Performance Load; Q2

Chunking

The chunking technique is a technique enables people to remember more information. Our brain finds it easier to remember information that is broken down into smaller, meaningful chunks. Our working memory is limited to holding between five and ten chunks of information. For example it is easier for people to remember 13 13 16, rather than the numbers 1 3 1 3 1 6 separately. This also the reason that phone numbers are restricted to eight numbers.

The chunking technique is used not only to recall information. The chunking technique is used everyday, all around us, in visual design, to make things easier to use. For example a clothing shop. A clothing shop will normally put jeans in one section, shirts in another and have different sections for male and female clothes. This makes it easier for the consumer to walk into the store and go to the section that has the items they need.

“A man just beginning to learn radio-telegraphic code hears each dit and dah as a separate chunk. Soon he is able to organize these sounds into letters and then he can deal with the letters as chunks. Then the letters organize themselves as words, which are still larger chunks, and he begins to hear whole phrases.” (Miller, 1956)

 Reference List

Miller, George (1956), The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two: Some Limits on Our Capacity for Processing Information. Vol, 63, p. 81-97.

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