Learning Portfolio 3 – Q2 Examples

Item 1 – HP Wireless Printer

HP

(Image: http://pchardwarepro.com/hp-wireless-printer-issues-and-remedies/)

I have a HP Photosmart Wireless Printer at home, and I think it is one of the best printers I have purchased – one of the reasons why is because it is wireless.

Printers always used to have to be connected to a computer by a cable (some still do) in order for you to print something. Yes, you can network a printer so other computers can access it, but the beauty of wireless printers is that you can print from anything – a iPhone, iPad, tablet… As long as you are in range with that wireless network and your printer is on, you can print to it. What is even more exciting, is that you can send documents to print to your home printer from anywhere in the world via logging into the website and connecting to your printer.

This makes the performance load of having to print documents much much easier as you dont always have to rely on the specific computer that the printer is connected to. You are using less kinematic load to complete this task because there are not a lot of steps required to accomplish the task (Lidwell, Holden, & Butler, 2010)

Item 2 – USB/Flash Drive

usb-flash-drive-icon

(Image: abelsky.over-blog.com)

USB or Flash drives would have to be one of the most genius creations that makes lives very simple. USB’s allow you to save, store and transport data from one device to another. Gone are the days when you had to email yourself documents or links to websites, save files onto a CD-ROM or Floppy Disk, USB’s are small and compact which makes them easy to carry around, and they require hardly any cognitive or kinematic load to use – you just have to plug them into a USB port on a computer and away you go. It makes file transferring and storage simplified and less time consuming.

Item 3 – Kitchen Timer

kitchen-timer2

(Image: johnpoelstra.com)

Kitchen timers decrease the cognitive load quite dramatically. When you are using a timer whilst cooking, you are not required to remember what time you put something in the oven, and keep an eye on the clock to know when it needs to come out. You can set the time as soon as it is in the oven and then continue on with other tasks without having to keep reminding yourself of what the time was when it started cooking.

Because there are a less number of commands that you need to remember, you are less likely to end up with a burnt dish!

References

Lidwell, W., Holden, K., & Butler, J. (2010). Universal Principles of Design. Massachusetts: Rockport.

Learning Portfolio 3 – Q1 Summary Part 3

Psychology is extremely vital and necessary in design. The idea is that “If we know hows and whys of human psychology in design, we can design better, and complete our jobs as designers” (Goel, n.d.)

Knowing how people react to visual elements allows us as designers to craft an effect design (Johnson, 2012). It is important to understand who you are designing for and why, which will allow you to provide a more tailored design to your client.

It is essential to study the functions of the human brain, because at the end of the day they are your target audience and you need to know what they find visually appealing and why, does it ignite certain emotions or memories, are they positive or negative? All these are questions that need to be addressed initially in the design process.

References

Goel, N. (n.d.). Using human psychology in design—Why do we work? Retrieved May 10, 2013, from Symmetry Code: http://symmetrycode.com/exploiting-human-psychology-in-design-why-we-work-design-theory/

Johnson, R. (2012, August 2). 10 Psychological Principles to Design With. Retrieved May 10, 2013, from 3.7 Designs: http://3.7designs.co/blog/2012/08/10-psychological-principles-to-design-with/

Learning Portfolio 3 – Q1 Summary Part 2

“Chunking is a strategy used to improve memory performance. It helps you present information in a way that makes it easy for your audience to understand and remember” (CA Software in Practice, n.d)

The best way to remember important information such as numerical sequences is to remember them in “chunks”. With regards to chunking in design, I believe that it is extremely vital to apply this technique within web design. When designing a website, designers and developers need to be aware that not a lot of web users will read long passages of text on their screen, they will more than often save it to their hard drive or print them so it is more comfortable for them to read. (Web Style Guide, 2004)

Chunking within web design can also allow the design to look uniform and cohesive, which allows the user to be aesthetically pleased with the design. If you were to view a website that had text displayed all over the page versus a website that had text in sections, which would be easier to read? Web users will often remember the information more when it is displayed in chunks, as pages of mass text tend to disinterest and disorientate users, especially when they have to scroll down for long distances in order to view further information. (Web Style Guide, 2004)

Users “…skip straight over large blocks of text unless the first two words grab their attention.” (Nichcy, n.d.) so that explains to designers that we we design layouts for websites, it is important to ensure that the layout of the text is in sections (or chunks) so it makes it more visually engaging for users as well as educational.

As well as breaking up information into sections, other design elements that can be used within chunking are using Headings, Sub-headings, Bullet Points, breaking longer documents into separate pages etc..

References

CA Software in Practice. (n.d, n.d n.d). Chunking Principle. Retrieved May 10, 2013, from CA Software in Practice: http://www.chambers.com.au/glossary/chunking_principle.php

Nichcy. (n.d.). Chunking your Content. Retrieved May 10, 2013, from Nichcy: http://nichcy.org/dissemination/tools/webwriting/chunking

Web Style Guide. (2004, March 5). Chunking Information. Retrieved May 10, 2013, from Web Style Guide: http://webstyleguide.com/wsg2/site/chunk.html

Learning Portfolio 3 – Q1 Summary Part 1

This week’s article was on Performance Load and the different types of loads – Cognitive and Kinematic.

Cognitive Load is best described as the amount of mental activity that is used to complete a task (Cooper, 1998), and Kinematic Load is best described as the amount of physical activity to complete a task. (Lidwell, Holden, & Butler, 2010)

The idea that tasks that require more mental activity and problem solving to actually complete the task, will interfere with the learning process associated with the task. (Sweller, 1988). The less mental activity that we use to perform a task will always result in fewer errors and will always allow us to complete the task.

Whatever task we are undertaking, it should have the performance load minimised as much as possible (Lidwell, Holden, & Butler, 2010). Our minds are limited in respect to how much information we can hold in them and how many tasks we can undertake. (Cognitive Load Theory, n.d.)

If a task is going to take too many steps, such as clicks on a mouse to get to a desired web page, the user will find this all too time consuming and argue if it is really worth it.

References

Cognitive Load Theory. (n.d.). Retrieved May 10, 2013, from University of South Alabama Online Learning Laboratory: http://www.southalabama.edu/oll/mobile/theory_workbook/cognitive_load_theory.htm

Cooper, D. G. (1998, December). Research into Cognitive Load Theory and Instructional Design at UNSW. Retrieved May 10, 2013, from Research into Cognitive Load Theory and Instructional Design at UNSW: http://dwb4.unl.edu/Diss/Cooper/UNSW.htm

Lidwell, W., Holden, K., & Butler, J. (2010). Universal Principles of Design. Massachusetts: Rockport.

Sweller, J. (1988). Cognitive load during problem solving: Effects on learning. University of New South Whales, School of Education. n.a.