Performance Load: Week 3 – Question 3

Q3) The authors borrowed ideas traditionally studied by the psychology to discuss effective visual design. Why do you think a study of psychology is necessary (or not necessary) in design (100 – 150  words)

Design principles are the basis of strong designs, aiding the users perception based on the visual design of a product, good or service. The understanding of users physiological responses in particular situations provides an ability to anticipate user response and produce a good accordingly. Stewart (2015) ascertains the importance of producing a positive user experience and the benefit of reducing cognitive load, which is understood thanks to psychological study. The ability to alter a product in accordance with a demographic or psychographic allows for the potential of increased success through increased usability, consistency and decreasing the users performance load. Thus, the study of psychology is very crucial in influencing design and beneficial in consistently improving user experience.



Stewart, T. (2015). User experience. Behaviour & Information Technology, 34(10), 949-951. doi:10.1080/0144929X.2015.1077578


Performance Load: Week 3 – Question 2


Q2) The authors mentioned a design technique of “chunking” information to reduce cognitive load.Define and describe the chunking technique in relation to design and visual communication (250 – 300 words)

Chunking is defined as “the process of taking individual pieces of information (chunks) and grouping them into larger units” Cherry (2016). Cherry (2016) argues that by grouping individual pieces of information together, the amount of information able to be retained is increased. A common example of chunking being phone numbers, rather than a sequence of number the phone number is chunking in groups to increase the ability to remember. Cherry (2016) cites George Miller as advising the capacity of an individuals’ short-term memory to be at roughly four chunks of information. Mayer & Moreno (2003) support the suggestion of chunking in aiding a users learning capacity and encourage the logical segmentation of information so as to allow the users time to process the information they are presented. Cherry (2016) discusses similar aspects of chunking, stating it is seen as so beneficial because of the ability for a person to take segments of information and apply them in a more purposeful and memorable way. Stewart (2015) argues that reducing cognitive load assists in producing a positive user experience  in relation to media usage and is an example where logical application of chunking within design would assist viewers. Lidwell, Holden and Butler (2003) also discuss the reduction on cognitive and kinematic load in relation to increasing user success as being beneficial, with the use of chunking seen, as is prominent solution in assisting in user performance load reduction.


Cherry, K. (2016) What is chunking and how can it improve your memory. Retrieved from

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

Mayer, R. E., & Moreno, R. (2003). Nine ways to reduce cognitive load in multimedia learning. Educational Psychologist, 38(1), 43-52. doi:10.1207/S15326985EP3801_6

Stewart, T. (2015). User experience. Behaviour & Information Technology, 34(10), 949-951. doi:10.1080/0144929X.2015.1077578