Having an Experience

April 8, 2011

Click here to download pages 35-57 from Art as Experience by John Dewey (1932).

“Experience occurs continuously, because the interaction of live creature and environing conditions is involved in the very process of living. Under conditions of resistance and conflict, aspects and elements of the self and the world that are implicated in this interaction qualify experience with emotions and ideas so that conscious intent emerges. Oftentimes, however, the experience had is inchoate. Things are experienced but not in such a way that they are composed into an experience. There is distraction and dispersion; what we observe and what we think, what we desire and what we get, are at odds with each other. We put our hands to the plow and turn back; we start and then we stop, not because the experience has reached the end for the sake of which it was initiated but because of extraneous interruptions or of inner lethargy.

In contrast with such experience, we have an experience when the material experienced runs its course to fulfillment. Then and then only is it integrated within and demarcated in the general stream of experience from other experiences. A piece of work is finished in a way that is satisfactory; a problem receives its solution; a game is played through; a situation, whether that of eating a meal, playing a game of chess, carrying on a conversation, writing a book, or taking part in a political campaign, is so rounded out that its close is a consummation and not a cessation. Such an experience is a whole and carries with it its own individualizing quality and self-sufficiency. It is an experience.” (Dewey 35)

Light Switch Design

March 6, 2011

Sorry it’s not actually relevant to any actual course material, but I just had to post it, since we talked about it in class. The Floor Plan Light Switch.

Also, I started my own blog. Go check it out if you want, there’s not much there yet since I just started, but I’m going to post some more stuff soon, and often.

Designing for Interaction

February 18, 2011

Click here to download pages 89-119 from Designing for Interaction.

“The craft of interaction design is really the craft of creating the models, diagrams and documents that communicate the designer’s designs. These representations, and the testing of those with clients and users, are the designer’s bread and butter. They are what designers use to do their most important work, moving their knowledge and vision from their minds and hearts to their hands and to the design itself . . . Designers should strive to make each representation a designed artiact, filled with smart, deliberate choices.” (Saffer 119)

Emotional Design

February 11, 2011

Click here to download pages 99-133 from Emotional Design.

“Fun and pleasure, alas, are not topics often covered by science. Science can be too serious, and even when it attempts to examine the issues surrounding fun and pleasure, its very seriousness becomes a distraction. Yes, there are conferences on the scientific basis of humour, of fun (“funology” is the name given to this particular endeavor), but this is a difficult topic and progress is slow. Fun is still an art form, best left to the creative minds of writers, directors and other artists. But the lack of scientific understanding should not get in the way of our enjoyment. Artists often pave the way, exploring approaches to human interaction that science then struggles to understand. This has long been true in drama, literature, art, and music, and it is these areas that provide lessons for design. Fun and games: a worthwhile pursuit.” (Norman 100)

Information Visualization

January 28, 2011

Click here to download pages 201-240 from Information Visualization.

“The brain is a powerful pattern-finding engine; indeed, this is the fundamental reason that visualization techniques are becoming important. There is no other way of presenting information so that structures, groups and trends can be discovered among hundreds of data values. If we can transform data into the appropriate visual representation, its structure may be revealed.” (Ware 239)

Envisioning Information

January 28, 2011

Click here to download pages 12-35 from Envisioning Information.

“Even though we navigate daily through a perceptual world of three spatial dimensions and reason occasionally about higher dimensional arenas with mathematical ease, the world portrayed on our information displays is caught up in the two-dimensionality of the endless flatland of paper and video screen. . . . Escaping this flatland is the essential task of envisioning information – for all the interesting worlds (physical, biological, imaginary, human) that we seek to understand are inevitably and happily multivariate in nature. Not flatlands.” (Tufte 12)

Basic Principles Presentation

January 28, 2011

Click here to download my presentation about Basic Principles of Interaction Design.

Information Presentation

January 27, 2011

Click here to download my presentation about Establishing Structure, Maps and Diagrams and Conveying Information.

Ethnography Presentation

January 27, 2011

Click here to download my presentation about Usability Research and Ethnography.

Visual Intelligence

January 21, 2011

Click here to download pages 173-184 from Visual Intelligence.

“I don’t want to claim only that you construct what you see. I want to claim that, at a minimum, you construct all that you hear, smell, taste and feel. In short, I want to claim that all your sensations and perceptions are your constructions.” (Hoffman 176)


January 21, 2011

Click here to download pages 1-22 from Perception.

“The world is filled with objects and events that combine to create a kaleidoscope of potential information. Though much of that information is irrelevant for people’s daily needs, some of it is absolutely essential. So that they can use this information effectively, human beings are equipped with specialized machinery for capturing this information and for translating it into a language that can be understood by the nervous system. In this translated form, the selected information is digested by the brain, culminating in perceptions of the world. These perceptions then guide people’s actions in the world around them.” (Sekular 1)

Universal Principles of Design

January 19, 2011

Click here to download pages 130-131 from Universal Principles of Design.

“Designers generally have very complete and accurate system models, but often have weak interaction models — i.e. they know much about how a system works, but little about how people will interact with the system. Conversely, users of a design tend to have sparse and inaccurate system models, but through use and experience commonly attain interaction models that are more complete and accurate than those of designers. Optimal design results only when designers have an accurate and complete system model, obtain an accurate and complete interaction model, and then design a system interface that reflects an efficient merging of both models.” (Lidwell et. al. 130)

The Design of Everyday Things

January 19, 2011

Click here to download pages 12-17 from The Design of Everday Things.

“Without a good model we operate by rote, blindly; we do operations as we were told to do them; we can’t full appreciate why, what effects to expect, or what to do if things go wrong. As long as things work properly, we can manage. When things go wrong, however, or when we come upon a novel situation, then we need a deeper understanding, a good model.” (Norman 13)

Two Mental Models of a Holga

January 19, 2011