Performance Load; Example

 Product 1- Keyless car key

The automatic car key is adequate example that complies with the design brief, as it only takes a small amount of mental power to press the bottom and open the car. The image here shows clearly the simplicity of opening a door by pressing the unlock icon. The objects can therefore efficiently shows its purpose to open and close quickly and the design doesn’t defer from the purpose.


Product 2- iPhone

A mobile phone, more specifically an iPhone is an easy method of communication. It allows a person to send emails quicker with the portable function of it being able to travel anywhere with you. Any smart phone helps to drastically reduce the kinematic load satisfying the performance load design principle.


Product 3- A potato peeler

A potato peeler satisfies the basic design principle of performance load as it is easy and simple to use for anyone, nearly any aged person can use this simple household appliance. You are able to glance at the product and know quite quickly how to use it. There is no fiddling around with small parts, instruction manuals or buttons, it’s simple and effective design doesn’t distract from its main goal, to peal potatoes.


Performance Load; Q3


Psychology is an important factor when creating visual designs; it is the ability to understand the mind and plays an important role in the design process.  The subtle messages in a design can sometimes be more influential than the information that is given through text. Without being able to comprehend an audience or being able to cater to the needs wouldn’t be any positive impact or successful interaction to which someone presents to. The psychological element of design such as the choice of colour allows for subliminal messages to be portrayed. Colours that are used help to convey different meaning to the audience and have their own specific representation. Psychology is an important factor in design, without the straight forward means society would be seen as confused and disorganized without structure.

Reference List

Sweller, John (1988) Cognitive Load During Problem Solving: Effects on Learning. Vol 12, pp 257-258.

Kidwell, W., Holden, K., & Butler, J. (2003). Universal Principles Of Design. United States: Rockport Publishers.

Performance Load; Q2


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.

Performance Load; Q1

Performance load, “the greater the effort to accomplish a task, the less likely the task will be accomplished successfully”(Lidwell, Holden & Butler, 2003), is the underlining affect and rule when undertaking a task that is too large to be accomplished to the fullest level. To complete a task your level of mental and physical activity is required to achieve a goal that is set out. The performance load needs to be low in order to complete the task successfully and avoid errors; if the load is high you are introducing ways that errors can be made. Performance load can be divided into two loads, cognitive and kinematic.

Exploring the cognitive load theory you need to develop an understanding of it, the theory starts from the idea that our working memory is limited with respect to the amount of information it can hold, thus therefore the number of operations it can perform on any specific information. Dr. John Sweller is currently working at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. He leads a team investigating cognitive processes and their applications for teaching techniques and instructional design, with cognitive load theory being the major framework (Sweller, 1996).

Kinematic load is the degree in which physical activity is performed, the number of steps and the amount of force that it takes. Kinematic load describes the degree of physical activity required to do something. For example the number of steps and movement required.


 Performance Load

Sweller, John (1988) Cognitive Load During Problem Solving: Effects on Learning. Vol 12, pp 257-258.

Kidwell, W., Holden, K., & Butler, J. (2003). Universal Principles Of Design. United States: Rockport Publishers.

Misha, S., Sharma, R. C. (2004). Interactive Multimedia in Education and Training. United Kingdom: Idea Group Publishing.

Sweller, J., (1994). Cognitive load theory, learning difficulty and instructional design. University of NSW, Elsuier Science Ltd.