Week 6 Overview: About The Human

Making Things Usable

It’s important to consider ‘the human’ whilst designing; we as humans have a variety of capabilities and ultimately have limitations too. In this week’s session we realise that designers must approach tasks with the understanding of both perceptive and cognitive capabilities that users may have.

We learnt that perception mainly consists of our senses – these include vision, auditory, olfactory, haptic/tactile and gustatory. An interesting point raised was that our senses often work together, but vision as our primary sense can often trick us. An example we viewed showed a man repeating the word ‘bar’ to camera, this was then replaced with a clip of the man mouthing ‘far’ but to the sound of him recalling ‘bar’. Although we were told what was happening, our brains were still tricking us into hearing ‘far’ due to our overpowering vision sense.

Moving on to our first task we researched memory and learning, we revisited the reading: Psychologists View Of UX Design and drew conclusions and possible design recommendations from this. We found that memory was quite a difficult task to review as we often found ourselves crossing paths with ‘attention’. Our main points consisted of utilising reminders, grouping content into easily digestible chunks and limiting text line length.

We produced a simple slide-show and each took turns to present. We concluded by showing examples of good and bad design for memory/learning.

The second task we found more challenging (perhaps as we were over-questioning the actual potential of these ideas), brainstorming ideas for possible Extended Mind, Neuroplasticity or Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) products. One of our examples was for a BCI electric wheelchair controlled entirely by thought to navigate. Another was an extended mind ear-piece which could record and playback either music or conversations or even important information you would need to remember.

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