Overview

Users have a propensity to best remember the first and last items in a series.

Takeaways

  1. Placing the least important items in the middle of lists can be helpful because these items tend to be stored less frequently in long-term and working memory.
  2. Positioning key actions on the far left and right within elements such as navigation can increase memorization.

Origins

The serial position effect, a term coined by Herman Ebbinghaus, describes how the position of an item in a sequence affects recall accuracy. The two concepts involved, the primacy effect and the recency effect, explains how items presented at the beginning of a sequence and the end of a sequence are recalled with greater accuracy than items in the middle of a list. Manipulation of the serial position effect to create better user experiences is reflected in many popular designs by successful companies like Apple, Electronic Arts, and Nike.

Source

Further Reading

Buy Large Format Poster

Download free poster