The past year I got more interested in one of the facets for establishing a better user experience; learnability. What is so facenating about that? Well, let’s start by saying that learning is something that we need to survive. It starts with life, we pass it over to our children and gives us motivation to have new experiences.
Surviving is a big thing. When you say:”the learnability of this user interface is very good” that means….yeah, what does that mean? What is learnability? Is the product easy to use?
By reading the biological part of how we remember information or experiences, I always see this as an 3d web. How bigger the dot, how stronger the retrieval is. How thicker the line between dots, how stronger there relation is. This looks a bit like this:
By having this image in my head I understand that it is an easy way to remember information by linking other stored information to new information. Evolution workes mostly the same way. Learning peace by peace makes it easier to remember than take a lot of information at once. Still I finished a lot of exams with a positive result after spending the night before, reading the book. But does this make the information stay longer or even shorter if I started earlier with reading the book, piece by piece?
What I learned from reading about learnability, it made me curious how we humans store our information, and how can we retrieve it? Some of my friends can retrieve information from back in the younger days, when they were a little child. Or they can remember the title of a song they heard years ago for the last time. How do they do that? Were do they store all if this information?
Learnability – the ease with which something can be learned
There is a way to do it. Linking information, also called cues. It does not always have to be the text that you learned by reading. It also can be sounds, images, light, anything that is nearby when you have the learning experience. That’s why some research results proved that you shouldn’t always study at the same place when reading your book, for remembering the content. You get more different clues to remember the information.
There is so much to learn about our brain and how we learn. I will keep learning about learning and never want to stop learning about it.
Want to get better in remembering the stuff you learn?
1. Distributed learning.
Split the information in parts and spread it over time, this way the information will stay much longer and the retrieval strenght will be stronger.
2. Change location
Creating cues makes it easier for you to remember the information you are thinking/searching for. If you change the location you learn you information you will create cues to the information.
3. Get in a flow
Make sure the your enviroment is not to crouded and the sound is not to loud. If you like, you could use a headphone to be more focused.
4. Make a story
If you need to remember a list of text, you can try to make a story our of it. The elements will be part of the story, and a story is easier to retrieve.
Go for it!
Humans can only remember 4 -7 things at once.
Books: How we learn, What designers should know about people
Conference: Learning conference London
Brain training app: lumosity, Elevate (doesn’t make you smarter)
Article: synesthesia of design, Extra brain wiring