April 11, 2016
This is a sample chapter from the book Articulating Design Decisions, by Tom Greever, which O’Reilly Media published in October 2015. UXmatters is republishing this chapter with Tom Greever’s permission. Copyright © 2015 Tom Greever. All rights reserved.
Chapter 4: Reducing Cognitive Load
“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.”
—Alexander Graham Bell
When it comes to usability, getting users to successfully complete a task is all about their available brain space: their cognitive load. The more clutter, options, or roadblocks we put in front of them, the more we fill their head and make it difficult for them to complete a task. The same is true when it comes to the task of meeting with stakeholders. Our goal should be to remove as much of the clutter, options, and roadblocks as possible so that our stakeholders’ brains are freed to focus on the primary task of the meeting: getting approval for our designs. If they are distracted by an incoherent outline, grumpy coworkers, or a derailed conversation that has nothing to do with the project, it will be much more difficult for us to complete that task. Our goal is not to just have a meeting, but to make the meeting productive, valuable, and successful. Read More