Teach on Mars contents authors: lesson #8 – How people think (part 2)

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Hi Best Training Authors,

Remember lesson#7, sponsored by F Friedrich Nietzsche, on our thinking process?

I have recommended to you 3 attention-grabbing tips to boost learners’ progression by stimulating their thinking process:

  • Chunk and disclose contents bit by bit to ease learner’s process of information
  • Favor motor (click, press…) and visual loads (locate a screen item…) vs. energy-intensive cognitive loads when designing your application
  • Always keep learners aware of where they are in the application because their minds wander up to 30 percent of the time!

There is more to come! Our thinking process is full of surprises and rewards!

First, Our brain is fond of mental models, i.e. people assumed process for how something works. Mental models are based on incomplete facts, past experiences and intuitive perceptions and therefore subject to evolution. When suggesting a conceptual model, in the case of mobile learning an interface couple to a training path, it is important to match people’s mental representations. Most particularly, when designing a new conceptual model, let’s introduce and train people on it, to allow them shaping a new fitting mental model and welcoming your application!

Tip: Match your conceptual model with people mental model and announce it to them!

Teach on Mars illustration on matching mental models by introducing the subject:


The Mobile Learning app
Page 1


The Mobile Learning app
Page 2


The Mobile Learning app
Page 3 …


Second, it is commonly granted that we learn best from examples and that a picture speaks a thousand words! So, in order to ease your learners training understanding of rules, use pictures and screenshots to show by illustration. And even more,  use short videos as examples!

Tip: Use examples to ease learners’ training rules understanding.

Teach on Mars illustration on using examples:


The Flash game rule
Card 1


The Flash game rule
Card 2


The Flash game rule
Card 3 …


Third, time is … running out? Money? … And relative declares our brain!

Just as there are visual illusions, there are time illusions. And a heavy mental processing makes the amount of time seem longer. For example, a task will feel time consuming to learners if it has a varying length and they don’t know what duration to expect. So, helps learners by providing  progress indicators so that they know how much time an activity lasts and can adjust their expectations accordingly.

Tip: Provide progress indicators to make your training activity seem quicker … Time is money!

Teach on Mars illustration on using progress indicators: 


Global dashboard


Completion rates
Indicated by colours
And percentages.


Flash game
Progression bar


And fourth, put your learners in a flow state!

The flow state is when you have a very focused and enjoyable attention on a task. The ultimate objective for any inspired author’s readers! Bring your learners into their flow zone by applying a few rules:

  • Learners have a clear, achievable goal in mind.
  • they receive continuous feedback
  • Learners have control over their actions
  • They enjoy performing the activity!
Tip: Put your learners in a flow state by providing them with an achievable goal, continuous feedback, a sense of control over their actions and the pleasure!

Teach on Mars illustration on taking learners on their flow state: 


On activity


On activity


On activity
Success progress

I hope you have enjoyed the thought-provoking information of lesson #8 and learned a few appealing tips.

I will come back soon with further brain weirdness!

Lessons tips index page

Ergonomic Design for Impactful Digital Resources

Ergonomic Design for Impactful Digital Resources

Cognitive ergonomics, dedicated to optimizing human-machine interactions, enhances productivity in digital design. Thoughtful integration of visual aids and sound, following Mayer and Mousavi’s principles, improves comprehension and reduces cognitive load. Sequence, conciseness, and awareness of redundancy are crucial for maximizing the effectiveness of digital resources.