Chunking: Memory Mechanism

There’s a user experience technique called chunking that describes a product designer’s decision to combine related fields into sections.

In other words, breaking down a number of disparate elements into similar groups so that users can more effectively process the content and/or information in front of them with the hope of increasing data retention – or rather, the hope that they remember what they saw.

This is why it’s vastly easier to remember your phone number if you break it up into sections or parts: 1234567890.

This isn’t a terrible overview (thanks YouTube):

via YouTube

It’s effectively a memorization system, or memory mechanism. Smaller groups and “chunks” is just easier to process!

I like to “chunk” most things in life, but, not everything is better when chunked – in fact, I think some of the more important and impactful work requires us to remove this system from our default system playbook and intentionally hyper-focus.

And there are, of course, a few experiences that are better not chunked – rather, experienced, fully, without comparison and without dilution. These are few and far-between, I’m afraid, but, you’ll carry the memory of them for the rest of your life.