How People Remember

April 18, 2022

Book: 100 Things Every Designer Needs To Know About People

This section was dedicated to how people remember and a lot of the research and science. I thought short-term memory, recognize vs. recall, and vivid memories were interesting.

Short-term memory:

Have you ever had to remember three or four simple numbers for a confirmation code, but once you switched over to type them in, they disappeared from your brain? Welcome to my world. And if anyone asks me something during that process, I already know I have absolutely forgotten them, and I need to return to the number and promptly walk away from distractions. So, why is that? Science says that working memory is easily interfered with. And it's tied to your ability to focus attention, so to maintain the information you must stay focused on it.

Recognize vs recall:

Recognition is more manageable than recall. What is the reason? Context. Having context helps you remember. With the user interface, decreasing the amount of information your users have to recall is critical. The book suggests using dropdown list boxes to help improve their experience.

Vivid memories:

"Vivid, but full of errors." Memories degrade rapidly over time, and the Ebbinghaus curve proves that. It's important to remember just because the memory is vivid doesn't mean you are placing it correctly. And time will only make it worse.

This section seemed to be a bit of a downer, so I subconsciously skipped it when doing my posts. 😅 Anyways, the more you know, right? Several things are fantastic to think about when trying to create the best user experience.

*Image Credit: Girl With A Red Hat

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