Chapter 6: Architecture
Optimal learning requires engagement—engagement between the person offering the information and the person receiving and processing that information. Engagement can be direct; that is, it can be straight from the teacher’s mouth to the student’s ears. Other times engagement is indirect; the information ends up in the same place but it gets there through a device (e.g., a story or a graphic). The chances of engagement occurring increase as the number of barriers to understanding decrease.
Engagement requires interest and understanding. It often takes place in sudden bursts. As much as we want jurors to be fully engaged all of the time, if this happened, their brains would explode. Consequently, we need to maximize the times that engagement occurs and carefully select the message that we transmit when it does.
Information architecture is all about reducing barriers and increasing engagement. The architect finds ways to increase the chances of there being a connection between the lawyer and the jurors. Some of these methods are prohibitive and others are prescriptive (i.e., what you can’t do versus what you should do) but they all require flexibility.