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    what term does don norman use to describe the model that explains the operation of the system in context so that it weaves together all of the essential components, providing a framework, a context, and reasons for understanding?


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    Design as Communication

    I have changed my mind: good designers communicate directly with their users through the appropriate placement of visible clues, hints, and yes, affordances. Once we start to view design as a form of communication between designer and the user, we see that perceived affordances become an importan...

    Home > Essays

    Design as Communication

    5 January 2019

    (This essay is available in Chinese at http://uigarden.net/chinese/opinion.php/2004/12/29/yu_she_ji_dui_hua)

    I was traveling, and once again I woke up to a strange hotel room in a strange city: Delft, The Netherlands in this instance. I went to take a shower to prepare myself for my 8:30 AM pickup. As I looked over the bathtub and shower, wondering where to put the soap, I realized that the design was talking to me. "Put the soap here," the metal dish on the side practically screamed at me. "Grab here," said the handle at the far side of the tub. I looked up at the showerhead fastened to the wall, then down along the tub to a strange hook-shaped device just above the tub. "What is that for?" I wondered, as my eyes searched for something relevant. I looked back at the shower head, and realized it was fastened to the wall with the same hook-like device, with a flexible tubing leading back to the faucet. I lifted the showerhead off its upper location and put it down below. Yes, it fit perfectly. "No," I said to no one in particular, "I like my shower above my head." I took one glance at the towel rack at the side, lined with towels, all appealing to me: "take me," each appeared to say. And as I prepared to take my shower, I looked back at the soap dish, which was still iplring "put the soap here," and firmly announced "no, I like my soap at the back end of the tub," and I put my newly unwrapped bar there, on the ledge so conveniently provided.

    Later, as I thought back about that morning shower, I realized I had been communicating with the designers. "Grab here," the bar was telling me. "Put the soap on me," the wire rack soap dish screamed. "Here are your towels," said the horizontal bars at the rear wall, at the end of the tub, conveniently stocked with towels. "Thank you, yes, and no, not for the soap," I was replying. I even spoke some of these comments aloud. To whom was I speaking? An observer would have thought me deranged, for there was no one in the room. Fortunately, I usually shower without an observer, but I was having a conversation with the designers, considering their suggestions, accepting some and rejecting others. The designers may not have been there to listen, but their statements clearly required an answer.

    Note that sometimes design is done by an individual, sometimes by a group. Designers sometimes are trained, often with degrees and certificates, sometimes not. But everyone is a designer at times, and whoever decided which soap dish to purchase and where to place it was designing, whether or not they had the official title of one. In the case of the bathroom, multiple designers were clearly involved, for the racks, bars, trays, tub, and shower equipment were commercial products, designed remotely in some industrial location, probably by different people in different companies, independently of one another. Whoever picked those particular products and configured them within the room was also designing, even if each of the individual items was already manufactured. Design is a complex activity, and most of the objects, spaces, and even services that we interact with were designed by multiple people, sometimes in synchrony with one another, sometimes not.

    Each placement of an object, the choice of materials, the addition of hooks, handles, knobs, and switches, is both for utility and for communication. The physical placement and the perceptual appearance, sound, and touch all talk to the users, suggesting actions to be taken. Sometimes this conversation is accidental, but in the hands of good designers, the communication is intentional. Design is a conversation between designer and user, one that can go both ways, even though the designer is no longer present once the user enters the scene. For this insight, I am grateful to Clarisse de Souza’s book Semiotic Engineering.


    Semiotics has a reputation for being difficult, abstract, and obtuse. This is most unfortunate, for as Clarisse de Souza illustrates in this powerful book, semiotics offers a compelling novel viewpoint. It is common to think of interaction between a person and technology as communicating with the technology. de Sousa shows that the real communication is between designer and person, where the technology is the medium. Once designs are thought of as shared communication and technologies as media, the entire design philosophy changes radically, but in a positive and constructive way. This book has changed my thinking: read it and change yours.

    Jacket blurb written for Clarisse Sieckenius de Souza, 2005, The Semiotic Engineering of Human Computer Interaction. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. (Norman, 2004.)

    When a designer announces "I put an affordance there," what could possibly be meant? To the purist, affordances simply exist they are the actions possible by an agent (usually a person) and the environment. But the concept was invented for the natural world, and when it comes to the physical, constructed world, it does make sense for a designer to have deliberately shaped and located the materials so as to afford action. Thus, a chair does indeed afford support, whether for standing, sitting, kneeling, or lying down, and this support has been deliberately designed in by the astute designer. An adroitly placed handle affords pulling, and so on. But when we talk about the virtual world of software and objects visible on display screens, then the term becomes problematical, for what could it possibly mean for a designer to draw a circle on the screen, announcing, "This is an affordance for clicking"? To the purist, this is a meaningless statement, because the screen is no more or less clickable after the presence of the circle than before.

    Source : jnd.org

    MIS 111 Exam 3 Flashcards

    Study MIS 111 Exam 3 flashcards. Create flashcards for FREE and quiz yourself with an interactive flipper.

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    MIS 111

    MIS 111 Exam 3

    123cards Sammie K. Computer Science Computer Security

    A graphical description of a database that describes the way in which an organization’s data and business activities are associated with one another is known as _______________:

    An Entity Relationship Diagram

    In a relational database, what term refers to the collection of items that are all related to a single unique value, where the single value often serves as the primary key?

    A record

    With respect to a database, what term is used to describe an abstract representation of all of the information included in a data structure about a particular type of entity?

    Entity Class

    Maintaining multiple copies of the same data in multiple information systems that can be independently updated commonly results in what information management problem?

    Data inconsistency

    In the Database Management case study discussed in class, how did marketing use information to improve the profitability of their sales?

    Customers were classified according into a status level and market segment

    Often presented visually on an executive dashboard, what type of report focuses attention on business processes whose performance falls outside the range of their defined KPI metrics?


    In the decision support process, formulating a module to be evaluated and setting criteria for making a choice would occur during what phase of the decision making process?

    Design Phase

    Business metrics that describe the performance of critical business activities are known as:

    Key performance indicators

    A business intelligence tool that uses abstractions such as color and graphical images like instrument gauges to allow executives to grasp business situations quickly is known as:

    Digital dashboard

    What type of problem has an optimal solution can be reached through single set of steps based on an algorithm?


    The characteristics of big data (data science) are described as being related to volume (of the information), velocity (speed at which information is collected), and what other characteristic?

    Variety (integrating data from multiples sources)

    Concerns over discrimination, data contamination, and intellectual property (ownership of information) were legal and ethical issues discussed in relation to what topic?

    Data mining

    When analyzing a set of click-stream data, what term is used describe the percentage of rows containing an item relative to the total number of rows?


    What is the term used to describe the process of reducing the number of dimensions of a multi-dimensional data cube (e.g., from three dimensions, perhaps season, location, and product, into two dimensions, such as season and location)?


    What type of data structure allows us to organize multi-dimensional information from a data warehouse so that it can be viewed using different data abstractions (or projections)?

    Data cube

    What type of data mining presents information graphically so that users are able to identify patterns in the underlying data?

    Data Visualization

    Identifying patterns in data based on common temporal (time) or spatial (geographic) traits is based on what type of data mining analysis?


    Subjective knowledge that is based an individual’s experiences is known as what?

    Tacit knowledge

    COPLINK, developed at the University of Arizona in the MIS Department’s Artificial Intelligence Lab, allows law enforcement officers to integrate database information to identify crime suspects based on limited information (e.g., a license plate number or nick name). Upon what information system technology is this system’s design based?

    Knowledge management

    In addition to possessing contextual and relevant information, what other characteristic aspect does knowledge possess?

    It is actionable

    The terms “contextual,” “relevant,” and “actionable” are commonly related to what term?


    An entrepreneur developing detailed documentation of their business processes so that they can be offered to other individuals as a franchise operation is an example of:

    Converting tacit knowledge into explicit knowledge

    Which of the following knowledge management concepts includes an organizational culture focused on problem solving, a desire to share knowledge because of mutual interest, and norms that build trust, such as might be found in an MIS 111 FlexLab?

    Community of practice

    Explicit, or “leaky” knowledge, is based on information that is:

    Objective and rational

    Blog tags and twitter hashtags (#MIS111) allow a community of users to connect information using a self-organized logical data structure known as what?

    A folksonomy

    The success of a Group Decision Support System (GDSS) is based upon two key features: contributor anonymity (i.e., the identity of the person making the comment or suggestion is not known), and what other important feature?

    Parallel Discussions

    The sequence of activities performed by users of GroupSystems’ ThinkTank product directly parallel the steps in what other business process?

    Knowledge management cycle

    The task of brainstorming in a group decision support system is similar to what step in the knowledge management cycle?

    Source : www.chegg.com

    MIS 111 Exam #2 Knowledge Checks Flashcards

    Knowledge Checks Learn with flashcards, games, and more — for free.

    MIS 111 Exam #2 Knowledge Checks

    Conceptual model

    Click card to see definition 👆

    What term did Don Norman define as story that puts the operation of the system into context, weaving together all of the essential components, providing a framework, a context, and reasons for understanding?

    Click again to see term 👆

    Web Content Accessibility Guide, Version 2.0

    Click card to see definition 👆

    The four guiding principles of accessibility (perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust) are included in what document?

    Click again to see term 👆

    1/25 Created by katieromero123 Knowledge Checks

    Terms in this set (25)

    Conceptual model

    What term did Don Norman define as story that puts the operation of the system into context, weaving together all of the essential components, providing a framework, a context, and reasons for understanding?

    Web Content Accessibility Guide, Version 2.0

    The four guiding principles of accessibility (perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust) are included in what document?

    The iDrive destroyed spatiality

    From Don Norman's perspective, what fatal flaw does the BMW iDrive (which he described as a well thought out, very logical, and sensible device) have with respect its human interface?

    Human Sensory Perception

    In the McGinn Model of Design, what is the most universally understood dimension of design?

    Allowing users unlimited time to complete tasks

    What POUR design recommendation might create security risks for banking systems and online testing environments?

    Increased complexity of communications

    According to the mythical man-month what is the reason adding people to a project will not speedup your project?

    Minimum set of tasks

    What is the critical path of a project?


    What is the movement of information as it flows through an organization's work procedures?

    Project monitoring and control

    What phase of the project compares the planned project cost and time with actual activities?

    Operational feasibility

    Which feasibility constraint considers the knowledge of the employees and the capacity of the production facilities?

    Design phase

    Which of the following refers to part of the decision-making process in which a method is selected for considering data?

    Inventory control

    Which of the following processes is NOT classified as an unstructured problem, according to the decision framework?

    Unstructured problem

    A complex password, using several variables and a number of characters, requires an impractical amount of time for a brute force attack to break the encryption. Strong encryption is similar to what type of decision support problem?

    Strategic planning

    Which of the following type of decisions are related to setting long-range goals and policies for a company?

    Structured problem

    What type of problem has a solution that can be reach through a single set of steps using an algorithm?


    What type of relationship among activities and decisions does a flowchart illustrate?

    Process Flow

    What do lines on a cross functional diagram illustrate?


    What type of model describes how a system works from the user's point of view?


    A single vertical column in a cross-functional diagram contains all tasks and decisions related to what?

    I^2 chart

    When several feasible ideas need to be evaluated, what type of diagram uses a method that ranks each idea on two dimensions allowing for a visual assessment of their comparative strengths?


    Along with metadata and relationships, the Semantic Web also includes information on what?


    As described by Kantar Retail, over 60% of mobile and tablet users consider themselves to be "always connected to the internet". The peak time for overall internet usage is in the late evening hours. When is the peak usage time for mobile

    telephone users?

    checking store hours

    Among metropolitan shoppers in Brazil, Mexico, and the US, what is the most popular usage for moble technology when shopping?

    New usage of a new service

    As described by Navteq, a "vertical context" for innovation around location is most likely to result in which of the following behaviors by a customer using the application?

    Ages 13-17

    According to the Nielsen Company, what age group is most likely to look at mobile advertising some or all of the time?

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