Usability Heuristic 6: Recognition vs. Recall in User Interfaces
Summary: #6 of the top 10 UX design heuristics is to design user interfaces to facilitate #memory recognition which is easier than recall because there are more cues available to facilitate the retrieval of information from memory.
Showing users things they can recognize improves usability over needing to recall items from scratch because the extra context helps users retrieve information from memory.
Raluca Budiu is Director of Research at Nielsen Norman Group, where she consults for clients from a variety of industries and presents tutorials on mobile usability, designing interfaces for multiple devices, quantitative usability methods, cognitive psychology for designers, and principles of human-computer interaction. She also serves as editor for the articles published on NNgroup.com. Raluca coauthored the NN/g reports on tablet usability, mobile usability, iPad usability, and the usability of children's websites, as well as the book Mobile Usability. She holds a Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University.