Distractibility Simulation


This simulation demonstrates how difficult it can be to navigate even a simple site when operating under an intense cognitive load as someone with a cognitive disability might experience.


This is not a true simulation of a cognitive disability. Rather, it is a simulation of the effects of cognitive overload. The confusion, disorientation, and slow site navigation that you will experience in the simulation are the effects that WebAIM is trying to achieve.

The simulation contains two site designs and the user is asked to find information on both sites. You may become a bit frustrated as you try to navigate the site, because you will be distracted by other tasks that this simulation requires you to do simultaneously. This forced multitasking behavior will slow your response rate and will likely cause you to make errors in your site navigation. In addition, the site that you are asked to navigate was intentionally designed to be somewhat confusing.

Here is a sample of what you may see while using the simulation.

Sample view of WebAIM's distractability simulation

In this activity, you will be asked to use the keyboard to move the character found in the lower right corner to catch the falling bombs while simultaneously performing tasks with the web site found at the left.

This simulation requires Adobe Flash.