Research done in the context of online shopping has implications for sharing images with design clients. Townsend and Kahn determined that although, if asked, consumers will state that they prefer to learn about a product by looking at a image of that product instead of reading about it, “visual presentation can lead to information overload and result in less systematic consideration.” Since design related decisions often have significant implications, this research indicates that verbal descriptions of design options are warranted when several are being consid
Chae and Zhu studied the psychological implications of being in disorganized or cluttered places. They ran four experiments placing people in more orderly and less orderly spaces and found that “individuals who were exposed to a disorganized . . .
People designing spaces in which donations will be sought can apply research done by Mehta and his team. They confirmed that seeing warm colors make people feel warmer, while cool colors have the reverse effect. In addition, views of warm colors were linked to volunteering time to a charitable project while cooler colors were tied to monetary contributions.
Koles and Nagy identify advantages virtual workplaces have compared to physical ones. The virtual worlds they discuss are 3-dimensional environments in which people interact with others in real time using avatars.
Neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) with private rooms may not be optimal environments for infants. Pineda and team evaluated 2-year-olds who had been patients in NICUs. Those who’d been randomly assigned to private rooms were different from those who had been in open ward NICUs - they had “lower language scores . . .
Researchers Arsel, Debenedetti, and Oppewal have found that home-like environments spur retail sales. As a press release from Concordia details, “Why put a big comfy couch in the corner of the local bookshop? Why provide stacks of board games free of charge at the corner café? . . . . Because by making people feel at home in a commercial space, marketers can turn their own clients into salespeople . . . . a sense of homeyness results in a fierce loyalty in customers, who in turn demonstrate an enthusiasm and sense of commitment that goes beyond the norms.
Retail design can help customers feel relaxed, and it seems that investments in calming shades of paint for walls, etc., are worthwhile. Pham and colleagues determined that being relaxed “increases the monetary valuation of products . . . in six experiments . . . participants who were put into a relaxed . . . state reported higher monetary valuations than participants who were put into an equally pleasant but less relaxed state. . . .
Reinholtz, Lee, and Pham have linked being in sunlight with taking risks. They determined that “exposure to sunlight, and not simply sunny weather, can increase an individual’s tendency to select a higher-risk course of action.” These findings support encouraging (for example, by adding clerestory windows) or discouraging (for example, by adding curtains) exposure to sunlight in spaces where risk-taking is more or less desirable – for example, places where different sorts of financial decisions are made.
Bernhofer and her team have gathered additional evidence indicating how important it is to maintain normal circadian rhythms and the role light can play in doing so.
Incorporating natural light into a space has documented positive effects on how humans perform cognitively and socially and using it indoors conserves our energy resources. Hargmann and Heikenfeld have developed a new way to bring natural light deep into building interiors. They determined that with “tiny, electrofluidic cells and a series of open-air ‘ducts,’ sunlight can naturally illuminate windowless work spaces deep inside office buildings and excess energy can be harnessed, stored and directed to other applications.” Diagrams at the website noted below effectively il