design psychology

Experiences in Open Offices (11-16-18)

YouGov, a respected research organization, investigated in-office experiences.  The investigators determined that “In just the past six months, open office workers in major cities across the U.S. [New York, LA, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Detroit, Seattle, San Francisco and Houston] have: Gone to a closet or hallway to take a phone call: Almost 1 in 3 (31%);  Gone to the bathroom to take a phone call: 1 in 8 (12%); . . .

Political Implications of Urban Planning (11-15-18)

Urban/regional planning seems to have political ramifications. Researchers from the University of Waterloo determined that “Urban planning decisions from decades past are likely a contributing factor to the rise of right-wing populism. . . . development patterns that led to the reliance on the automobiles may also be fueling political attitudes that favour comfort and convenience and resist sustainable development. . . . In reviewing the data, the researchers found that the increasing use of the automobile heavily influenced land-use decisions and life-style choices.

Preferred Product Sounds (11-14-18)

Schutz and Stefanucci studied consumer preferences for product sounds.  They determined that “Interfaces play a crucial role in a device’s success or failure. Although visual aspects generally receive more attention, findings from sonic interaction design increasingly illustrate the importance of auditory aesthetics in creating desirable products. Here we show that small changes to the amplitude envelope (i.e., ‘sound shape’) of tones affect user preference.

Sensory Hierarchy (11-09-18)

Researchers have determined that the importance of sensory information received through various channels (via vision, touch, etc.) varies by culture.  As a press release from the University of York details, “the accepted hierarchy of human senses – sight [most important sense], hearing, touch, taste and smell [least important] – is not universally true across all cultures. . . . Researchers found that rather than being able to predict the importance of the senses from biology, cultural factors were most important. . . .

Restaurant Noise – How Much Is Too Much? (11-08-18)

Bottalico studied noise levels in restaurants and their implications.  He reports that “Previous studies have demonstrated that uncomfortably loud levels of background noise can result in decreased customer satisfaction and business for the restaurant. . . . [study participants with normal hearing]read passages to a listener in the presence of typical restaurant noise . . . with the level varying between 35 dBA and 85 dBA. . . . to improve the acoustic environment of restaurants, background noise levels should be lower than 50-55 dB(A).

Review of Research on Circadian Lighting (11-07-18)

Peeples has written a comprehensive, general press review of research on the implications of experiencing circadian lighting (or not), which is available free to all at the web address noted below.  Her work is a good introduction to circadian lighting for a non-technical audience. Peeples reports, for example that “there is little question that the study of human interaction with light is now in its heyday, and that the implications for our hopelessly indoor lives could be significant. . . .

Parks and Public Health (11-06-18)

Mullenbach  and her team studied links between park location and features and public health. They determined that “Walkable access to parks, sufficient park acreage, and investments in park and recreation resources are 3 indicators of quality city park systems. . . . . Data were obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 500 Cities Project, the Trust for Public Land’s City Park Facts Report, and the US Census Bureau. . . .

Is Sitting Really the New Smoking? (11-05-18)

Vallance and team set out to determine if too much sitting is indeed as bad for us as smoking.  They learned that smoking seems to have more negative health implications than sitting, although sitting for more than 8 hours a day does have undesirable repercussions on our health.  The researchers report that “Sitting has frequently been equated with smoking, with some sources even suggesting that smoking is safer than sitting. . . . sitting and smoking are not comparable. The most recent meta-analysis of sedentary behavior and health outcomes reported a hazard ratio of 1.22 . . .

Communicating Via Corporate Architecture (11-02-18)

Bargenda studied the silent messages communicated by corporate architecture. She reports that , “Architecture intersects with micro-level and macro-level marketing systems, as it inherently projects corporate identity while referring to broader artistic, social and historical parameters. . . . Especially in the finance sector, the rapid shift toward digitalization, crypto-currencies and online banking have dematerialized financial marketing systems.

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