6 Cognitive impairments, including dyslexia
6.1 General cognitive impairments and how they may be addressed
The meaning of cognition according to Preece et al. (2002) is:
Cognition is what goes on in our heads when we carry out our everyday activities. It involves cognitive processes like thinking, remembering, learning, daydreaming, decision making, seeing, reading, writing and talking.
Cognitive impairments, such as problems with concentration and memory, may have many causes and, for a particular individual, may be permanent or temporary. For example, all of us – I should think – have problems with concentration when we are tired or attempting to do many tasks at once, or when we are being distracted, or when we are worried about something unrelated to the task at hand. Many of us find that we have increasing problems with memory and concentration as we get older.
Suggest requirements for interactive products to address problems of concentration and memory.
As I suggested in Activity 7, problems of distraction and lack of concentration might be alleviated by enabling users to perform tasks in stages, which can be put on hold when interruptions occur and then returned to. Interactive products might also include checks to prevent people from performing actions that have permanent potentially damaging effects, such as the deletion of data. For example, if you press a button which has the effect of deleting someone in the phonebook of your mobile phone, a message asking you to confirm your action might appear on the screen. Problems of memory might be alleviated by having multiple cues for an interface object, for example, an icon and a short explanatory piece of text. It's easier to recognise than to recall, so users might be given a list of options to choose from rather than have to type in their choice.