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Alias (5735)

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Journal of Alias (5735)

Tuesday February 10, 2009
02:43 AM

Cognitive Load Theory

[ #38446 ]

For the last three or four years I've been very interested in Economics as an area of personal learning.

I'd like to think I've been doing pretty well too at picking up the main areas of understanding (at least at a basic working level). For example, my current job was specifically selected for based on properties that make it both pretty well paid and practically recession-proof. It's looking increasingly like a great place to hunker down for the next year or so until this whole mini-depression thing is over.

But now I think I've got all the basics down and I'm running out of new ideas I find interesting. And so I'm starting to look for something new.

The most immediate candidate for now is Cognitive Load Theory. This is a convenient topic because it was pioneered in the 80s at the University of New South Wales, which I both attended and is only a kilometre or two from where I live.

It's also a very interesting topic in it's own right. You can see echoes of the it in areas as diverse as Apple products, good API design, successful websites, attempts the define the word "intuitive", the success of PHP, and the mixed "love it or hate it" responses I seem to get to the Strawberry Perl website.

I'm particularly interested in it for the implications it has for software development, both of user interfaces like Padre and for the packaging and delivery of Chocolate Perl, which is intended specifically for people that don't know Perl yet (and so face a particularly high cognitive load situation as soon as they install it)

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