Cogniton

How Bodies Matter: Five Themes for Interaction Design

Posted in 2000s, Articles, Cogniton, Theory on May 7th, 2013 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Klemmer, Scott, Hartmann, Bjorn, and Takayama, Leila, “How Bodies Matter: Five Themes for Interaction Design,” 2006.

This paper presents five themes that we believe are particularly salient for designing and evaluating interactive systems. The first, thinking through doing, describes how thought (mind) and action (body) are deeply integrated and how they co-produce learning and reasoning. The second, performance, describes the rich actions our bodies are capable of, and how physical action can be both faster and more nuanced than symbolic cognition. The first two themes primarily address individual corporeality; the next two are primarily concerned with the social affordances. Visibility describes the role of artifacts in collaboration and cooperation. Risk explores how the uncertainty and risk of physical co-presence shapes interpersonal and human-computer interactions. The final theme, thickness of practice, suggests that because the pursuit of digital verisimilitude is more difficult than it might seem, embodied interaction is a more prudent path.

Metaphor and the Cognitive Representation of Computing Systems

Posted in 1980s, Articles, Cogniton on October 28th, 2012 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Carroll, John M. and Thomas, John C., “Metaphor and the Cognitive Representation of Computing Systems”, 1980.

Our starting point is the simple observation (dating at least to the time of William James, 1890) that people tend to try to learn about new things by making use of their past learning. New concepts are typically thought of in terms of old concepts-at least initially. We focus on a specific variety of this, the metaphorical extension from one structured domain into another. In particular we consider the role that metaphorical learning plays in the mastery of computing systems at various levels of “competence.” Professional programmers might learn a new system X by metaphorizing at least initially from what they already know about system Y. More casual or naive end-users might rely on metaphors drawn from more distant knowledge domains, e.g.. on what they have already learned about electric typewriters.

Mental Models and Usability

Posted in 1990s, Articles, Basics, Cogniton, Usability on October 21st, 2012 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Davidson, Mary Jo, Dove, Laura, and Weltz, Julie, “Mental Models and Usability,” 1999

An inaccurate mental model of what is happening in a system leads to errors. Many systems place too many demands on the humans that use them. Users are often required to adjust the way they work to accommodate the computer. Sometimes the result is a minor frustration or inconvenience, such as changes not being saved to a file. Inaccurate mental models of more complex systems, such as an airplane or nuclear reactor, can lead to disastrous accidents.

Redefining Hick’s Law

Posted in 2010s, Articles, Cogniton on March 16th, 2012 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Jason Gross, Redefining Hicks’s Law, 2012

The human mind has trouble choosing between several options unless one clearly stands out as the best. When you water down a design with widgets and secondary content, you reduce the value of the primary content and force a harder decision on the user. The process of eliminating distracting options has to start here and should be carried on throughout the design process. The more choices we eliminate, the more enjoyable the experience will be.

Why Angry Birds is So Successful and Popular

Posted in 2010s, Articles, Cogniton, Game Mechanics on April 24th, 2011 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Charles L. Mauro, “Why Angry Birds is so successful and popular: a cognitive teardown of the user experience” (2011)

What makes a user interface engaging is adding more detail to the user’s mental model at just the right time. Angry Birds’ simple interaction model is easy to learn because it allows the user to quickly develop a mental model of the game’s interaction methodology, core strategy and scoring processes. It is engaging, in fact addictive, due to the carefully scripted expansion of the user’s mental model of the strategy component and incremental increases in problem/solution methodology. These little birds are packed with clever behaviors that expand the user’s mental model at just the point when game-level complexity is increased. The process of creating simple, engaging interaction models turns out to be exceedingly complex. Most groups developing software today think expansion of the user’s mental model is for the birds. Not necessarily so.

Response Time in Man-computer Conversational Transactions

Posted in 1960s, Articles, Cogniton on November 6th, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Robert Miller, “Response time in man-computer conversational transactions” (pdf) (1968)

The User Illusion

Posted in 1990s, Cogniton, Non-Fiction Books on October 5th, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Tor Norretranders, The User Illusion: Cutting Consciousness Down to Size (1999)

The Design of Everyday Things

Posted in 1980s, Basics, Cogniton, Non-Fiction Books on October 5th, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things (1988)

Simplicity is Highly Overrated

Posted in 2000s, Articles, Basics, Cogniton, Inspirational on October 5th, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Don Norman, “Simplicity is Highly Overrated” (2007)

What Makes a Design Seem Intuitive?

Posted in 2000s, Articles, Basics, Cogniton on October 5th, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Jared Spool, “What Makes a Design Seem Intuitive?” (2005)

The Tyranny of Choice

Posted in 2000s, Articles, Cogniton on October 5th, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Barry Schwartz, “The Tyranny of Choice” (pdf) (2004)

Too many choices are bad for users.

The Tug of the Newfangled Slot Machines

Posted in 2000s, Articles, Cogniton on October 5th, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Gary Rivlin, “The Tug of the Newfangled Slot Machines” (2004)

A look at persuasion by interaction design, via slot machines.

The Myth of Discoverability

Posted in 2000s, Articles, Basics, Cogniton, Interface Design on October 5th, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Scott Berkun, “The Myth of Discoverability” (2003)

But How, Donald, Tell Us How?: On the creation of meaning in interaction design through feedforward and inherent feedback

Posted in 2000s, Articles, Cogniton, Interface Design on October 5th, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Stephan Wensveen, Kees Overbeeke, and Tom Djajadiningrat, “But How, Donald, Tell Us How?: On the creation of meaning in interaction design through feedforward and inherent feedback” (pdf) (2002)

Introduces the concept of “feedforward.”

Bridging Conceptual Gaps

Posted in 1990s, Articles, Cogniton on October 5th, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Jared Spool, “Bridging Conceptual Gaps” (1996)

Mental Models, Deductive Reasoning, and The Brain

Posted in 1990s, Articles, Cogniton on October 5th, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Philip Johnson-Laird, “Mental Models, Deductive Reasoning, and The Brain” (pdf) (1995)

The Magical Number Seven

Posted in 1950s, Articles, Cogniton on October 2nd, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

George Miller, “The magical number seven, plus or minus two: Some limits on our capacity for processing information” (pdf) (1956)

The human capacity for remembering only seven bits of information, +- 2.