Human mental workload (MWL) is gaining momentum as an important design concept in human– computer interaction (HCI) and is key in considering the interaction of people with computers and other technological screen devices. It has been extensively documented that both mental overload and underload can negatively affect performance (Xie and Salvendy, 2000) thus affecting reading and . At a low level of MWL, people may often experience annoyance and frustration when processing information. On the other hand, a high level can also be both problematic and even dangerous, as it leads to confusion, decreases performance in information processing and increases the chances of errors and mistakes. Hence, designers and practitioners who are ultimately interested in system or human performance need answers about operator workload at all stages of system design and operation so that design alternatives can be evaluated (Hart, 2006). A wide range of ad hoc definitions of MWL can be found in the literature. It can be intuitively defined as the amount of mental work necessary for a person to complete a task over a given period of time. However, ‘it is not an elementary property, rather it emerges from the interaction between the requirements of a task, the circumstances under which it is performed and the skills, behaviours and perceptions of the operator’ (Hart and Staveland, 1988). Although MLW has been extensively applied in the human factors discipline with a plethora of applications in the aviation and the automobile industries, it has a lack of application in modern human-computer interactive systems and education. This proposal is aimed at understanding the cognitive implications of digitization employing the construct of human mental workload and applying state-of-the-art models for mental workload assessment. The emphasis is on primary research with experiments in human-computer interaction and ergonomics aimed at testing the impact of traditional paperbased reading and digital reading to human mental workload.