How to make sense of any mess?
Chunking makes content easier to comprehend and remember. It helps to understand the relationship between content elements and information hierarchy. By grouping each piece into a large whole, you can improve the amount of information you can remember. Chunking is one way to your product to stand out from the other competitors.
For example, a chunked phone number (+61–955–345–1234) is easier to remember (and scan) than a long string of un-chunked digits (9553451234).
Chunking Content in UX: Why chunking is important in UX?
Chunking is a concept that originates from the field of cognitive psychology. UX professionals can break their text and multimedia content into smaller chunks to help users process, understand, and easily remember within a quick span.
Presenting content in chunks makes scanning easier for the user and can improve their ability to comprehend and remember it. In practice, chunking is about creating meaningful, visually distinct content units that make sense in the context of the larger whole.
Simply chunking your text isn’t enough — you also need to support scanning by making it easy to quickly identify the main points of the chunks. Some of the most commonly used methods of chunking text content are:
- Headings and subheadings that clearly contrast with the rest of the text (bolder, larger, etc.)
- Highlighted keywords (bold, italic, etc.)
- Bulleted or numbered lists
- A short summary paragraph for longer sections of text, such as articles
- Short paragraphs, with white space to separate them
- Short text lines of text (around 50–75 characters)
- Clear visual hierarchies with related items grouped together
- Distinct groupings in strings of letters or numbers such as passwords, license keys, credit card or account numbers, phone numbers, and dates (for example, 14487324534 vs 1 (448) 732 4534)
The Mythical Number Seven:
‘Magical number seven,’ made famous by cognitive psychologist George Miller. In 1956, Miller found that most people can remember about 7 chunks of information in their short-term memory. People could remember 7 individual letters, or 28 letters if they were grouped into 7 four-letter words in a meaningful way. Designers often misunderstand the concept of Mythical Number Seven.
It doesn’t mean to give the things not more than seven to the user. Even they can still find easy to use with more than seven things at the given time.
For UX professional, the real takeaway from Miller’s is that people with short-term memory are limited. So, if you want the people to remember more information just group them into Chunks.
Presenting content in chunks makes scanning easier for the users and can improve their ability to comprehend and remember it.