No. #163

Suffix Effect
- Impairment of Recall by a Final Item

The suffix effect is a phenomenon where the recall of the final items in a list is impaired by a subsequent, irrelevant item (the 'suffix'). This can impact the effectiveness of auditory information delivery, such as in voice-assisted interfaces, instructions, or any scenario where a series of items or instructions are conveyed verbally.

Read more on Wikipedia

Product example

In a voice navigation system, an irrelevant sound or announcement following a list of directions could impair users’ recall of the last directions given, affecting their ability to navigate effectively.

Empathy tips


Design Against Suffix Interference

Carefully design information delivery to avoid suffix interference, particularly in auditory formats.


Control Auditory Sequence

Control the sequence and timing of auditory information to minimize the impact of any irrelevant concluding items.


Enhance Last-item Recall

Implement strategies to enhance recall of the last items, such as repetition or emphasizing their importance.


Feedback on Information Retention

Gather user feedback on information retention to identify and mitigate potential suffix effects.

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