Tag Archive for YouTube

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!

How Do We Think of Brands

I found this video by Adam Ladd — he made a video of an interview with his 5 year old daughter talking about brands. He showed her some very famous logos, and she told him what she thought they were. Naturally, this is a girl from a middle class background, from America. The answers would be very different from a 5 year old brought up in Russia or Papua New Guinea. Notice how she is able to quickly identify a Nike logo. And Disney’s D. And what’s really amazing is that she knows what a logo is in the first place! This little kid has developed a brand p-prim! And she has a well-developed comprehension of visual symbols. I wonder how the same interview would play out in a different culture…

End-User Development (EUD) Educational Preview

This is an interesting collection of videos and background materials on End-User Development — situations when end users design and develop software for their own use. If you’re old enough, you would remember BASIC and HyperCard — tools that let anyone develop simple games and applications. A great example is “Spelunking” game totally developed in HyperCard (these guys when on to develop “Myst”!). I’ve made a few games like this myself. And of course FileMaker is another system that allows application development by the end users — we have one for time tracking. There have been many many others, and unfortunately, many of them are now gone. The discussion on what happens when end users develop for themselves is fascinating. Most times, these users are experts in their own fields and are not software developers (some have no and some have little formal training). Thus there are cultural differences between “real” programmers and end users that take up programming to achieve their own goals, often because they can’t find what they need out in the world. These end-user designed products have strengths and they also have many weakness. In particular, these products are tightly focused on the needs of those…