How Animation and Cognitive Load Impact on User Experience
The aim of this project was to explore how using animated transitions between states of a website interface would affect user experience. This relationship was expected to be moderated by how much cognitive load or mental effort the animation caused for the user. The idea was that animation might be helpful, but if it’s too complex or elaborate, it might increase the amount of mental effort needed to use the website, harming the user experience. Measuring the effects of animation this way also allowed for an examination of the relationship between cognitive load and user experience.
This project did not find any statistically significant differences between animated and non-animated interfaces on their quality of UX or any significant interaction between animated transition and cognitive load on UX. This was likely due to a relatively small sample size of 77 participants and an issue with the complexity of the task the users had to do. This study is the first to look at cognitive load in the context of such a specific UI context. Including cognitive load in the context of UX could be valuable and provide insight into the relationship between a user’s working memory and perceived quality of user experience.