Techniques to Improve Users’ Memory and Remember Anything

by Daniel Alshriky

Without a doubt, improving the ability of the users to remember products and services ultimately increase customer loyalty and it’s the first step to establish addictive Products.

Understand the human techniques to recall information is the key to build effective experience and avoid user’s mistake those caused by depending on memory.

Recognition over recall

We can agree that recognition is easier than recalling of retrieving the information perspective, but we can’t avoid using recall on information, that is because it’s very difficult to use it in recognition to let people remember. User relies on memory many times to complete the tasks and form the UI perspective that will help reduce layout clutter and reducing content to keep the users inform.

Here are a few examples of memory’s techniques

01- Repetition

This technique is very well known. When we were in school, teachers always ask students to repeat words or principles to help them remember things.

Repetition technique is used in a Bot answer machine system. Using repetition technique to check if the customers gave the right order and at the same time help the customer saves what he chooses in short-term memory.

02- Establish Basic Background

Basic knowledge and first impression for any products or services have an big impact to increase the ability of users to remember that will lead to concentrate more about introduction and amend the impression for any products, and services.

03- Exaggeration

Exaggeration is unusual signs applied to the product by amplifying the attention of users, allowing them to easily remember. We need to figure out ways to apply exaggeration when we’re trying to make our users remember things. For instance, make things big or really small. Exaggeration technique uses very well in ads. Advertising agency uses exaggeration through increase the pleasure or avoids the pain in advertising campaigns.

This is a very nice example of how advertisers use exaggeration to avoid the pain.

04- Association and Meaningful

Association is a very powerful memory’s technique. It’s one of the important ways to remember things. We need to start making things meaningful. And that happens through using association technique.

We can see these very obviously in infographic, charts, and using drawing to explain complex ideas.

05- Chunking and Selectivity

Users can remember only four items at once
Psychologist Alan Baddeley

Information Architecture plays a big role to apply four-item rule by establishing taxonomy using categorizing the contents based on it.

Here’s a few example in real life:

-Phone numbers (123–123–1324).
-Even when people try to share phone number orally, they use chunking technique to help remember and register also.
-Table of contents for any books.
-Web application sitemap

06- Visualization

Visualization has a big impact on our memory. Brain unconsciously interpreted all the words and feeling received to images and based on those images decisions and ideas are adopted.

We have many methods we can use to apply visualization to retrieve the information or to remember things easily, one of this method is called loci.

The method of loci is a method of memory enhancement which uses visualizations with the use of spatial memory, familiar information about one’s environment, to quickly and efficiently recall information. The method of loci is also known as the memory journey, memory palace, or mind palace technique.
wikipedia

The classic examples of visualization

-Using iconography on the layout design.
-Huge mansion like airport or metro station when we have multiple gates or lines. Each one has a unique number and colors.

The Take Away

It is very important to practice and implement the memory techniques. Memory, like muscles needs training to be better and better.

There will be many opportunities for you to implement the memory techniques on products and services, by applying repetition, establish basic background, exaggeration, association and meaningful, chunking and selectivity and visualization

Written by

User Experience Lead | Data-Driven Design

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