Cognitive load or how to make a site simple

Cognitive load or how to make a site simple

So, we all know that if there is a lot of noise around, then it’s hard for us to do something, to achieve our goal. We are hampered by both external and, far worse, internal stimuli.

Answer one question: is it easy for you to perceive information when there is some kind of chaos around, everything is noisy, distracting, flickering? – Of course not!

So with the site you can have the same problems when interacting. If to speak the language of terms, all of the above is called a cognitive load.

Cognitive workload is the number of operations a brain needs to understand and understand an object with which a person interacts. This means that the smaller the brain will need the logical connections necessary to find and interact with the object, the easier a person will perceive the object.


Okay. Terminology is understood, it seems easy. But what should you do in order to reduce this cognitive burden?


  • Fewer fields in the forms.

We are lazy! It’s true. This is our nature. We try our best to avoid labor-intensive tasks. And we often hurry, especially on the Internet. And, certainly, we do not want to fill a large number of form fields. Therefore, do not create a sea of fields.
Each line increases the risk that a person stops filling in and out. Choose those 3 or 4 lines, without which you can not do on your site!

  • Visual noise.

Oh, what a sick subject this is! Especially when you want to pile a lot of everything on the site, and even on the main page, and even on the first block, so that you can see without scrolling all at once, and also with style effects.

The user, when visiting the site, should see a clear semantic sequence. It will be easy to answer such questions:
– What is this site?
“What does he propose?”
– What can I get from this site?

It is easy to navigate the site, like at home, be able to distinguish important information from the secondary. And, most importantly, this should happen before the analysis of the content itself. Therefore, this is called visual submission of content.


  • Patterns are our magic wand.

After all, we all know such icons, as        – this is an excellent example of the patterns that are already familiar to us. They do not make us think “what if?”. Therefore, with special care, make new icons to your site. Not all icons are so obvious to the user, as for you. Sign, so that the user can remember the value of this icon.


  • Clarity in everything

It is worth, perhaps, to talk about this in a separate paragraph.
If it’s a button, it’s a button with its own styles; if this is a link, then this is a link with its own styles; if it’s an accordion, it’s an accordion with its own styles and auxiliary icons; if it’s a slider, … well, you probably already understood me).
What do I mean by this? Give people a clear understanding of what they are working with and what should now happen. There should be no surprises!