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26 Cards in this Set

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what goes on in our heads where we carry out our everyday activities.

Involves cognitive processes, like thinking, remembering, learning, daydreaming, decision-making, seeing, reading, writing and talking.

2 general modes of cognition (Norman 1993)

- experiental cognition

- reflective congition

experiental cognition

a state of mind in which we perceive, act and react to events around us effectively and effortesly.

e.g. driving a car, reading a book, having a conversation

reflective cognition

involves thinking, comparing and decision-making. This kind of cognition is what leads to new ideas and creativity.

e.g. designing, leaning

different cognitive processes:

- attention

- memory

- perception and recognition

- learning

- reading, speaking and listening

- problem-solving, planning, reasoning and decision-making


- the process of selecting things to concentrate on, at a point in time, from a range of possibilities available.

- involves our auditory and/or visual senses.

- allows us to focus on informantion that is relevant to what we are doing.

our goals

- if we know what we want to fond out, we try to match this with the information that is available.

- if we don't know what we want, we may browse through information, allowing to guide our attention to interesting or salient items

information presentation

the way information is displayed can also greatly influence how easy or difficult to attend to appropriate pieces of information.

design implications of attention

- make information noticable when ir needs attending to at a given stage

- use techniques like animated graphics, colour, underlining, ordering of items etc, to achieve it

- avoid cluttering the interface with too much information

search engines and form fill-ins that are simple are much easier to use


- refers to how information is acquired from the environment, via the different sense of organs and transformed into experiences of objects, events, sounds and tastes.

- it is complex, involving other cognitive processes such as memory, attention and language

- most dominant senses first vision, second hearing and then touch

desing implications of perception

- icons and other graphical repesentations should enable users to readily distinguish their meaning

- bordering and spacing are effective visual ways of grouping information

- sounds should be audible and distinguishable

- speech output should enable users to distinguish between a set of spoken words and understand the meaning

- text should be legible and distinguishable from the background

- feedback should be distinguishable


- involves recalling various kinds of knowledge that allow us to act appropriately.

- very versatile,enabling us to do many things

- filtering process is used

- people are better recalling things than recognising them

2 memory processes of remembering (Mark Lansdale and Ernest Edmonds 1992)

recall-directed following by recognition-based


- use memorised information about the required file to get as close to it as possible


when recall has failed remembering happening by reading through a list

memory load

- the requirement of remember and recall passwords and memorable words puts a big memory load on customers

design implications of memory

- do not overload users' memories with complicated procedures

- design interfaces that promote recognition rather than recall

- provide users with a variety of ways of encoding digital information to help them remember where they stored them (categories, colours, flagging, time stampling)


- it can be considered in terms of how to use a computer-based applicaton or using a computer based application to understand a topic

- people find it hard to learn from instructions and manuals, instead they prefer to learn through doing

training wheels

restricting the possible functions that can be carried out by a novice to the basics then expecting these as the novice becomes more experienced.

- helping users focus on simple operations before moving on to more complex ones


- highly effective interactivity

- abstract representations are linked together a more concrete illustration of what they stand for

e.g diagrams linked with simulation

design implications of learning

- design interfaces that encourage exploration

- design interfaces that constrain and guide users to select appropriate actions

- dynamically link concrete representations and abstract concepts to facilitate the learning of complex material

reading, speaking and listening

- 3 forms of language processing

- they similarity is that the meaning of sentences or phases is the same regardless of the mode in which it is conveyed

differences between reading, speaking and listening

- written language is permanent while listening is transient

- reading is quicker than speaking or listening

- listening requires less cognitive effort

- there are differences between people in their ability to use language

- people with hearing problems are restricted in the way they process language

- dyslexics have difficulties understanding and recognising written words

design implications of reading, speaking and listening

- keep the length of speech-based menus and instructions to a minimum

- accentuate the intonation of artifically generated voices

- provide opportunities for making text large on screen

problem solving, planning, reasoning and decision-making

- processes involving reflective cognition

- often involve conscious processes, discussion with others, and the use of various kinds of artifacts

- often involve comparing different information

- novices first slow, making mistakes

-experts are efficient fast and they think ahead more

design implications of problem solving, planning and decision-making

- provide additional hidden information that is easy to access for users wish to understand more about how to carry out an activity more effectively

- use simple and memorable functions at the interface for comutational aid intended to support rapid decision-making and planning that takes place while on the move