Gerhardt-Powals’ Cognitive Engineering Principles
Although Nielsen is considered the expert and field leader in heuristics, Jill Gerhardt-Powals also developed a set of cognitive principles for enhancing computer performance. These heuristics, or principles, are similar to Nielsen’s heuristics but take a more holistic approach to evaluation. Gerhardt Powals’ principles are listed below.
- Automate unwanted workload:
- free cognitive resources for high-level tasks.
- eliminate mental calculations, estimations, comparisons, and unnecessary thinking.
- Reduce uncertainty:
- display data in a manner that is clear and obvious.
- Fuse data:
- reduce cognitive load by bringing together lower level data into a higher-level summation.
- Present new information with meaningful aids to interpretation:
- use a familiar framework, making it easier to absorb.
- use everyday terms, metaphors, etc.
- Use names that are conceptually related to function:
- Attempt to improve recall and recognition.
- Group data in consistently meaningful ways to decrease search time.
- Limit data-driven tasks:
- Reduce the time spent assimilating raw data.
- Make appropriate use of color and graphics.
- Include in the displays only that information needed by the user at a given time.
- Provide multiple coding of data when appropriate.
- Practice judicious redundancy.
Read more about this topic: Heuristic Evaluation
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