This makes it easier for the students to take it in.

Step three: Chunk at the screen level. Once you have your modules, lessons and topics, you want to organise your screen so there is one topic per page. You don’t want to introduce new topics while talking about a different one.

Step four: Do a working memory check. Throughout the process, make sure you need all the content and test it against a working memory. If you don’t need all the content, get rid of some. Of course, the visual and text content in multimedia courses can lessen demands (Melamed, 2009).


Malamed, C. (2009). Chunking Information for Instructional Design. Retrieved 2 November 2014, from

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.