Cognitive Overhead — “how many logical connections or jumps your brain has to make in order to understand or contextualize the thing you’re looking at.” Minimizing cognitive overhead is imperative when designing for the mass market. Why? Because most people haven’t developed the pattern matching machinery in their brains to quickly convert what they see in your product (app design, messaging, what they heard from friends, etc.) into meaning and purpose. We, the product builders, take our ability to cut through cognitive overhead for granted; our mental circuits for our products’ patterns are well practiced.

Thought-provoking ideas from David Lieb, the co-founder and CEO of Bump. Your product is complicated to others because it is so simple in your eyes. Your grandma should be able to use it (in an ideal world, indeed). 

Cognitive Overhead, Or Why Your Product Isn’t As Simple As You Think