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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 ‘Books’ Category

Good Designers Read Your Mind – But How?

Sunday, April 13th, 2014

In cognitive design we spend a lot of time trying to understand what people are really thinking and feeling. We need to understand their mental models, cognitive biases and emotional states so that we can design products and services that meet deeply felt psychological needs.   So I am always on the lookout for new scientific insights into how to read others peoples’ minds.

For example,  the new book, Mindwise How we Decide What Others Think, Feel and Want, challenges some commonly held assumptions.  More specifically, the author argues that  popular techniques of reading gestures or body language and trying to put yourself in the other person’s shoes (imagine their situation) are not useful. Indeed, he argues that we are wildly over confident in our belief that we can know what other people are thinking and feeling.

While the book does not present an alternative for effective reading other minds, it will help you avoid some common pitfalls and provides justification for using the more scientific approaches (e.g. metaphor elicitation and protocol analysis) that we write about in the Cognitive Design Blog.

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Will Baby Watson Trigger a Cognitive Revolution?

Monday, June 17th, 2013

Watson, IBM’s room-sized super computer that beat the world’s best human Jeopardy players in 2011 has given birth to a much smaller and more serious offspring.  According to Bending the Knowledge Curve with IBM  Watson, the new version is now just 9″ x 18″ x 36″ inches, weights about 100 pounds and is focused on answering questions in healthcare, finance, call centers and the government.

Will Watson reach and exceed top level human performance in these domains? There is reason to think so. For example, after just 18 months in healthcare, Watson is already showing promise towards completing a version of the US medical licensing exam. We could see big things in a 3-5 year time frame.

IBM believes success with Watson in multiple domains will trigger a new computing revolution, one focused on cognitive computing systems. Such systems will do for knowledge work what the early data oriented systems did for transactional work.  The goal is not to replace human experts but to vastly amplify their reach and effectiveness.   This is not an idle claim. Remember, you could consult with the current Watson and wipe out any other human player in the game of Jeopardy!

And IBM is not the only one that thinks technology is poised to bend the knowledge curve. McKinsey’s Global Research Institute calls Watson out as an example of one 12 technological disruptions (automation of knowledge work) that will transform life, business and the global economy.   They estimate a multi-trillion dollar global impact in 2025 by technologies that automate knowledge work.

What does this mean for cognitive designers?

We should see a wide range of new options for shifting the cognitive load of knowledge work from humans to machines.

To gain more insight check out the free chapter in the forthcoming book, Smart Machines: IBM’s Watson and the Era of Cognitive Computing.  The section, How Cognitive Systems Will Help Us Think, is especially relevant for cognitive designers.   It is also worth your time to watch IBM Watson: The Science Behind the Answer.  While this won’t make you an expert in deep analytics and natural language processing, it does give a good overview of the 4-steps the Watson uses to answer an open domain question. Something a computer has never been able to do before!

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Innovate by Proposing Unexpected Meanings

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

Roberto Verganti has some important insights into how innovation works for cognitive designers.  If you don’t know his work check out, Design Driven Innovation. He emphasizes innovations produced by changing the deep psychological and sociological meanings we attach to products and services rather than more traditional technology/capability or market driven innovation methods.  Examples include how Artemide reframed the meaning of lamps from something beautify that casts light into something that lifts your mood and makes you feel better. Likewise Sony’s Wii reframed playing video games into a full-body social experience. In both cases these new meanings were proposed to customers rather than crafted in response to perceived needs.

Creating new meaning is one route to psychological impact and is therefore very relevant for cognitive designers.   Instead of turning to a scientific understanding of how minds make meaning, Verganti focuses on the designers approach and stresses listening, interpretation and addressing.  I  especially like his discussion of design circles where a small group of like minded individuals work together and support each other to nurture truly innovative approaches.   To quote:

“Within this environment members are more likely to survive skepticism and criticism of the dominate culture. They realize they are not alone and they sustain each other in the early experiments through frustration and failure.”

An example of an innovation nurtured in a design circle is Slow Foods. Focused on small-scale sustainable food production (good, clean, fair food). the organization:

“….was founded in 1989 to counter the rise of fast food and fast life, the disappearance of local food traditions and people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and how our food choices affect the rest of the world. “

Definitely a meaning-driven innovation.

What new and compelling meaning can you propose?

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Top Quality Cognitive Design Resources for Free

Friday, August 10th, 2012

The Francis & Taylor publishing group offers many books and journals relevant to cognitive design.  Checkout their new digital catalog that provides easy access to their behavioral science journals including access to 100 free articles.

Interested in taking a cognitive design oriented class from a world class university and instructor? How about doing it online and for free? Check out these options from Coursera:

and more.

I am interested to hear from readers about other free (and top quality) resources for learning about cognitive design.

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Design Contest: The Neuroscience of Pleasure

Monday, June 11th, 2012

The BrainArt project has a call out for submissions that use art and design to compellingly illustrate the neuroscience of pleasure.    They are looking for explorations or reactions to the theme “Life Pleasures & the Brain” cast in media that ranges from illustrations and digital art to sculptures or music and that are grounded in the neuroscience of the reward circuit and dopamine.

The contest includes a top prize of $5K, participation in an exhibit and other benefits.  Innovators keep the copyrights to their work the deadline is September 1, 2012.

This is a natural contest for cognitive designers as it seeks to translate the neuroscience and psychology of pleasure into the construction of an artifact. The reward circuit and attending cognitive psychology plays a fundamental role in savoring, wanting, liking, learning, habit formation and many aspects of motivation, decision-making and behavior.  If you are a bit rusty on the scientific background, I recommend  The Compass of Pleasure.  It is an easy read, provides nearly complete coverage and is current.

While this contest is more about art than design, there are several media categories of special interest to cognitive designers, most notably the one on communication design:

“Identify an opportunity, and envision a complete rethink, or new approach, to a campaign or consumer experience in relation to this year’s theme “Life Pleasures and the Brain”. Create an emotionally driven brand that is visionary and disruptive in its thinking. It’s about generating a journey that is unique, rational and that has the energy and drive to transform opinions and to allow people to make a deep connection which will in turn incite participation.”

Consider for example, designing an experience to ignite a movement to improve brain health, achieve positive behavior change or celebrate the existential pleasures of work.

Other media categories of interest to cognitive designers include the written word and space design.  Of course this contest is a great opportunity for cognitive designers to partner with artists or visual designers and compete in any of the 10 media categories.

Judges are looking for how well you communicate a concept with respect to the contest’s theme (life pleasures & the brain) but are most interested in unique personal experiences and expressions. That is where a lot of good design and art comes from.

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Magic Reveals Insights for Cognitive Designers

Sunday, June 3rd, 2012

I’m often asked for good examples of cognitive design.  Some of the best are:

Powerball (multi-million dollar jackpot lottery tickets), Angry Birds (a mobile game), the Dom Zu Kohn (cathedral in Germany), your favorite piece of art, using the placebo effect to heal, pictures of cute baby animals, the alert tone on a cell phone and magic tricks you can’t see even after they are explained.

The success of all of these artifacts turns on the fact that they generate far  more mental energy than it takes to interact with them. They deliver a powerful think-and-feel experience because features and functions are optimized for how our minds actually work.  Said another way, they reveal the secret sauce for how to design for psychological impact . They are a laboratory for applied cognitive scientists and a potential design pattern for innovators.

 So far our attempts at applying the lessons learn from these artifacts to other design problems has seen little success.   For example, serious games (i.e. application of game mechanics to education, health and and business) have yet to produce a block buster and lottery-based savings products have yet to make a dent in our need to prepare for retirement.

Cognitive design needs to mature.  One strategy is to get much better at translating the results of cognitive science and engineering into innovations that authentically move our hearts and accelerate our minds.  What we need are scientific studies of artifacts with high cognitive impact that are specific enough to offer design insights. For example, actionable research on the visual neuroscience of magic has come out of the Barrow Neurological Institute. In a recent press release they shared these  findings:

“The researchers discovered that curved motion engaged smooth pursuit eye movements (in which the eye follows a moving object smoothly), whereas straight motion led to saccadic eye movements (in which the eye jumps from one point of interest to another).”

“They studied a popular coin-vanishing trick, in which King tosses a coin up and down in his right hand before “tossing” it to his left hand, where it subsequently disappears. In reality, the magician only simulates tossing the coin to the left hand, an implied motion that essentially tricks the neurons into responding as they would have if the coin had actually been thrown. “

These have very specific implications for designers.  For a deeper dive into the neuroscience behind magic check out Sleights of Mind and the Best Illusions of the Year Contest.

It is interesting to note that magic was developed through experimentation and tradecraft.  Neuroscience is trying to catch up but once it does we should see a new type of magic emerge. The same it true for games, art and much of architecture, marketing, education and entertainment. Tradecraft trumps science’s ability to generate breathtaking think-and-feel experiences but for how long?

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The Psychology of New Media’s Influence

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

The best communications and media turn on excellence in cognitive design. So I am always on the look out for scientifically grounded work on the psychology of advertising, marketing and new media.  One very useful source for designers is Media Effects. Also just read an announcement that a new version of  The Psychology of Entertainment Media has been released.

I am reviewing these materials and looking for others to include in my cognitive design class for the Summer of 2012 at Northwestern.   Interested to hear from readers that have good design-oriented references on the psychology of new media.

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Progress Can Trigger Relapse in Behavior Change

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

Sometimes progress and success messes things up.   For example,  demand for a start-ups product or service grows so fast they cannot meet it. Quality slips and promised delivery dates are missed.  Or a successful company becomes complacent and arrogant because they dominate the market and starts making mistakes.

According to an interesting post by Dr. McGonigal on her Science of Willpower Blog, this can happen during the behavior change process. As we make progress our executive function exerting the self control becomes satisfied and our impulse for the old behavior can kick in. Focusing on the progress we have made actually sets us up for a relapse.  Indeed, celebrating success, the way we traditionally do with a minor indulgence, may be the worse thing to do.

What to do? One way is to reframe what progress means so it maintains emphasis on the executive function of self-control:

“Progress can be motivating, and even inspire future self-control, but only if you view your actions as evidence that that you are committed to your goal. You need to look at what you have done and conclude that you must really care about your goal. So much so, that you want to do even more to reach to it. This perspective is easy to adopt; it’s just not our usual mindset. More typically, we look for the reason to stop.”

The goal is to reflect on the why or reason for your self-control, not just the accomplishment.  Using your accomplishment to stay focused on the psychology of commitment avoids success-related relapse.

Clearly a good insight into how  minds actually work and it is actionable enough for cognitive designers working on behavior change challenges.  The post in the Willpower Blog is sneak preview of one of the chapters in Dr. McGonigal’s  new book,  The Willpower Instinct.  I have it on pre-0rder and will do a review.

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Ethics as a Behavior Change Challenge

Monday, November 28th, 2011

In cognitive design we can frame business ethics as a behavior change challenge.  This means identifying target behaviors to stop, start and avoid starting and then designing changes to the environment that encourage or require the behaviors as well as one or more pathways to learn them from experience.

More specifically, some behaviors and decisions are ethical and others are not.  The challenge in many organizations is to have employees either stop or avoid starting unethical behaviors and start ethical ones.

Taking a cognitive design approach means we study actual business behaviors and the deeply felt psychological needs that drive them.   Only by understanding the underlying psychology can we hope to design an effective program to change unethical behavior or promote ethical ones.

This approach is gaining academic traction in the rapidly emerging field of behavioral business ethics.  According to a new book just edited by two leaders in the field:

“This book takes a look at how and why individuals display unethical behavior. It emphasizes the actual behavior of individuals rather than the specific business practices. It draws from work on psychology which is the scientific study of human behavior and thought processes. As Max Bazerman said, “efforts to improve ethical decision making are better aimed at understanding our psychological tendencies.”

For a shorter  introduction to what behavioral science can do for the practice of business ethics check out this inaugural address given at the Rotterdam School of Management.  Cognitive designers will be most interested in the discussion on the emergence of distrust.

The cognitive-behavioral approach promises to reframe our approach to business ethics in a way that leads to dramatic improvements.   We might make more progress treating ethics problems like we do eating or smoking problems.  After all, assuming people are greedy and corrupt leads nowhere. Perhaps the key is to understand why they cannot control their impulses in a particular environment and how deeply felt psychological needs can be met in a more ethical manner.

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Technology-Enabled Behavior Change is Hot!

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

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Changing behaviors takes considerable time and mental energy. Often we need help. Someone to guide or advise us through the process of learning the new behaviors from experience in a way that makes them stick. A guide provides motivation, helps us break through rationalizations and faulty beliefs, suggests new techniques when the ones we are using fail and provides perspective on progress and goals.  Guides take many forms – a formal sponsor in a change program, friend, family member, therapist, community pharmacist, teacher, mentor at work, life coach or just someone else who has made it through the change and wants to help.

Without guides most of us (approximately 70%) will not be able to achieve lasting changes to our health, financial, relationship and other essential personal an professional behaviors. Technology can be a guide too.  Indeed, technology is amplifying and redesigning how human behavior-change guides do their work. Smart phones, social networks, special purpose web sites, virtual humans, video games and simulations all promise to revolutionize how we change behaviors.

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Technology-enabled behavior change has grown explosively over the last 10 years and is emerging as a new academic discipline. Conferences, journals, rigorously research books and interdisciplinary centers are sprouting up.  For example,  I received two emails just today on the topic. One announced a new book from Psychology Press, The Social Cure, that argues ” A growing body of evidence shows that social networks and identities have a profound impact on mental and physical health.”   The second announced a new interdisciplinary research and education center being launched at Northwestern University dedicated to becoming a world leader in behavioral intervention technology (BIT).

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They are looking at how a range of technologies from the web to the smart phone and virtual humans can enable preventative medicine, cognitive behavioral therapy, psychotherapy and other science-based behavior change interventions.  Of special interest is purple, a platform the Center developed for building BIT applications. Purple is a tool for building new BIT applications faster, better and cheaper.

Clearly technology-enabled behavior change is hot.

To be successful such technology efforts will have to maintain a laser-like focus on what they are trying to enable, namely the social cognitive psychology of how humans make lasting behavior change.

Now, how does that work again?

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