Posts Tagged ‘question 1’

Performance Load Analysis (Item 1 / Q1 Summary)

November 2, 2012 Leave a comment

Figure 1: Human Brain Evolution (Source: Mobile Phone Talk, 2010)

A brief summary of Lidwell, Holden & Butler’s (2003) extract on ‘Performance Load‘ explains that to accomplish a goal, we must use a large degree of mental and physical activity, which in this case, is called Performance Load. If we increase our performance load, there will be a large chance of errors and damage to the performance time, and completion of the goal will be significantly decreased. If we decrease our performance load, they’ll be a significant chance of successfully completing your goal and a minimal chance of error. The two (2) performance loads are; Cognitive Load, which is the use of mental activity, and Kinematic Load, which is the use of physical activity.

Lidwell, Holden & Butler’s (2003) example of Cognitive Load is the use of computers. Many years ago, “early computer systems required users to remember large sets of commands, and then type them into the computer in specific ways.” But now days, we have ‘bar codes’ and ‘scanners’ that can simply be scanned into the computer, this reduces the performance load and decreases the possibility of errors. An extract from Malamed’s (2012) on Cognitive Load explains “[…] the part of our brain that consciously processes information, dominates everything we do in terms of learning.”

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Lidwell, W., Holden, K., & Butler, J. (2003). Aesthetic-Usability Effect. In Universal Principles of Design. (pp. 148-149).

Malamed, C. (2012). The eLearning Coach. What is cognitive load? Retrieved from

Aesthetic-Usability Effect Analysis (Item 1 / Q1 Summary)

October 18, 2012 Leave a comment

An extract from their article, Lidwell, Holden & Butler (2003) explains the effects in Aesthetic-Usability and how the general public in today’s society react to Aesthetic designs, how they present possibly difficult objects as ‘easier to use’ rather than the negatives.

A brief description extracted from Mark Boulton’s (2005) journal online describes Aesthetic-Usability Effect as “a condition whereby users perceive more aesthetically pleasing designs to be easier to use than less aesthetically pleasing designs.”

Figure 1: Computer Skills (Source: University of New South Wales, 2012)

Further into Lidwell, Holden & Butler’s extract, they go into depth with aesthetic designs and highlight how they will always be presented as easier to use, even though they are or are not easier to use in the first place. A prime example within the text “…in a study of how people use computers, researches found that early impressions influenced long-term attitudes about their quality and use.”  (Lidwell, Holden & Butler, 2003)

Aesthetics in our life-world play a crucial role in the way design is seen and used today. Here is a brief example of aesthetic-usability and its design; the ‘in-vehicle navigational display’. Lavie, Oron-Gilard & Meyer (2011) from the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management have conducted studies on the in-vehicle navigational display. The first (1st) study was on the aesthetic scale to “accommodate evaluations of map displays”. The second (2nd) study on the map displays and how much they present on-screen. So it’s with these key factors that people care for the most with in-vehicle navigational displays.

Towers (2010) has stated negatively towards the subject matter of Aesthetic-Usability with “The aesthetics of a product have far reaching consequences”. Further into her article, she explains in dot point what aesthetic design of a product can cause to the general public, like for example; a product may be ‘nicely’ presented but lacks the proper components, but because the product is more appealing, it could lead to the user having positive feelings to it, and thus could lead to a large majority giving the product positive reviews, which would increase sales.

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Boulton, M. (2005) Aesthetic-Usability Effect. Retrieved from

Lavie, T., Oron-Gilard, T., & Meyer, J. (2011). International Journal of Human-Computer Studies. Aesthetics and usability of in-vehicle navigational displays, 69(1-2). (pp. 80-99).

Lidwell, W., Holden, K., & Butler, J. (2003). Aesthetic-Usability Effect. In Universal Principles of Design (pp. 18-19).

Towers, A. (2010) Usability Friction. Aesthetic Usability Effect. Retrieved from