Tag Archive for social processing

Special Preview: Visual Aesthetics

Terry Herbert Gold Sward Decoration

Interaction-Design.org is doing an amazing job of developing a textbook for Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) Design. This newest chapter, Visual Aesthetics in human-computer interaction and interaction design by Noam Tractinsky works to tease out the aspects of design that make products appealing, memorable, culturally-appropriate, emotionally satisfying, and beautiful. Beauty & Aesthetics Evolve in Time It’s good to remember that what we find beautiful and appealing changes and evolves in time as well as across cultures. Here’s a wonderful demonstration: 500 Years of Female Portraits in Western Art. What Makes Design Beautiful? In the Interaction-Design.org chapter, Tractinsky starts with Vitruvius’ design principles. Vitruvius lived in the 1st century BC and develop a set of standard criteria by which to evaluate architecture: Firmitas — durability or life-span of the building in relation to its purpose; Utilitas — usability of the building by its intended audience; and Venustas — the beauty of the building (this would be culturally-specific). 2,000 years on and we still talk about durability, usability, and aesthetics of products. Since this chapter discusses architecture, I would like to talk about weapons. Weapons pre-date architecture, but they still follow the same rules for design: durability and reusability, usability, and beauty. If you’ve…

Information in the Age of ICT: the Guardian Newspaper 3 Little Pigs Ad

The 2012 Guardian newspaper ad really captures the flow of information in the age of ICT (Information Communication Technologies). The ad retells the story of the 3 little pigs, their houses, and the big bad wolf. It shows how stories change with spin and through propagation through social media: twitter, Facebook, email, etc. Well done!

US Rio+2.0 Breakout Session on Environmental & Conservation Education

Below are the notes from the US Rio+2.0 conference hosted at Stanford last week. The notes are from the Education: Environment and Conservation breakout session. US Rio+2.0 Breakout Session Education: Environment and Conservation Attendees: Prof. Anthony D. Barnosky: Professor and Curator, Department of Integrative Biology at University of California Berkeley Wali Modaqiq: Deputy Director General (DDG), National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA) of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Dr. Khalid Naseemi: Chief of Staff & Spokes Person for National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA) of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Julie Noblitt: The Green Ninja — Climate-action Superhero Prof. Robert Siegel, M.D., Ph.D.: Associate Professor, Microbiology & Immunology Human Biology/African Studies at Stanford School of Humanities and Sciences Dr. Beth Stevens: Senior Vice President, Corporate Citizenship Environment and Conservation at Disney Worldwide Services, Inc. Madam Anyaa Vohiri, M.A., J.D.: Executive Director, Environmental Protection Agency of Liberia Olga Werby, Ed.D.: President, Pipsqueak Productions, LLC. Mostapha Zaher: Director General (DG), National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA) of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Our breakout group was partly the result of the conversation started the day before in the Environment session. Some of the members of our breakout group were present in that session as well. The main discussion…

The Trouble with Social Search

Cultural Mix of Search Results

There have been changes in Google search and Google analytics. There have been many discussions on this topics. But there’s one big problem that I see with adding the social dimension to search: community bias or, as we’ve been referring to it in class, cultural bias. Cultural bias is one of the sources of human errors that render problem-solving more difficult. The problem comes from having one’s views on highly charged emotional topics (or social issues) continuously reinforced by the community. I’m writing this blog on Martin Luther King Day — particularly appropriate when discussing cultural bias and the difficulties of overcoming them. In the past, when we googled something, we got results based on the relevance to our query. This relevance had little to do with us personally and focused on the topic of interest. Google results to a politically polarized question looked the same whether one was a Democrat or a Republican: It didn’t matter that Democrats tended to socialize with like-minded individuals — meaning other Democrats. And Republicans preferred other Republicans, creating segregated social circles. In each such circle, people met, talked, and reinforced each other’s beliefs. BUT the Google results were the SAME for each group,…

Creativity, Perception, and Public Art

Coming Unzipped

Art or craft? Creativity or public nuisance? Sometimes, the line between these is so fine, so complex, so fractal, that it’s simply doesn’t matter. The images below span thousands of years in dates of creation. The artists used light and shadow, perspective, and clever geometry of space to add meaning to their work. All showed an amazing amount of imagination, all provide commentary on current events or a point of view. Happy holidays to all! Enjoy! [flagallery gid=3 name=”Gallery”]

Using Positive Emotion to Change Behavior

Games can be used to change our behavior — make something fun, and we are likely to do it again and again. Psychologists call is positive reinforcement. Pleasure triggers our amygdalas — makes us make strong neural connections between the activity and positive emotion. Thrills are memorable and we seeks them out in our daily lives. Here are two examples of using fun to change people’s behavior, to make us do something we ordinarily don’t particularly want to: climb stairs and recycle. November 17th Update A fellow member of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES), David Watts, recommended the following:

Special Preview: Social Media by Thomas Erickson

Interfaces.com was given a free advanced preview of Thomas Erickson’s report and videos on social computing. The videos are very well produced and provide an interesting point of view and good insights on social media. Below are few of my notes based on the video content and ideas discussed on this blog in the past (my former students should find these familiar). Social Media Definitions & Ideas Social Computing: this is really about groups working together using ICT (Information Communication Technologies). I think this is a broader definition then the one offered by Thomas Erickson, as it includes all forms of ICT. Social Scaffolding: we all have a set of social scripts — culturally-specific, socially constructed norms of behavior — that help us navigate group interactions and allow for self-organization of crowds, at least shot-term and for a limited goal (like crossing the street). [Please watch Dr. Erickson’s example of street crossing in “Video 4.3: Social Computing video 3 – Face-to-face Interaction as Inspiration for Designing Social Computing Systems”.] Product design needs to create opportunities for social interaction — these scaffolds have to be built into the system: meeting spaces, places to sit down, well-lit areas, easy communication tools, games,…