Design Process and Issues

Handbook of Research Methods for Studying Daily Life

Practical guide for studying life as it's lived

Edited by Matthias Mehl, and Tamlin Conner. 2012. Guilford Press: New York.

The History of Green (10-27-14)

Pastoureau has written another one of his intriguing and well-researched histories of color; in this book he focuses on the color green.  Previously, he’s reported on blue and black.  Here, the author describes the color green’s "social, cultural and symbolic history in European societies, from Greek antiquity to the present." The fascinating text includes many lush illustrations.

Michel Pastoureau. 2014.  Green:  The History of a Color.  Princeton University Press:  Princeton, NJ.

Open Access Space Syntax/Sitting Survey (10-22-14)

Duncan and his colleagues have developed a survey, which is available to all at the web address noted below, that collects Space Syntax-related information.  The Office Environment and Sitting Scale (OFFESS) specifically assesses employee sitting behavior.  Information gathered can inform the design of more healthy workplaces, ones that support physical activity among employees.  As the authors report, “Spatial configurations of office environments assessed by Space Syntax methodologies are related to employee movement patterns.

Put Check Boxes on the Left (10-16-14)

When you’ve been writing online surveys, have you been wondering whether to put the check box (this is the square people click in to select an option) to the left or the right of the text of response options when they’re listed vertically?  Wonder no more.  Lenzner, Kaczmirek, and Galesic studied this issue, finding that  “questionnaire designers are advised to strive for layouts that facilitate the response process and reduce the effort required to select an answer. . . . placing the answer boxes to the left of left-aligned answer options. . . .

Looking Scientific Makes a Difference (10-13-14)

For better, or for worse, materials with visuals that seem scientific, such as graphs, are more persuasive than reports, etc., without them.  As Tal and Wansink determined, “The appearance of being scientific can increase persuasiveness. Even trivial cues can create such an appearance of a scientific basis. In our studies, including simple elements, such as graphs . . . or a chemical formula . . . increased belief in a medication’s efficacy. This appears to be due to the association of such elements with science, rather than increased comprehensibility, use of visuals, or recall. . .