February 2, 2023

Design Concepts on LawsOfUX.com

Von Restorff Effect

AKA the Isolation Effect

When similar options are presented, we will best remember the one that differs the most

Make key info or items visually distinct

Use restraint in your emphasis (if everything is highlighted, nothing is)

– On websites, you don’t want your highlights to look like ads!

Using color alone to differentiate items will be inaccessible to those with sight impairments

Be careful using motion to communicate info as well to those with visual impairments or sensitivity to motion

You want users to be able to identify that something is different and important and what makes that the case with something

Zeigarnik Effect

People remember incomplete or interrupted tasks better than completed task

– Not only that, we can’t stop thinking about incomplete tasks

– The thing about checklists

Invite discovery by providing clear indicators of additional content

Providing progress markers inspire people to complete the task (goal-gradient effect)

I think it’s helpful to contextualize that this is part of why the goal-gradient works but is a distinct, separate concept

To Learn, Students Need to Do by Jennifer Gonzalez on CultOfPedagogy.com

Learners need to experience things to learn them (most of them at least)

– Testing cause and effect are powerful examples

Just because something has been expressed doesn’t mean

Project-based learning is best, but can be difficult to start (or do asynchronously)

The basic lesson plan includes:

  1. Anticipatory Set – Where students get interested in the lesson and objectives are set
  2. Direct Instruction – Info and skills are communicated to the students
  3. Guided Practice/Application – Students practice what has been taught with supervision
  4. Independent Practice/Application – Students practice on their own
  5. Assessment – Students are measured based on how well they met the objectives

The third step is often skipped in actuality (sometimes the fourth is too)

This is often because we lose sight of the standards/objectives

– What’s the goal? Recitation of facts or execution of procedures?

– We can often lose sight of this objective

People lose interest in learning if they don’t actually feel like it matters, keeping to the objective helps to make it feel like it matters!

For work that tests ability better, do sorting activities, role plays, anticipation guides (what do you think we will learn, what do you know, how has that changed by the end of the lesson), retrieval practice

This kind of stuff is basically always a work in progress

Contrasting Cases by Sarah Levine on CultOfPedagogy.com

Identifying the meaningful qualities about something often involves comparing and contrasting those things against each other to understand their bounds

– This is because we internally start to map these things in relation to each other (called a schema)

Making these comparisons can give you insights

Examples are to compare and rank word choices or options or a version with something versus a version without

We do some of this with activities that ask the learner to pick which type or program is best for them or what steps a provider should take in a situation

– We should lean into this harder by either adding additional steps in these scenarios

Let’s Make Better Slideshows by Jennifer Gonzalez on CultOfPedagogy.com

  1. Put it in Presentation Mode
    1. Not relevant here, but like… bare minimum
  2. Reduce Your Text
    1. Slides supplement your presentation, it shouldn’t be the primary way of conveying info, even asynchronous like BTG
    2. Too much text is overwhelming and people turn their brains off
    3. Use the least amount of text possible
  3. More Slides!
    1. More slides with less info on each is better than dense slides
  4. Create a Handout
    1. Useful for providing information without bogging down slides and acting as a reference later
  5. Create Previews/Signposts
    1. Goal-Gradient and Zeigarnik Effects
    2. Give people time to know what they’re getting into in order to prepare themselves emotionally/physically
  6. Keep Animations to a Minimum
    1. Animations can be distracting and meaningless
    2. Less is more
  7. Keep Things Consistent
    1. Like fonts, colors, and art styles (!)
    2. Makes them more professional and easier to follow
  8. Proofread Aloud
    1. Less important here, but basically do your QA