Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Learning Log 5: Ch.3 and Ch.4

The subject of memory in chapter three was an interesting and entertaining topic. Norman highlights the overabundance of thing to commit to memory on regular basis. I can throughly understand as I can remember my PIN number, Familly Phone Numbers, Student ID number, SSN, and my license plate number. Norman elaborates on the types of memory we have as arbitrary, meaningful, and explanatory, all of which has applications in life. Arbitrary memory is simple and easy to commit to memory. Norman uses the multiplication tale as an example. I agree with that because as a kid in catholic school, the teachers were strict so everytime I got in trouble (A lot since I learned the tables in 2 weeks) I had write the multiplication tables a certain number of times. It sucked, on a massive scale. But I still pick out any equation of the top of my head and answer it (12x12=................144). Memory of meaningful relationships is another idea that I agree with as the mental model does play a role in what you remember. Metrocards (from learning log 2) are tricky and hard to use but I eventually figured out how to use them without swearing loudly by remembering the turnstile and the card in my head. Memory through explanation is probably one that I can see how it would work but have no examples of my own. I mean I did figure out how to do burnout in my automatic transmission car from my friend, but I wasn't really trying to wear my tires so my economy car can appear more than such. Norman analysis of memory its effects on how everyday actions and things we use is so easy to grasp.
Ch. 4 was a good too as it elaborated more on the designs and the number of parts involved with the product, dictating the degree of difficulty. The Lego example on page 83 is a design style as the pieces are easier to places, whereas the mixing control on pg. 93 is something only with training and familiarity can it become second nature. The use of pictures in this chapter is clearly for an explanative purposes even though the picture of the beer handle on the control panel of the nuke plant is pretty funny. Norman breaks down the everyday constraints by culture, physical, logical, and semantic constraints. I like how he uses the same example in each, as it makes each constraint easier to understand. The lego motorcycle helps explain most of the ideas. "The windshield only fits in one place"(Norman 84) (physical); "In the case of the motorcycle, there is only one meaningful location for the rider, who must sit facing forward. Te purpose of the windshield is to protect the rider's face, so it must be in front of the rider"(Norman 85) (semantic); "On the motorcycle the pieces with the word police on them have to be place right side up" (85) (cultural); "In the case of the motorcycle, logic dictated that all the pieces should be used with no gaps in the final product" (86) (logical). Norman continues on to talk about affordances and constraints being applied to everyday things, which is how it should be so that people don't mistakenly do something wrong. The doors on pg.90 are a good example of affordances and constraints. The push bar at the top has two sides so one cannot easily choose which side to push but the bottom push bar is easier to discern based on its placement. Norman also talks about visibility and feedback, things that even some technology in 2009 don't even feature.

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