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Web Page UI: Don't Make Me Think

(much about your interface)


Likely most developers spend some amount of time concerning themselves with the time it takes a page or view to load in the browser. But what about the time it takes the the interface to "load" in the user's brain? It's apparent too long a delay for the necessary elements to load on the page results in a higher bail rate, however the task of delivering the content is not complete until the user can make sense of it.

Looking at the big picture

  • Site design
  • Getting from A to B
    • Load -> Present (Persuade or provide tools) -> Call to Action(s)
    • Cognitive Load <- main topic
  • Page/View Components
    • Site ID (wide angle)
    • Page Title (medium)
    • Primary content/functions (close-up)
    • Navigation

PRINCIPLES to Reduce Cognitive Load:

  • Grouping
  • Consistency
    • Grammatical type (nouns, verbs, phrases)
    • Narrative (first person, second person)
  • Priority (left/right, top/bottom, emphasis)
  • Scan-ability (structured text, spacing, proximity)
  • Meaningful Icons (learning types, recollection on return)
  • Color Coding (distance grouping)

BENEFITS of Cognitive Load Reduction

  • Pre-process information, my 1 hour can save others many hours scratching their heads
  • Increase persistence, retention
  • Increase # desired responses

Further Study

Offered by bloodyKnuckles (Jay.)