design psychology

Academic Meetings (10-30-19)

Weijs-Perree lead a team that investigated how university employees and students use spaces for face-to-face interactions.  They determined via data collected at a building at a Dutch university that “students more often interacted in meeting rooms than teaching staff, and support staff interacted less in eat/drink areas and the hallways than other users. . . . it is important that sufficient meeting rooms and concentration rooms for students are designed, as this user group uses these spaces more often compared to employees, who have more interactions at their workplace.

“Graspability” Key (10-29-19)

Maille and colleagues probed product “graspability.”  The team reports that “People like graspable objects more when the objects are located on the dominant-hand side of their body or when the handles point toward their dominant-hand side. However, many products do not have handles or are not graspable (e.g., services, objects hanging on the wall). Can nongraspable products nevertheless benefit from the effects of appealing to viewers’ dominant hands?

Experiencing Music (10-28-19)

Greer and team studied how music influences humans emotionally.  They report that “Musical features related to dynamics [loudness], register, rhythm, and harmony were found to be particularly helpful in predicting these human [emotional] reactions.”  In other words, particular aspects of music influence how we think and behave in certain ways.

Signaling Insights (10-25-19)

Wang, Liao, Lyckvi, and Chen studied the different implications of using visual and auditory alarms.  They determined via “data from two simulator studies . . . where the visual vs. the auditory modality was used to present the same type of advisory traffic information under the same driving scenarios. . . . that modality influences the drivers' behaviour patterns significantly. Visual information helps drivers to drive more accurately and efficiently, whereas auditory information supports quicker responses.

Need for Uniqueness: Effects (10-24-19)

A research team lead by Marschallek studied links between the personality factor need for uniqueness and visual aesthetic sensitivity.  The investigators asked study “participants to complete the German adaptation of the Need for Uniqueness scale (NfU-G) and the Visual Aesthetic Sensitivity Test (VAST)—including the VAST-Revised (VAST-R). The NfU-G measures the need to set oneself apart from others, whereas the VAST(-R) tests the ability to identify the objective aesthetic goodness of a figural composition. . . .

Lynch Today (10-23-19)

Park and Evans assessed the current relevance of Lynch’s work.  They share that “Kevin Lynch’s The Image of the City (1960) identified five physical elements—path, edge, district, node, and landmark—that are the building blocks of place.  Both the physical and sociocultural function of these elements, along with their locations, affects how we comprehend (legibility) and generate meaning of place (imageability). . . . dependence on LBS [location-based services, online applications that reflect users’ geographic locations and include navigation apps . . local weather functions. . .

Preferred Music (10-22-19)

Gold and colleagues establish that with music, as with other sensory stimuli, sometimes not straying too far from expectations is best.  The researchers found that “as music manipulates patterns of melody, rhythm, and more, it proficiently exploits our expectations. Given the importance of anticipating and adapting to our ever-changing environments, making and evaluating uncertain predictions can have strong emotional effects.

Crime and Climate (10-18-19)

Trujillo and Howley looked at relationships between climate and crime levels; their findings indicate the importance of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) in Torrid Zones and of tailoring CPTED features to an area.  The research team “investigates the relationship between weather and crime in Barranquilla, Colombia, a city in the Torrid Zone, which in contrast to more commonly studied temperate zones is hot and humid year-round.

User Size and Recommendations (10-17-19)

Vallen and colleagues have noted an interesting relationship between consumer physical forms and recommendations made to them; future studies that indicate if their findings can be applied in other contexts will be useful.  The Vallen-lead team found that “This research demonstrates that a consumer's physical appearance—and, more specifically, his or her body size—predictably influences the product(s) that the consumeris recommended. Four studies conducted in both field and lab settings show that agents more frequently recommend round (vs.

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