Desirable difficulties are difficulties which challenge the comfort but ends up creating long term desirable effects(Learning).
The concept of “desirable difficulties” was developed by Robert Bjork of UCLA. In his research, he noticed various kinds of experimental phenomena which indicated the emergence of 2 predominant patterns in learning.
- Conditions of instruction or practice (learning) that make performance improve rapidly often fail to support long term retention and transfer. Whereas,
- Conditions of instruction or practice(learning) that appear to create difficulties for the learner, slowing the rate of apparent learning, often optimizes long term retention and transfer.
The first one accelerates the learning(Or speeds up learning), the second one slows down learning by introducing difficulties that benefit long term retention and transfer. These difficulties are what Robert BJORK Calls Desirable difficulties.
According to originators ofSans Forgetica the font aides better retention because of the difficulty in the reading act as a ‘desirable difficulty,’
In this case “When an obstruction is added to the learning process(difficult to read font) in order to promote deeper cognitive processing, which results in better memory retention.”
The designers tested this font on 400 students:
57% successfully memorized text written in the Sans Forgetica font, compared to 50% who read it in Arial.