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The first time or even the first several times we perform an activity, we do it in a highly controlled and conscious manner, but with practice it becomes more automatic. Examples include peeling an apple, driving a car, juggling balls, riding a bicycle, reading, playing a musical instrument, and using an app on your mobile phone. Even an activity that might seem to require our attention, such as sorting good cherries from bad ones, can become automated to the point that we can do it as a background task, with plenty of cognitive resources left over for having a conversation, watching the news on television, etc.


Cover of Designing with the Mind in Mind, 2nd Edition



We should ensure our help topics are consistent--once the initial pattern of topic organization is recognized, readers will be able to traverse subsequent topics more easily the more consistent they are with their predecessors.