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Tag cognition

Dashboards: how to content to users shifting attention

With dashboard design its important to not overdo it, but to keep a balance between elements that try to get users shifting attention. There are various methods to address this.

Generation effect

The generation effect relates to a phenomenon observed with the ability to better retain information for content that was generated by users themselves.

Using schemata to improve usability

Schemata are existing knowledge that users develop. These are developed through established norms that designers create. Users learn these schemata and recognize them as patterns. This has the advantage that users can skim a display faster and with less effort, as they are familiar with the schemata. Because this method requires less cognitive effort, users can focus their energy on displays and values that do need more attention.

Limitations of short-term memory

Human cognition has its limitations encompassing

  • attention
  • memory
  • learning
  • reasoning
  • producing and understanding language
  • problem-solving
  • decision-making

Testing short term memory and forgetting

There is a number of studies that try to measure the capacities (or duration) of short term memory. There are the Brown-Peterson Technique, or the research by Sperling, or George Miller to name just a view of them.