design psychology

Drawing: Does It Still Matter? (11-16-16)

Drawing Futures teaches us that drawing still matters.  As reported in Allen, Pearson, Sheil, and Migayrou’s edited volume, “Despite numerous developments in technological manufacture and computational design that provide new grounds for designers, the act of drawing still plays a central role as a vehicle for speculation. . . . Drawing Futures will present a compendium of projects, writings and interviews that critically reassess the act of drawing and where its future may lie. . . .

Signaling Environmentally Responsibility (11-15-16)

Lee, Jung, and Chu have researched design elements linked to environmental responsibility.  They learned that  “[hybrid] cars deemed to be more environmentally friendly were those with a . . . simple and rounded shape, and with a matte finish. Also, green, blue, and white colors were better signs of environmental friendliness than red or black. . . . green cue prominent design is perceived as being more attractive when it is for a hybrid car, but not for gasoline engine cars. . .

Camouflage and Speed (11-14-16)

Want to change the speed at which something appears to move?  Camouflage it.  Hall and her team report that “Static high contrast (‘dazzle’) patterns, such as zigzags, have been shown to reduce the perceived speed of an object. . . . Dynamic stripe patterns moving in the same direction as the target are found to increase the perceived speed of that target, whilst dynamic stripes moving in the opposite direction to the target reduce the perceived speed.”

The Cost of Commuting (11-11-16)

Anyone siting a new office—or homes for people working in that office—will be interested in research conducted by FiveThirtyEight.  Bialik reports that the group probed, via data obtained from StreetEasy, a real estate listing service, how much are people “willing to pay to shave a minute off [their] commute? For New Yorkers, the answer appears to be around $56 per month. That’s how much more New Yorkers pay in rent, on average, for a one-bedroom apartment that’s a minute closer by subway to Manhattan’s main business districts. . . .

More On Regulating Circadian Rhythms (11-10-16)

Researchers from University College London have learned more about how non-visual experiences influence whether people’s circadian rhythms are synchronized with their location on the planet.  This coordination is important because when it is absent, people feel stressed.  The UCL team found via research with fruit flies that “Body clock function can break down when light and temperature levels throughout the day are out of sync. . . .

Product Choice and Control (11-09-16)

Chen, Lee, and Yap probed how feelings of control influence product selections.  Their findings have a number of potential design applications, for example, for understanding actions/statements by employees with different perceptions of control over their life experiences participating in design research projects or making design decisions.  Chen, Lee, and Yap learned that “consumers compensate for a loss of perceived control by buying utilitarian products (e.g., household cleaning agents) because of these products’ association with problem solving, a quality that promotes a sense of contro

Beautiful? (11-08-16)

Rabb and his team set out to learn more about how we decide if something is beautiful and about relationships between sensory experiences.  They found that “Aesthetic judgments typically involve assessments of one’s own responses and thus are partly or largely subjective.

Anthropology and the Future (11-07-16)

A new book probes links between design anthropology and future experiences.  As sell materials for Design Anthropological Futures on its publisher’s website describe, the text  “explores design anthropology's focus on futures and future-making. . . . Divided into four sections – Ethnographies of the Possible, Interventionist Speculation, Collaborative Formation of Issues, and Engaging Things – the book develops readers' understanding of the central theoretical and methodological aspects of future knowledge production in design anthropology.

Offices, 2016 (11-04-16)

The British Council for Offices sponsored research on the workplace design-related opinions, expectations, and experiences of office workers.  The design of spaces where people work should align with tasks to be accomplished, organizational culture, etc., so although the insights shared are interesting, they do not necessarily indicate how workplaces should be designed.  Findings are available free at the website noted below.

Designing for People With Low Vision (11-03-16)

Nolen and Simon investigated the best design for circulation routes used by people with low vision.  They report that “Our dependence on vision is crippling our other senses. . . . Experiencing architecture is not merely a sighted activity. We inhabit a space with our whole being. . . . What is architecture in a world without vision? How can someone move throughout space without seeing it? How might we perceive space if we ignore our dominant visual sense to focus on the other often ignored senses? We began to address these questions . . .


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