What is cognitive load?
Cognitive load relates to the amount of information that an individual can process in a short amount of time. While we as human beings have a high capacity to fill our long-term memory capacity, short-term memory capacity is much more limited.
Designing content with lower cognitive thresholds leads to better comprehension, retention, and is a central principle of universal design.
How does breaking up text lower cognitive load?
From a perspective of emails, agendas, and Canvas, we want to avoid walls of text and provide visual distinction for our audiences. This allows users to filter information for importance and find what they’re looking for without getting overwhelmed.
What are tools and methods that I can use to lower cognitive load?
- Keep your language and sentence structure simple.
- Know your audience: when discussing new concepts, use familiar language. When introducing new terminology, use familiar examples or concepts
- Employ Bulleted & Numbered Lists
- Use headings and structure for visual appeal and to assist users with visual impairments
- Embed links in the text
- Create shorter videos through editing, or add chapters to longer video