The Information Mapping Memory Test


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Chunking your content is good strategy anytime, but it's especially important when you're writing for the web. Research has shown that reading online is much easier when information is presented in small, digestible chunks. Information Mapping's Chunking principle is simple and effective. It's too bad so many writers ignore it and create screen after screen of dense, featureless "walls of words." They're building barriers that discourage visitors to their sites. Applying the Chunking principle helps you work with the way your readers' minds work. It's an important step towards developing successful web content.

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  • Again, I hope you have a pen or pencil handy, because I’m going to ask you to participate in an exercise to illustrate some of these principles. In a moment, I’m going to show you a slide containing a lot of words. I’ll leave the slide on the screen for 20 seconds, and then ask you to write down all the words you can remember. Don’t write them down while the slide is up-that’d be cheating. Ready, Go >
  • Leave slide up for 20 seconds
  • Now write down as many words as you can remember.In a minute I will launch a poll to see how many words you were able to recall.Pause 25 secondsI’ll give you another minute.Pause 15 secondsOK ready. Share your results on the poll. Launch Poll. Wait 10 seconds.We will give you a few more seconds to share your resultsPause 5 more seconds. Then launch poll results.It looks like a large majority of you could remember 5-9 words. You know, over the years we’ve done this exercise for audiences ranging from under a dozen people, up to several hundred (there are about a hundred of you who participated in this one) and the results are always consistent: most people are able to recall between 5 and 9 words.So thanks for participating. You’ve just validated the work of George Miller, a cognitive psychologist from Princeton University who published the paper, “The Magical Number Seven Plus or Minus Two” in which he demonstrated that most of people can hold 5 to 9 items in our “working” (short term) memory at any one time. >
  • The Information Mapping Memory Test

    1. 1. HOW MANY WORDS CAN YOU REMEMBER? © 2013 Information Mapping Inc. All Rights Reserved. Leave the next slide on the screen for 20 seconds. • Try to remember as many words as you can. • Don’t write them down until after the slide is gone. (That would be cheating.)
    2. 2. field hockey brake gasket tomato baseball alternator rugby apple peach pedal lacrosse corn clutch eggplant engine soccer carrot basketball starter strawberry tennis © 2013 Information Mapping Inc. All Rights Reserved.
    3. 3. NOW WRITE DOWN AS MANY WORDS AS YOU CAN REMEMBER © 2013 Information Mapping Inc. All Rights Reserved. How many words did you remember?
    4. 4. Cognitive psychologist George Miller proved this in his famous research paper, “The Magical Number 7 plus or minus 2”. THE MAJORITY OF PEOPLE REMEMBER 7 WORDS, PLUS OR MINUS 2
    5. 5. THIS IS THE FIRST PRINCIPLE OF THE INFORMATION MAPPING® METHOD: THE CHUNKING PRINCIPLE It tells us to group information into small, manageable units. • Use 7 plus or minus 2 items per chunk. • For complex information, limit chunks to 5 plus or minus 2 items. • The Chunking principle is especially important when you write for the web.
    6. 6. Here’s a link to the time test that shows you how the Information Mapping® Method makes it much quicker and easier to find the information you need. NOW THAT YOU’VE SEEN HOW THE CHUNKING PRINCIPLE WORKS, TAKE THE INFORMATION MAPPING TIME TEST