LeRoi Gourhan, a French Anthropologist, observed that during pre-historic times there was a close relationship between the evolution of the human brain and the hand. In science, the experimentation plays the role of the hand. There is a close relationship between new observations and new scientific ideas.
I just finished the book « Sketching User Experience » by Bill Buxton. This book in my view is an important book. It will have a profound impact on the designer community. They will say:
“WOW, I should have used this or that sketching technique and I would have saved huge amounts of time and money instead of building those expensive prototypes”.
It broadens the concept of sketching to the user interaction or in other words user experience.
The objective of a sketch is to verify an idea rapidly and cheaply. Bill extends the concept to user experience. He describes a multitude of sketching techniques such as Wizard of Oz, Video, and paper mockup as a way to test user experience rapidly and cheaply.
You have to provide your friend with driving directions to come to your home. All of a sudden, your are struggling. Is it two or three stops before turning right? Providing a direction can be very difficult even if you take that route everyday.
Cognition is distributed. Because our memory is optimized, our knowledge is ingrained within our Continue reading Usability versus Usefulness
Usability expresses the ease with which people can employ a particular tool or object in order to achieve a particular goal. Usability can also refer to the methods of measuring usability and the study of the principles behind an object’s perceived efficiency.
In human-computer interaction and computer science, usability usually refers to the efficiency or ease of learning with which the interaction with a computer program or a web site is designed.
Usability can be extended to multiple contexts such as consumer electronics, written instruction or mechanical objects.
Usability metrics are essentially:
Distributed cognition proposes that human knowledge and cognition are not confined to the individual. Instead, they are distributed by placing memories, facts, or knowledge on the objects, individuals, and tools in our environment.
Distributed cognition puts emphasis on the individual and his environment. In essence, when observing a user in real work setting, we take into account how knowledge is distributed among other users, tools, documents, and information systems.