Cognitive Design Principles

From perpendicular angel knowledgebase
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The following principles were written by Jill Gerhardt-Powals in Cognitive Engineering Principles for Enhancing Human-Computer Performance (PDF)

  1. Automate unwanted workload. Eliminate mental calculations, estimations, comparisons, and any unnecessary thinking, to free cognitive resources for high-level tasks.
  2. Reduce uncertainty. Display data in a manner that is clear and obvious to reduce decision time and error.
  3. Fuse data. Bring together lower level data into a higher level summation to reduce cognitive load.
  4. Present new information with meaningful aids to interpretation. New information should be presented within familiar frame- works (e.g., schemas, metaphors, everyday terms) so that in- formation is easier to absorb.
  5. Use names that are conceptually related to function. Display names and labels should be context-dependent, which will improve recall and recognition.
  6. Group data in consistently, meaningful ways. Within a screen, data should be logically grouped; across screens, it should be consistently grouped. This will decrease information search time.
  7. Limit data driven tasks. Use color and graphics, for example, to reduce the time spent assimilating raw data.
  8. Include in the displays only that information needed by the operator at a given time. Exclude extraneous information that is not relevant to current tasks so that the user can focus attention on critical data.
  9. Provide multiple coding of data. The system should provide data in varying formats and/or levels of detail in order to promote cognitive flexibility and satisfy user preferences.
  10. Practice judicious redundancy. Principle 10 was devised by the first two authors to resolve the possible conflict between Principles 6 and 8, that is, in or- der to be consistent, it is sometimes necessary to include more information than may be needed at a given time.