Human Memory Model               Memory Limitations                Mental Industrial Relations Perspectives             Learning Process

WED JUN 20 2018


The information obtained from the physical aspect of the Human Factor in HCI as studied in the previous lesson, is redirected to the human mind to be processed, before the necessary actions are taken.  This topic will explain how this information is represented in the human memory.  Some of this information is remembered for a long period of time, whereas other information is forgotten.



The human memory is divided into three parts:

  • Sensory memory

  • Short-term or work memory

  • Long-term memory



The human memory has limitations in storage periods.  This is one of the causes of the "forgetfulness" phenomenon.  Nevertheless, there exists a number of approaches that can be used to ease our process of remembering, such as:

  • Chunking technique: Breaking a statement is into several meaningful pieces or "chunks".

  • List arrangement techniques

  • Thought-centralising techniques


  • Mental Model

    • Analogical representation

    • Statement Representation

    • Distributed Representation


The success of the system depends on the depth of difficulty that is faced by users to study and use the system.  Learning is a complex process, thus a good system needs to help users in the process of learning.  It is normally assumed that users are able to learn everything from documentations and guidance books.  But, in reality, not many users refer to these guide books or documents.

The findings from the research of (1984) about the problems faced by users in the process of learning a new system were:

  • Learning is a tough process.  Users take a long time to learn, and are easily disappointed and always blame themselves for their slow learning ability.

  • Users to not have sufficient basic knowledge, and do not understand the jargons used.

  • Users make their own assumptions and "ad-hoc' interpretations.  Users normally make the wrong assumptions.

  • Users utilise their previously gained knowledge.

  • Users do not read and follow instructions well.

  • Problems are interrelated to one another.

  • Interface features that are not clearly defined draw confusing responses.

  • The guide books provided are not helpful.  Users do not know what to look for because the help provided is too general.