Performance load Q3

Psychology plays a huge role in visual design, this is because when you look at something you have an immediate reaction to it, and feeling toward it. The look of a particular design, like we saw in week 1 with Aesthetics, can have an impact of how you feel towards the design, whether you will keep paying attention to it and if you feel comfortable enough to use it, whatever it may be. For this reason how the visual design is formatted and then perceived is very important to the designer and viewer, and therefor psychology has a bigger role than one might expect.

The psychological theory of design, as explained by German psychologists in 1920’s, states that people tend to organise visual elements into groups and their application takes advantage of the fact that the brain self organises information into an ‘orderly, regular, simple and symmetrical way’ (Taylor,2016). For example if you use this theory for designing a logo, it will be more memorable, and “visually arresting” (Taylor, 2016).

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Figure 1: Waitrose Honey (Taylor,2016)

A great example of this theory at use is the Waitrose honey jar logo. Designed by Turner Duckworth, using the Gestalt theory spoken about above, it uses implied shape in three difference ways: to indicate the letter ‘E’, the shape of a bee and finally a honey dipper. This intriguing use of shape and lines, draws the viewer in and makes it interesting for them to look at. This is very memorable for the buyer. ( Taylor,2016)

Examples of Performance load in everyday life

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Figure 2: GPS (45degreeslatitude,2012)


GPS systems are an everyday example of how performance load works, and how designers reduce it. Designers have reduced it by eliminating the need for people to remember routes, addresses and directions because its stored in the GPS. This efficiently deducts huge amounts of mental strain required when planning a journey or just going from place to place. When you use a GPS it has a list of regular address you go to, and routes planned as well, all this is to reduce the amount of cognitive and kinematic load when using the GPS.

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Figure 3: Window winder (jalopnick, 2015)

Who remembers having to go through all that trouble to physically wind down their car window?! Some of you may still do this, like me, but its good to know that car designs have significantly improved and now the kinematic load has been greatly reduced. Now days we have an electronic button that we simply hold down a button which makes the window go up or down and even stop half way. Some cars you only have to press the button once and it does it for you. This is a great example of how designers have reduced the performance load thus making it easier for people to put their car windows up or down simply by pressing a button.

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Figure 4: Air balloon pumps (,2013)

Gone are the days where you have to physically use your own breath to blow up a balloon. Though you are still doing some physical movement to perform this task, it is no where near as tiresome nor tedious as blowing it up using your mouth. Designers have significantly reduced kinematic load by inventing this tool, and its something that comes in hand, especially when blowing up balloons for a party! The reduction in the effort needed to do this task, means people are more willing to do it, it reduces frustration and increases overall satisfaction for the person. This is another prime example of designers reducing performance load for those tiring task no one really likes to do.



Figure 2: 45 degrees latitude. (2012). GPS. Retrieved from
Figure 4: Air balloon pump. (2013). Retrieved from
Figure 3: Jalopnik. (2015). Window winder. Retrieved from
Taylor, A. (2016). The psychology of design explained – Features. Digital Arts. Retrieved 20 May 2016, from