Category Archives: Week 11 Performance Load

Week 11 Performance Load Activities

Item 1 Q1 – Performance Load

This article discusses the two types of Performance Load: Cognitive and Kinematic and how they contribute to Performance Time and the increase and decrease of possible errors.Cognitive Load is our Working Memory (WM) and Long Term Memory (LTM).To put it simply Working Memory is ‘the part of our brain that consciously processes information, dominates everything we do in terms of learning’ (Malamed, C. (n.d). Working memories tend to have a small capacity, unlike Long Term Memories, that seem to have a never ending capacity. Kinematic Load is the physical requirements needed in order to complete a goal, it is the ‘number of steps or movements, or amount of force – required to accomplish a goal’ (Lidwell, W. (2003) pp. 148-149). Through minimising the amount of Kinematic Load and Cognitive Load required to complete a given task, you make the Performance Load less, decrease the chances of errors and reduce performance time. 

Malamed, C. (n.d.) What is Cognitive Load? Retrieved from The elearning coach website:

Cognitive Load Theory. (n.d.) Retrieved from UNSW Arts and Social Sciences website:

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

Valcke, Martin (01/01/2002). “Cognitive Load: Updating the Theory?”. Learning and instruction (0959-4752), 12 (1),  147.


Item 1 Q2 – ‘Chunking’

‘Chunking’ refers to the organisation of information into chunks in order to make it easier for out Cognitive brain to remember. As our Cognitive brain usually only remembers 4 – 5 bits of information at a time (Malamed, C. (n.d)) through ‘chunking’ or organizing information into groups we are able to remember more. For example, when remembering a household phone number we tend to break it into two chunks (0000-0000), rather than just a long line of numbers. We do this because it is far easier to remember two chunks of four, rather than eight individual numbers. The longer the list of numbers, the more chunks we break it down into (Chunking. (2010)). We often see chunking techniques being present in websites in order to effectively organize and communicate information that is ‘scannable’ to the reader. By grouping information together it is more organized, easier to find and is more likely to be remembered in these ‘chunks’ than if the information were to be scattered throughout the page.  There are many different chunking techniques, such as organizing information in order of meaning, category or patterns so that, ‘when you find a pattern in information you just need to remember the pattern rather than a list of separate pieces of information’ (Chunking. (2010)).

Chunking. (2010). Retrieved from Skills Tool Box website:

Malamed, C. (n.d.) What is Cognitive Load? Retrieved from The elearning coach website:


Item 1 Q3 – Psychology in Design

A study of psychology is necessary in design if you wish to effectively communicate with your audience. The psychological effects of colour, text layout, pictures and overall presentation are important in drawing in your audience and keeping them. If you were to design a website about the benefits of Meditation, you would not have flashing banners and bright red images, you would design it with calming colours in mind such as green, blue and white and if you were to have changing images, you would have them softly fade into one another, rather than flashing around the screen. This is all to create a calm environment that aids what you are attempting to communicate to the user. Likewise if you were attempting to advertise Paintball to young men, you would not go with the calm meditation approach. In design you must focus on your target audience and cater to what they will relate to and care about.


Item 2 Q1 – Activities

Automatic Cars are a surprisingly common product found in our every day surroundings. By being an Automatic car, it reduces the Cognitive load placed in the driver, especially in the case of Learner drivers as they do not need to learn how to use gears. Automatic cars also reduce the Kinematic Load placed in drivers as they do not have to physically change gears at any point throughout their drive.

Automatic Driving Lessons Warwick. (2008). Retrieved from Crystal Driving School website:

Power steering is a common feature in cars today, many of us won’t buy a car without it as it greatly reduces Kinematic Load whilst driving. Power steering makes driving a car much easier as you are not forced to put any real effort into steering during your drive. It lessens the strain on the driver and makes the drive an easier experience.

VW: Steering wheel suggests counter steering. (2006). Retrieved from Foursprung website:

Power Windows are an effective way to reduce Kinematic strain on the driver and passengers of a car. In older models of cars the user would have to manually wind down the window, whereas with Power Windows they need only press a button. It could also be said that Power Windows reduce Cognitive strain on the driver as they are not required to focus on anything more than the road, and the act of pushing a button does not risk breaking concentration.

Isuzu Trucks: N-series features. (2009). Retrieved from Isuzu Trucks website: