Design Principles: Redundancy

The Principle of Redundancy

In this sixth post in this series, looks at multimedia design principle of redundancy, as researched by Prof RE Mayer, J Sweller et al.

This principle says that redundant information interferes with learning and material being retained in long term memory. Giving people more information, does not necessarily increase their ability to remember the key learning points. Mayer also states that "people learn better from graphics and narration than from graphics, narration and on-screen text." 

You can apply the principle of redundancy by carefully synchronising what you say to your audience with what you show them. If you show too many words your audience is forced to make a choice between listening to you, or reading your slides. Whichever they choose, they will be distracted by the other, reducing the likelihood of your message entering their long term memory. If you have more information that you wish to convey to your audience, then a useful way to ensure your audience gets all the information they require is through using presentation handouts. If you would like to find out more on how to use presentation handouts effectively, download our smart sheet here.  

If you want them to read an explanation on your slides then let them do just that. Turn towards your slide to direct your audience's attention away from you and to the slide, read the explanation silently yourself, count to ten, and then face your audience and re-engage them.

If you would like further support on creating an engaging Power-Point presentation, take a look at our Free Expert Guides, which contain a host of valuable tips and advice.  

Remember, the rule of thumb for the principle of redundancy is: "If you show it, don't say it, and if you say it, don't show it".

Like this post? Share it here:

More articles from this series: