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2:4 Reduce User's Workload

Relative Importance:

Relative Importance rating of 4 out of 5

Strength of Evidence:

Strength of Evidence rating of 3 out of 5

Document Type: Guideline


Topic:

General User Experience


Guideline:

Allocate functions to take advantage of the inherent respective strengths of computers and users.


Comments:

Let the computer perform as many tasks as possible, so that users can concentrate on performing tasks that actually require human processing and input. Ensure that the activities performed by the human and the computer take full advantage of the strengths of each. For example, calculating body mass indexes, remembering user IDs, and mortgage payments are best performed by computers.


Sources:

  • Gerhardt-Powals, J. (1996). Cognitive engineering principles for enhancing human-computer performance. International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, 8(2), 189-211.
  • Moray, N. & Butler, C. (2000). The effect of different styles of human-machine interaction on the nature of operator mental models. Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting Proceedings, 1-53-1-56.
  • Sheridan, T.B. (1997). Supervisory control. In G. Salvendy (Ed.), Handbook of Human Factors (2nd Edition) (pp. 1295-1327). New York: Wiley.

Good Example:

When looking to buy a house, users will know the value of variables necessary to calculate a monthly payment (interest rate, loan amount, etc.), but are incapable of quickly calculating it themselves.

02_04_good_example1

When entering information to sign on to a particular website or website functionality, an option is provided to remember information for the user.

02_04_good_example2