The cognitive load of documentation

Tantek Çelik, in Three Hypotheses of Human Interface Design, describes how software can be perceived as being hard to use when it places too many cognitive demands on users. One of his examples, in Hypothesis #1, looks very similar to a lot of run-of-the-mill documentation. Çelik's point is that simpler UI is easier to use; but I'll add that simpler UI is also easier to document. Provided that the writer is paying attention. It's also possible to turn simple UI into a long documented process. Either way, the  product and customer suffer the consequences.

See also: Avoiding The Endless March and The Hidden Cost of Complex Documentation

Thanks to Daring Fireball for the link. 

Posted: December 4, 2007 link to this item, Tweet this item, respond to this item