Q1) Peformance Load – Summary


The article identifies two types of performance load that determines the user’s overall ‘mental and physical activity’ needed to accomplish a given task to one’s advantage (Lidwell, Holden & Butler, 2010, p. 148). Moreover, the importance of reducing cognitive and kinematic load proves to be essential if we want a service to be successful. The reason being is that users’ feel more relaxed and comfortable with easy and simple tasks that do not require additional mental or physical exertions.


Performance load can be divided into two main categories: cognitive load and kinematic load (Lidwell, Holden & Butler, 2010, p. 148). By reducing performance load it is more likely the user will handle eventual problems without difficulty. Cognitive load determines the level of human memory and our problem-solving capabilities to achieve our objectives. The relationship between the consumer and product must be established in ‘accordance with the user’s information processing capabilties’ (Sears & Jacko, 2009, p. 20). Furthermore, the success rate of a product will inevitably rise if irrelevant information is cut down, providing an easy route to learning and acquiring new knowledge.

Kinematic load, just like cognitive load, aims to reduce the steps required to successfully complete a task and create an environment that works ‘in flexible ways’ (Schnotz & Kürschner, 2007, p. 469). Most importantly, the psychical commitments and energy required to manage tasks is brought to a minimum which reinforces the need for viable and applicable systems.


Lidwell, W., Holden, K., & Butler, J. (2003). Universal principles of design. Massachusetts, MA: Rockport.

Schnotz, W., & Kürschner, C. (2007). A reconsideration of cognitive load theory. Educational Psychology Review, 19(4), 469-508.

Sears, A., & Jacko, J.A. (2009). Human-computer interaction: Designing for diverse users and domains. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.    



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