Research Design Connections

Experience Sampling App (06-16-17)

Many researchers use experience sampling to collect information about user experiences in existing spaces as those experiences unfold.  More specifically, experience sampling “is used to ‘sample’ from participant ‘experiences’ by asking them [the participants] to complete short surveys throughout the day.”   A new app, available at http://www.experiencesampler.com, can streamline experience sampling.  As Thai and Page-Gould state, “existing experience sampling methods may be costly, require constant Internet connectivity, may not be designed sp

Coworking and Community (06-15-17)

Garrett, Spreitzer, and Bacevice investigated the development of community at coworking sites.  They collected information via a qualitative study at an unnamed coworking space in a suburban Midwestern town.  As the researchers explain, they identified two factors that contributed to the development of a sense of community (SOC) at their research site “1) social . . . motivation for community, and 2) autonomous structure and practices allowing members to . . . align their community involvement with their desire for community. . . .

Mortality and Green Spaces (06-14-17)

Women living in greener spaces have lower mortality rates.  James and his colleagues report that “Green, natural environments may ameliorate adverse environmental exposures (e.g., air pollution, noise, and extreme heat), increase physical activity and social engagement, and lower stress. . . . Using data from the U.S.-based Nurses’ Health Study prospective cohort, we defined cumulative average time-varying seasonal greenness surrounding each participant’s address using satellite imagery. . . .We followed 108,630 women and observed 8,604 deaths between 2000 and 2008. . . .

Seeing the Coast and Feeling Pain (06-13-17)

Tanja-Dijkstra and her colleagues linked seeing coastal scenes via virtual reality and experiencing less pain (even during dental treatments such as tooth extractions and fillings).  They report that “Virtual reality (VR) distraction has become increasingly available in health care contexts and is used in acute pain management. However, there has been no systematic exploration of the importance of the content of VR environments. Two studies tested how interacting with nature VR influenced experienced and recollected [remembered] pain after 1 week. . . .

Walking, Cycling, and Light Levels (06-12-17)

How do light levels influence the number of people walking or cycling?  Uttley and Fotios answered that question by analyzing “Pedestrian and cyclist count data . . . using the biannual daylight-saving clock changes to compare daylight and after-dark conditions whilst keeping seasonal and time-of-day factors constant. . . . . Daylight increased pedestrian numbers by 62% and cyclist numbers by 38%. . . .

Humans' Preference for Shiny Finishes (06-09-17)

Research by Silvia and his team confirms that people prefer shiny objects to matte ones.   Silvia and colleagues share that “Researchers in the evolutionary aesthetics tradition have suggested that people prefer shiny objects because glossiness connotes water. We . . . present an experiment that manipulated the glossiness of metal objects. Young adults . . . viewed silver coins that were either dull or in ‘brilliant uncirculated’ condition as well as copper cylinders that were either rough and tarnished, polished with a brushed surface, or polished with a mirror finish.

Mirrors and Eating (06-08-17)

A press release from Nagoya University indicates that seeing ourselves while we eat affects how much food we consume.  The reported findings have repercussions for the use of mirrors and mirror-like surfaces in spaces where people will eat and are particularly relevant, for example, in environments for older individuals who often dine alone.  Researchers determined that “people eating alone reported food as tasting better, and ate more of it, when they could see themselves reflected in a mirror, compared with when they ate in front of a monitor displaying an image of a wall.”  Previous rese

Commuting and Control and Wellbeing (06-07-17)

Smith’s work verifies that having a comfortable level of control over our lives increases our wellbeing and it also supports adding bicycle storage rooms to office buildings.  Smith found that “Active travelers are happiest with their commute trips. . . .For car and transit commuters, traffic congestion significantly decreases commute well-being and using the trip productively increases commute well-being . . . Data were collected from a web-based survey of workers . . . in Portland, Oregon, U.S.A. with four modal groups: walk, bicycle, transit and car users. . . .

Equal Chair Heights (06-06-17)

Research by Baranowski and Hecht confirms that it's important for the seats of all people participating in a conversation to be about the same height above the ground.  The duo reports that “Film theories have long proposed that the vertical camera angle influences how the scene and the character in it are interpreted. An elevated camera (high-angle shot) should diminish the qualities of the actor, whereas a lowered camera (low-angle shot) should elevate the actor in perspective as well as in the viewer’s opinion. . . .

Pages

Research Conversations

RestroomSign

Public bathrooms can be designed so that they make the lives of users a little—or a lot—better.  Social science research details ways design can provide welcoming, comfortable experiences to everyone visiting a restroom.
 

MITLobby

Research on educational spaces, at both the pre K-12 and college/university levels, continues to generate fresh, important insights .  This new wisdom supports design options that make learning a more pleasant and productive experience. 
 

BeeInTheCatmint

Actively managing how a place or object smells is becoming increasingly accepted and strategically important.  Scientific studies detail how to create scent-scapes that drive design solutions to successfully meet objectives.
 

What scientists have learned about our experiences in vehicles should not only be applied when new transporting spaces are designed, but also as more stationary places are being developed.

PlaceCoach News Briefs

BeachWalk

Another reason to build in opportunities to walk, indoors and outside
 

SwedishFarmersMarket

Consistency matters, a lot

Green boosts workers' professional experiences

Use islands not aisles

Consider task difficulty

Motivating workers via workplace design

A guide to getting people where they want to be

Vegetation cover and mental health are related

Design at Work

TheGlasshouse

A space that makes happy memories more likely.