Tag Archive for emotional design

Knowledge, Context, and Expectation Part II

I first came across this image years ago in our pediatrician’s office. It made everyone who saw it laugh. The young boy—less than a year old, probably—has very limited world experience. But somethings he knows well—food comes out of those! The boy recognized the imagery, but with his limited background knowledge of art and contextual experience, his expectations of milk were quickly dashed (to the complete amusement of his mother). While we enjoy the boy’s predicament, it is good to keep in mind that the products we create can put our users at a disadvantage. The product’s audience can similarly have limited background knowledge, misinterpret the context, and be left with unexpected consequences. And a loving mother might not be there to console them…

Cultural Difference: Kids Stories

I came across this short video: “The White Wolf” by Pierre-Luc Granjon. It is an 8 minute animation short about two brothers living in a small French village. Please pay attention to the story-line (I know it is an obvious thing to pay attention to): would it have been received well in US? Note that it is not more gruesome than “Snow White”… This is why cultural context is so important to product design and why I teach the class!

Trolls, Dolls, and Poupees

The first time I saw her, she was riding on a bus. Her hair was long and golden. Her eyes were amazing blue. She was stylishly dressed in a mini skirt and had a cool pair of earrings. But what got me—what burned that moment into my memory forever—was that her long slender legs bent without any visible joints. She was amazing. I wouldn’t see another like her until many years later, when my family was emigrating from Russia and living Vienna. Not far from the apartment we stayed in, there was a toy store and it was filled with wonders just like the one I remembered from so many buses ago: Barbie. When I was growing up in Russia, I played with dolls and poupees—all girls did. The dolls were made to resemble little kids, with big eyes, big heads, chubby cheeks, and cute clothes. I used old buttons and odd bits of cloth and lace to make them new clothes and bedding. My play mainly consisted of creating cool things for my dolls—I liked to sew and glue. And I don’t think that my play was all that much different from girls’ 100 years before—my dolls would have…

Thinking About Value

Which car do you find more pleasing? Which car would evoke a feeling of envy? Would you shake your head or starting thinking of how you can improve on the looks of your car? Which car’s origin would you place in the South Asia? Which in South America? Which owner cares about the aerodynamic qualities of the vehicle? Regardless of your personal feelings, the owners of these automobiles have clearly invested a tremendous amount of energy and effort into making them look like this and are very proud of the results! Telling a Story Each of the vehicles above tells a story about its owner and about its culture. The story conveys information: the owner’s goals for the car: utility or status symbol or both cultural value of design cultural symbols owner’s attitude towards possessions (e.g.: How long is the car expected to stay with one owner?) owner’s place in the social hierarchy owner’s unique identity owner’s investment into the vehicle (e.g.: time, money, skill, etc.) the perceived value of the vehicle to its owner These stories of cars and their owners change from culture to culture, from place to place, and of course in time. What we consider beautiful…

Toilet Games

If you have small children…boys, you are undoubtably familiar with things like: “My Wee Friend”; “Piddlers Toilet Targets for Potty Training”; “Potty Training Targets – Look like real targets!”; “Tinkle Targets for Boys”; “Wee Wee Pals”; or “On Target Infant Toilet Training Balls” from Amazon. Problem: boys have to learn to aim; boys attention span is shorter than the time it takes to empty their bladder; Solution: make going to the bathroom fun; design an activity that extends the attention and improves aim; The conceptual design is pretty straightforward: align the goals of the parents (teaching bathroom skills) with the goals of a toddler (have fun) to improve the toilet experience for all concern–basic goal alignment! Unfortunately, the problem doesn’t seem to go away as these boys grow up. Product design to the rescue! The Urinal Lips design uses the same product design strategy: make aiming fun! What sign on the walls of the bar’s men’s room couldn’t achieve, a playful design did–these men’s room stay clean. One Step Farther… While attention controls might lag during a long bathroom break, video games seem to have a tighter control over attention. So welcome to the future of urinals: These are the…

ICT & Human Rights: A Round Table Discussion at IADIS 2011 Conference

IADIS conference on ICT, Society and Human Beings, Rome, July 24-26, 2011 Proposal for a Joint Multi-conference Session Title: ICT and Human Rights: A Round Table Chair/Organizer: Olga Werby Background and Purpose Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)—internet, web, and social media—are fast becoming a comprehensive repository and soon an archive of human knowledge. With access to ICT, an individual can become informed on everything from healthcare issues to civic problems to legal concerns. One hundred years ago, people were discussing the need for basic literacy and its impact on the human condition. Today, we should be discussing digital literacy and access in the same way. Digital literacy can be seen as a basic human right. Individuals can also impact society, react, and reach out. ICT is both a powerful tool for materializing human rights and is also challenging human rights. I propose a Round Table Session, which is open to all participants of IADIS multi-conferences, to be titled “ICT and Human Rights.” This session would provide a forum on cross-disciplinary research and development, and action, in the fields of what rights are important and can be better facilitated by ICT in: e-Democracy, ICT and Society, e-Culture, e-Health, e-Learning,  human-computer interaction,…