design research

Office Light Exposure Varies (10-14-20)

Peeters, Smolders, and de Kort report on variations in lighting experiences among people working in the same office.  The researchers report that when they “tracked office workers’ personal exposure during two three-week field intervention studies, one in winter, one in late spring. . . .  the person-based data revealed large differences between - and within - participants in terms of light received at the eye. . . . When designing the lighting plan for a space, the location and placement of light fixtures is a factor that should be considered.

Autism and Tactile Experiences (10-12-20)

People on the autism spectrum seem to have tactile experiences that are different from those of individuals not on the autism spectrum.  This has implications for the design of spaces that are likely to be used by these individuals.  A study published in Neurology reports that “‘More than 70% of people with autism have differences in their sensory perception,’ said study author Sung-Tsang Hsieh. . . .   53% of the people with autism had reduced nerve fiber density. . . .

Locations of High-Calorie Food (10-09-20)

We seem to have a special ability to remember the locations of high-calorie foods—no wonder our society is tubbier than it should be. De Vries and colleagues “explored whether human spatial cognition is enhanced for high-calorie foods, in a large multisensory experiment that covertly tested the location memory of people who navigated a maze-like food setting. We found that individuals incidentally learned and more accurately recalled locations of high-calorie foods – regardless of explicit hedonic [pleasure-related] valuations or personal familiarity with foods.

Lighting for Sleeping (10-08-20)

Investigators have found that varying lighting in nursing homes during the course of the day, so that light intensity and color mimics lighting conditions outdoors, supports better sleep among residents. Baier, Miller,  McCreedy, Uth, Wetle, Noell-Waggoner, Stringer, and Gifford, used data collected from study participants with an average age of 88 to better understand sleep related issues among nursing home residents: “Nursing home residents tend to fall asleep at all hours of the day, and during the night, their sleep may be interrupted by periods of wakefulness. . .

Consistent Fonts a Plus (10-07-20)

Huang and Liu, via a study published in the International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management,investigated how the alignment of fonts used with messages presented influences the success of charity appeals.  The researchers “asked prospective donors to consider whether and how much to give to a local food bank to help fight hunger during the coronavirus pandemic . . .

Navigation Variations (10-06-20)

Vaez and colleagues studied how people using different wayfinding tools traveled through a place they had never been before. Researchers worked with  “three groups of participants who used different navigational aids: a group with a paper map, a group with the Google Maps app, and a group relying on local signage only. . . .  participants who had never visited Brisbane, Australia. . . . undertook a two-hour pedestrian wayfinding task. . . . The GPS group preferred to follow the suggested route by their navigator, most of them ‘locking in’ as digital navigators throughout the task.

Choosing and Liking (10-05-20)

Selections and preferences were probed in a recent study.  Silver and colleagues report that “The question of how people’s preferences are shaped by their choices has generated decades of research. In a classic example, work on cognitive dissonance has found that observers who must choose between two equally attractive options subsequently avoid the unchosen option, suggesting that not choosing the item led them to like it less. However, almost all of the research on such choice-induced preference focuses on adults. . . .

Seeing Colors, Reading Their Names, Differences? (10-02-20)

Jonauskaite, Parraga, Quiblier, and Mohr assessed how consistent people’s emotional associations are when they read the name of colors and when they see patches of the same colors.  The team found “high similarity in the pattern of associations of specific emotion concepts with terms and patches . . . for all colours except purple. . . . We also observed differences for black, which is associated with more negative emotions and of higher intensity when presented as a term than a patch. . .

Curvilinearity/Rectilinearity: New Research (10-01-20)

Stanischewskiand team mates review and extend research related to human responses to curvilinearity and rectillinearity.  They share that previous research has shown that “Curvilinearity is a perceptual feature that robustly predicts preference ratings for a variety of visual stimuli. . . . The present results support the idea that people prefer curved stimuli over angular ones overall. Specifically, participants rated curved stimuli as more pleasing and harmonious than the angular stimuli.”


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