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The Design of Everyday Things

I agree with the reading in how so many things in our lives are hard to use for no reason at all. It reminds me of one of the first assignments we had in class, to redesign an object we normally use. When something is well-designed there should be no reason for complications. I feel that so many designers today are too caught up with making things look cool that people want to buy it, but their designs can lack usability and understanding. I learnt in the readings that in order to be successful, things have to be visible and have a good conceptual model for the user, and there has to be good mappings and feedback as well.

The term “affordance” is very interesting because people understand how to use an object based on it’s material, shape and design. It’s also crazy how many “everyday things” there are. I like the author’s thoughts on errors (he said if one is possible, someone will make it). That’s why designers should take into account possible errors and try to minimize them as much as possible. I also found it funny when it spoke about people blaming themselves or “the wrong cause” because I know that when something doesn’t work for me I tend to do that too. Subconsciously, we use things that work, but when they do work it’s probably because they were designed the right way.

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Visual Design of Interactive Software for Older Adults

This article was very interesting to me—I would like to get involved in work like this. I’m fascinated by the differences between younger users and older ones such as putting the menu at the bottom of the screen so it is easier to read through bifocals. Nurses were frustrated with the slow pace of the animations, but older adults need them to be slower. And the designers deliberately made the text larger, but the older adults wanted the text to be even bigger. I once picked up an interesting book off a free shelf at work, but it turned out to be ‘large print’ and I could not read it because the text was TOO BIG. I never thought that could happen.

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my logo

Hey everyone,

I need your help! in starting to work on our final project and after listening to our guest lecturer last week I though about making a site that shows my work, maybe focusing print designing. While brain storming for logo designs I decided to combine my initials K and R and developed the name “KReative designs” and made a few sketches of logos that I thought were interesting. I also thought of having the possible slogan”designing outside the box”. I just would like to know which logo everyone thinks has the most potential for developing into my official logo! I accept constructive criticism so I encourage feedback! Thanks a lot everyone!


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The Design of Everyday Things

It’s interesting that we tend to blame others or the environment for our errors, EXCEPT when it comes to simple things, where we employ ‘learned helplessness’. Fascinating that the secretaries did not report their difficulty with ‘return’ and ‘enter’ because they blamed themselves. I wonder if phone systems have improved since this book was written in 1988. I’ll check the film & media department’s phones.

What Norman calls natural mapping I have always referred to as “intuitive”. Same idea. Apple makes incredibly intuitive items. Consumers Reports gives advice on how easy products are to use. I’ll bet AARP gives advice too!

I was surprised to hear that new products take 5 or 6 tries to get it right. I would have thought that market testing would have reduced that number more. Perhaps it is difficult to assess everyone’s ‘gulf of execution’ and ‘gulf of evaluation’, just like with the secretaries.

3 Things That Are Designed Well:
Subway tokens: there’s only one way to insert into slot
Wind up alarm clocks: you can choose to set it each night
Sash windows: it’s pretty ingenious how they stay up

3 Things That Are Designed Poorly:
Subway metrocards: four ways to swipe, but only one is correct—plus you can’t go too slowly or too quickly or it won’t work
Electronic alarm clocks: they buzz automatically every morning, so if your neighbor is on vacation—you get to hear their clock buzz for an hour
Casement windows: it’s hard to insert screens, so people have trouble keeping bugs out, and cats in

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Directed Storytelling

The text says that directed storytelling is what one can do when there isn’t enough time for more in-depth research (ethnography). However, it seems as if directed storytelling is a branch of market research. If an instructor explains what doesn’t work in Blackboard in step-by-step detail, then that is like a research interview. If a group of people are involved in gift-giving storytelling then it seems like a focus group. If anyone has a deeper understanding of the definition of these words, I’d like to understand the distinctions better.

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Shelley Evenson

I agree with this reading in that intuition is good, but may not be good enough when you don’t have personal experience. I think that “direct storytelling” is an interesting approach to experience something without having to do such thorough research when it’s not possible. I feel like the process of direct storytelling is very much like doing an interview. Questions are asked, stories are told, and then the information is interpreted and presented to others.  

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John Jennings

Who would’ve thought that hip hop and graphic design are so similar? They’re both means of communication, they both concentrate on representing ideas and connecting people with  community, and they’re both  “definite subcultures”. Additionally, they also share the problem of being victim to the corporate world who caters to statistics and target audiences but not real people, which can lead to a distorted view to what design and hip hop actually are. I thought that the projects that were done were great because they dealt with everything from self-perception, other people’s perceptions of you, linguistics and consumer culture.

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Will Dance for Fonts

Gotham Thin and Bold Font –

Does anyone have this font?  I need it for a project and can’t find it anywhere (not for less than $300 anyway).

I would be willing to boogie for exchange.

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Elecoffee machine

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Hip Hop Culture Reading

I can understand how Hip Hop was an way for people to release their pressure and was an outlet to express their feelings and thoughts of what was going on at the time. I too use music as an outlet to express my feelings, and as a way to escape reality.

Today, the media has portrayed Hip Hop with violence, sex and drugs. Hip Hop is not what it seems to be. In the earlier years of Hip Hop, if you listen to the lyrics, it was about current events that was going on at the time and struggle people were encountering. Now, it is about money, power, violence and sex. The face of Hip Hop has changed over the decades and the image can represent the positive and the negative of the Hip Hop culture.

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