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2017/01/01 - API cognitive load
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2017/01/01 - API cognitive load
A problem can have several solutions. A solution can have different implementations each of which with their own strengths and weakness in terms of space, time and genericity.
The goal of a look'n'feel api design is to optimize the cognitive effort required to understand, learn and use an API. Otherwise said, api look'n'feel aim to improve ease. API look'n'feel has nothing to do with the target domain.
While looking for ease one might trade it over expressive power.
Mastering the look'n'feel of an API involves mastering the cognitive load that it inhertent to it. Cognitive load theory has been designed to provide guidelines intended to assist in the presentation of information in a manner that encourages learner activities that optimize intellectual performance
Here is some of those guidelines:
People learn more effectively when they can build on what they already understand
Take advantage of schemata
Take advantage of visual thinking and other non-verbal thought
The average person can retain only seven "chunks" of information in (short-term) memory
Repeat!