Recommend me a software for editing photos and creating new designs, please. Well, there are many different programs to work with graphics, a list of photo editing software you will find the link. The most popular software programs now are Adobe Photoshop, Corel Draw and Adobe Illustrator. Here you can download this software: download adobe photoshop cs5
Download CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X5 Download Illustrator CS4 I hope I helped you! Yes thanks, this information helped me a lot, I downloaded Adobe Photoshop and is very happy with it.

Archive for the ‘Related Fields’ Category

Are MOOCs Changing the Way We Learn?

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

Massive open online classes (MOOCs) burst onto the education scene over the last few years.  Millions of people have taken them with some classes hitting initial enrollments of 100,000 plus! The New York Times dubbed 2012 the Year of the MOOC and the likes of Stanford, Harvard, MIT and Northwestern are MOOCing their educational content and learning experiences.

Studying the effectiveness of MOOCs is a hot topic and definitely relevant for cognitive designers. So I am always on the lookout for scientific quality studies with design implications.  For example, a series of working papers has been released on several of the MOOCs run on edX. These MITx working papers  include a summary of the experience and papers on individual MOOCs ranging from solid state chemistry to fighting global poverty.

A few of the findings hint at non-traditional learning phenomenon. For example, not surprising completion rates are very low but there is some evidence that those that drop out still engage with the materials during/after the course. This signals big interest in getting access to world-class content but less interest in engaging in structured learning.   On average, 50% of the students are leaving within two weeks of enrolling.  Further supporting this hypothesis.

Interested to hear from readers that are evaluating MOOCs and considering how we can use them to support and enhance the cognition of learning.


Using Game Data to Study Learning Strategies

Friday, January 24th, 2014

Practicing by learning from experience is important in sports and many types of knowledge work.  Deliberate practice that involves dynamically adjusting the difficulty of the practice task,  is often touted as the best way to rapidly move up the learning curve from novice to expert.  One reason video games are so engaging is that they use levels, restarts and automatic dynamic difficulty adjustment to keep you at the edge of psychological flow and in deliberate practice mode.

Understanding the cognition of learning is fundamental to good game design and vice versa. For example, recent research reported in Psychological Science reveals that players of the game Axon where able to improve their performance quicker by engaging in specific learning strategies.

The more effective learning strategies included previewing (exploring how the game worked) and spacing out their practice session.  These are two strategies that you can easily build into other types of facilitated or self-directed study materials or learning processes.  For example, the static chapter previews offered in traditional textbooks might be far more effective if there were hyper-linked.

Studying people as they play video games or massive online multi-player games offers a new view into the cognition of learning compared to what we have learned from the lab or field.  As the authors point out:

“This kind of data affords us to look in an unprecedented way at the shape of the learning curve, allowing us to explore how the way we practice helps or hinders learning,”

This is especially important for cognitive designers as games are one context where learning is pleasurable and participants are blissfully productive sometimes to extreme levels.


Do Good Stories Change Your Brain?

Sunday, January 5th, 2014

There is no doubt that stories have a big impact on how we think-and-feel. They influence attention, memory, motivation, learning, decision-making, creativity and a host of other mental activities. Some say, a specific story has even change their life.  How stories work their psychological magic is of central concern to cognitive designers so I am always on the look out for new scientific studies that offer insights.

For example, recent research from the Center for Neuropolicy at Emory University suggests that stories not only impact our psychology they may have lasting impact on the activation and wiring of our brains.  The researchers asked 21 undergraduates to read Robert Harris’s  novel Pomepii and found that neural changes persisted in their brains for five days.

One interesting finding:

“The neural changes that we found associated with physical sensation and movement systems suggest that reading a novel can transport you into the body of the protagonist,”

Persistent changes in biology signal just how powerful the effects of story are.

Interested to hear from readers about stories that have changed their lives / brains.


Northwestern Offers 1-Year Coaching Certificate

Friday, December 20th, 2013

Being an effective workplace coach means you understand how people’s minds work especially when they learn and change. That’s the focus of a powerful new coaching program being offered in the learning and organizational change program at Northwestern.  You will:

“Look deeply at the theory and practices behind learning and human performance in organizational settings while building a consulting “toolkit” that will help you be a more effective change leader.”

To earn a certificate you need to complete four courses. You can do that in a year from anywhere in the US.   The program begins in March 2014 and there are two virtual information sessions in January.

If there is one coaching program I can recommend for cognitive designers this is it!


150 Ways to Make Your Organization More Agile

Monday, November 11th, 2013

The Management Innovation Exchange (MIX)  in cooperation with the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) recently conducted a hackathon involving some 1700 HR professionals and business leaders aimed at cracking the code on agility.  They released a report that summarizes nearly a 150 ideas organized into 9 design principles ranging from experimentation and learning to purpose and meaning.  Nearly all of the design principles involve individual or group cognition and should be of interest to readers of the cognitive design blog.

For example, one idea to is facilitate corporate earthquakes:

“The Corporate Earthquakes hack is all about crafting and anticipating an organization’s future by envisioning the unthinkable nightmares and dreams of tomorrow. This is done by designing and running corporate-wide hackathons focused on extreme, unusual, apocalyptic and why-not challenges and situations.  The process is designed to be fun and inspire creativity, with possible corporate earthquakes including everything from likely industry shifts to unlikely events like mass alien abductions. “



How Does Hand Washing Impact Cognition?

Monday, November 4th, 2013

How we use our bodies impacts our thinking, learning, decision-making and other cognitive functions. The entire field of embodied cognition is devoted to understanding how body behaviors and mental performance interact.   For example, literally “stepping back”, folding your arms or walking around have all been shown to improve problem solving outcomes.

Findings in embodied cognition are especially relevant for designers because they tell you what people should do to produce specific mental states. So I am always on the look out for new scientific finding in embodied cognition. Take for example the recent work at the University of Cologne on hand washing.

Not only did they find that it tends to make you more optimistic after a failure, but they found that it leads to poorer performance in the same context.

This is a strange result as we normally associate optimism with higher levels of performance.  Here is the explanation:

“… it can be concluded from the results that while physical cleansing after failure may eliminate negative feelings, it reduces the motivation to try harder in a new test situation to restore one’s own perception of competence. Hence, physical cleansing seems to result in being in a better position to deal with failure.”

Clearly more research is needed but it does bring to mind the old metaphor or saying: I am washing my hands of this situation.


Guilt Can Actually Weigh You Down

Monday, October 21st, 2013

In cognitive design we focus on how to translate scientific insights into how minds work into new products, services, process improvements, better work environments and other innovations.   One important insight with plenty of innovation potential is that our mental processes – thinking, learning, making decisions, self-control and the like, very much depend on how we use our bodies. That is, cognition is embodied.  For example, we think better when we walk and gesture freely with our arms.  So I am always on the lookout for new research into embodied cognition that could have practical implications.

For example, a recent study from Princeton University found that feeling weighed down by guilt is more than a metaphor:

“We found that recalling personal unethical acts led participants to report increased subjective body weight as compared to recalling ethical acts, unethical acts of others or no recall. We also found that this increased sense of weight was related to participants’ heightened feelings of guilt, and not other negative emotions, such as sadness or disgust.”

This finding may have practical consequences.  For example, related research suggests you may be able to regulate moral behavior by simulating the experience of being weighted down. Imagine for a moment if wearing a heavy backpack would actually decrease the chance of cheating on an exam or lying.

Interested to hear from readers that have seen other recent results from embodied cognition that could be useful to designers.

Image Source:  Richard Gunther on


The State of Creativity in the US

Sunday, September 22nd, 2013

There is little doubt that creativity and innovation plays a  big role in the US economy.  Translating new ideas into better ways of working and market-busting products and services is a serious engine of value creation. Few debate that but many debate how well the US is doing with innovation.  Some argue we have a creativity crisis while others argue we are on the cusp of an innovation-driven economic revolution.

A recent column by  Geoff  Colvin in Fortune Magazine, A Mighty Culture of Innovation Cannot Be Taken For Granted, offers some interesting insight into the debate.  Quoting two global studies he  notes that the US scores high in innovation and that countries that do better tend to be much smaller.  The US is the best large and innovative economy by far.   Mr. Colvin also suggest that the reason for that is culture.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that by some measures it looks like the US’s culture of innovation is eroding.  For evidence he quotes the World Values Study that ranked the US 10th on placing importance on “thinking up new ideas and being creative”. More alarming is the finding that Torrance test scores have been declining since 1990.  The Torrance test has been used to measure the level of creativity in US students for over 50 years.

For a counter point check out Fast Company’s 10th Annual Innovation by Design Issue.  A major theme is how the US consumer is putting a premium on great experiences and products with high design content. Design thinking  both reflects an innovation culture and transforms an innovation-driven economy.

Of special interest to readers of the Cognitive Design Blog is the section outlining where is designing going next.  Margaret Rhodes points out:

“Thoughtful design doesn’t just enable our habits; it pushes us to improve behavior making us more economical, reflective and responsible”

Designs that offer us an opportunity to achieve lasting behavior change in areas such as health, ethics, personal savings and being green offer tremendous potential for creating social and economic value on a macro scale.   Delivering such changes requires a deep understand of how human minds actually work and puts cognitive design at the center of the innovation economy.

So what is the state of creativity in the US? Is it on the decline or swelling to new levels?


Putting Positive Psychology to Use

Sunday, September 8th, 2013

Positive psychology seeks to understand and improve talent, happiness, thriving, adaptability, well-being and other means by which we flourish and succeed. It has been recognized as a formal branch of psychology for over 15 years. It provides a unique and practical window into “how our minds actual work” and is therefore a vital source of insights for cognitive designers.

But what has it taught us?   While that question is far too broad to deal with in a single post, I did find an interesting article, Three Insights from the Frontiers of Positive Psychology, that offers an interesting perspective.  Here is the bottom line:

1. Being mindful (fully in the present moment) is essential for happiness but thinking about the future, in a constructive and empowering way is essential for meaningfulness.

2. Regular detachment from work has greater restorative power than your typical vacation.

3. Physical design of our environment has a distinct and lasting impact on our mood and other mental states. Open, green well-kept spaces have a positive impact.

None of these insights is a surprise. Indeed some are a part of our folk psychology or wisdom. For example, insight two sounds a lot like “don’t bring your work home”.  While this is true having a scientific understanding or explanation does have its advantages. Most notably it helps to rationally justify investments in certain types of interventions and will take some of the guess work out of our design efforts.

It falls to the cognitive designer to turn these insights into useful interventions, programs, products, services and daily habits that help us flourish.


Cognitive Design Entry Makes Finals in M-Prize

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

The M-prize is a management innovation contest run on the MIX and sponsored by McKinsey & Co and the Harvard Business Review. It is actually a series of prizes aimed at reworking our management models and practices for the 21st century. I submitted some cognitive design work I did with knowledge cards for the leadership everywhere M-prize. It was picked as a finalist!

Here is the entry:

Using Micro-Learning to Boost Influence Skills in Emergent Leaders

Please take a moment and check it out.  

Any likes, shares or comments it receives should help in the final leg of the competition which ends August 30th. You can like or share with a click but leaving a comment requires registering with the site.

Read about the other finalists on the Harvard Business Review site:

What does post-bureaucratic leadership look like?

Cognitive design has a big role to play in the management models for the 21st century. You can see aspects of it at work in many of the entries.