Scissors

This is a pair of scissors, with two holes ready for your fingers to go into. The bladder indicate to cut things.

The holes are referred to as affordances, allowing fingers to be inserted. They are also referred to as signifiers, indicating where the fingers are to go to (Norman, 2013). Signifiers identify clearly how people discover possibilities: signifiers are signs, noticeable signals of what can be done (Norman, 2013). The different sizes of the holes give constraints to the limitation of the number of fingers to be inserted: a big hole suggests several fingers whereas a small hole suggests only one finger (Norman, 2013). The mapping between holes and fingers suggests the set of possible operations, and is signified and constrained by the holes (Norman, 2013). Furthermore, the operation is insensitive to finger placement in which the scissors will still work if you use the wrong fingers but it is not as comfortably (Norman, 2013).

Norman, D. A. (2013). The design of everyday things. New York: Basic Books.

Hair dryer

As you can see from the picture of a hair dryer above, it reminds you of how important its existence to humankind. It can get your hair done drying in a span of a few minutes instead of waiting for it to air-dry which can take up about an hour. How amazing is this product?

The rectangular button-like thing affords the level of temperature by pushing up or down one or two levels. The relationship between a physical object and a person can be referred to as affordance (Norman, 2013). An affordance solely revolves around a relationship between the properties of an object and the capabilities of the agent that cause them to occur in a particular way, resulting how the object could possibly be used (Norman, 2013).

The qualities of the object and the abilities of the agent that are interacting are working together as one to have the presence of an affordance (Norman, 2013). People acknowledge that by pushing the rectangular button-like thing indicates the level of temperature when drying hair.

Norman, D. A. (2013). The design of everyday things. New York: Basic Books.

Sometimes I want it cold, sometimes I want it hot.

Water heater has increasingly become an essential household item in our lives. What are the chances of people wanting their need to be met, which in this case, shower with varying temperature. Water heater seems like the solution to the aforementioned need. Human-centered design (HCD) is an approach that prioritizes human needs, capabilities, and behavior first, then proceeds to design so as to accommodate those needs, capabilities, and ways of behaving (Norman, 2013). It is a human-centered design as human needs such as showering with hot or cold temperature are considered and put into work.

Water heater is a good design as it also includes good communication, which in this case from machine to person, showing people what actions are possible, what is happening, and what is about to happen (Norman, 2013). There are signifiers on the water heater, telling that their needs are going to be met by just simply pressing, clicking, or pushing.

Norman, D. A. (2013). The design of everyday things. New York: Basic Books.

beep means it is time to stop your car.

Vehicles’ parking sensors produce beep sound as an information to alert drivers when it detects object from the back. This happens when drivers reverse their vehicle during a situation such as parking. The beep sound produced acts as a signifier for people when it comes to parking.

The beep sound alerts drivers from running into objects, and sometimes it can be people too. As such, accidents can be avoided with parking sensors equipped in vehicles. Sound should be visible in the sense that it will signal something about the actions that are being taken place and also actions that matter to the users (Norman, 2013). Sound tells us about things that are out of reach by our eyes, and it does so while our eyes are occupied elsewhere therefore it is as essential as visual information (Norman, 2013).

This is a fairly good design as not only does it bring convenience but also ensure drivers’ safety.

References

Norman, D. A. (2013). The design of everyday things. New York: Basic Books.

This is a running armband for cell phones. When people go running, they bring their cell phones along for contacts, listening to music, setting timer etc. However, how does one take care of his or her cell phone when their hands are normally jiggling when running?  Plus, usually there are not pockets in running shorts and pants. Then there is the existence of running armbands for cell phones.

This is a good design as this product designed to tackle the aforementioned concern faced by people who go for running. This is an adjustable armband that allows people to adjust according to their comfort on their arm when they wear it. They can manually fasten how tightly they want. This is made to hold the cell phone in place in the armband when the arms are jiggling during a run. The chances are that the cell phone is normally stayed put in the armband, allowing the runners to be at ease.

This is fairly safe to use as the attachment is strong so as to hold the cell phone to hold in place. In light of human factor, this design is created to optimize the users’ ability to accomplish their tasks error-free and accept the system as a useful tool (Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, n.d.).

Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. (n.d.). Definition of human factors and ergonomics. Retrieved from https://www.hfes.org/Web/EducationalResources/HFEdefinitionsmain.html#industry

Car Phone Holder

This is a car phone holder that is specially designed for drivers’ convenience. We all know that drivers are not supposed to get a hold of phone when they are driving, but, the question is, what if they need global positioning system (GPS) in order to reach their desired destination?

In my opinion, this is a well-designed object for the sake of drivers’ convenience as well as their safety. Drivers can secure the phone holder by adhering it to the car’s windshield which is appropriate to them. Now they can conveniently place their mobile phone in the holder when they need to use GPS while they are on the road. Not only are their hands freed from being occupied by holding phone while driving, they are also freed from having to juggle between holding onto the steering wheel and holding phone at the same time that is critically dangerous. This sparks the human factors engineering which is the discipline that is to be achieved by identifying and addressing the aforementioned issues (PSNet, 2016).

 

PSNet. (2016). Human factors engineering. Retrieved from https://psnet.ahrq.gov/primers/primer/20/human-factors-engineering

 

 

Hövding: An Airbag for Cyclists

Airbags are usually made for vehicles and are a vehicle safety device. Recently, cyclists need not fear when they are on the road as airbags have been specially made for them, too. In my opinion, this is a rather life-saving device for cyclists as it is not just a regular bicycle helmet but an airbag that has higher-level shock absorption during an event of an accident. It could save cyclists’ lives. The quality of use of this particular design including usability and user health and safety has met the criterion of having a very good understanding of the context of use of the design (Maguire, 2001).

This cyclist airbag goes by the name Hövding and it is a thoughtfully designed safety device for cyclists. It does not only provides protection for cyclists’ head and neck but also covers a bigger area as compared to a traditional bicycle helmet. It works through advanced sensors in the airbag, tracking the cyclist’s movement and it deploys.

In many years, cyclists were seriously injured or killed. However, with Hövding produced in the market it can save a cyclist’s life, if not lessen the degree of injury.

This is a good user-centered design especially for cyclists. They can cycle with airbags worn around their head and neck, deploying any time in the event of an accident. They will be protected like those who drive a car.

References

  1. Maguire, M. (2001). Methods to support human-centered design. Int. J. Human-Computer Studies, 55, 587-634. doi:10.1006/ijhc.2001.0503

a poorly designed discussion room in a library

This is a discussion room in a library in a particular university. This is a poorly designed discussion room as you can see from the above picture in which the dividers are not entirely attached to the ceiling, making it not soundproof. Libraries, in general, are designated quiet places for people to read. In other words, everyone is asked to be shushed; there is no phone rings and no group study.

However, from the university’s perspective of building a discussion room in the library, the authority wants to provide an innovative solution to suit students’ need of wanting more space to have discussion besides student lounge which only feeds a few measly students. Unfortunately, when noise is produced, it immediately becomes an unpleasant occurrence in said library.

This is not a perfect user-centered design as it may bring convenience for people that need to use the discussion room, those that are in the library may experience trouble by getting distracted or annoyed by the noise that they might produce.

Apart from the undone dividers in the discussion room, the importance of designing the discussion room to be soundproof should take into account as well. The discussion room should be designed like an anechoic chamber which is like a room that is designed to entirely absorb reflections of either sound or electromagnetic waves (Omics International, 2012). Most importantly, outside can be insulated from the interior sources of noise (Omics International, 2012).

While this design is usable but it is definitely not satisfying as it can bring trouble to people.

References

  1. Omics International. (2012). Retrieved from http://research.omicsgroup.org/index.php/Anechoic_chamber