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 ‘Technique’ Category

Can Smart Phones Push Cog Science Forward?

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Studies in cognitive science and psychology in general are often done on a small group of subjects with a similar psychographic profile.  University college students are by far the most popular subject pool. This sampling bias slows the development of the science  and blocks useful generalizations.

Conducting large-scale and more empirically robust studies of how our minds work has until recently been far too costly and complex for most academic researchers. Mobile and social media is changing that.   A new generation of experimental design is emerging in cognitive science that makes use of the internet and smart phones as data collection tools that can involve hundreds if not thousands of subjects from diverse cultures around the world. But will it really make a difference?

According to the 17 authors of the paper, Smart Phone, Smart Science, not only will it make a difference, it will revolutionize cognitive science.  They show how the smart phone can be applied to study reaction times in lexical decision making, a classic research question in cognitive psychology. While the details of the experiment might not be of interest to readers of this blog, the general conclusion should be:

“The use of smartphones for scientific experimentation heralds a new era in behavioral sciences. The approach has wide multidisciplinary applications in areas as diverse as economics, social and affective neuroscience, linguistics, and experimental philosophy. Finally, it becomes possible to reliably collect culturally diverse data on a vast scale, permitting direct tests of the universality of cognitive theories.”

Changing how you can collect data in science, often revolutionizes the field. Think about the impact of the telescope and microscope.

If social mobile media can advance scientific practice, it can certainty also be used to improve how we  prototype, test and refine cognitive designs. It is not just smart phone – smart science, it is smart phone – smart cognitive design research.

I am interested in hearing from readers that have used smart phones or the internet (custom websites, communities, twitter, etc.) to conduct design research, prototype or otherwise empirically drive design thinking.


How to Design Objects we “Hunger” For

Saturday, September 24th, 2011

Hunger is a powerful biological and psychological state.  And we can “hunger” for things other than food. As the saying goes,  some people  hunger for power and possessions.

Recent research at  Northwestern University tested what we can hunger for in the broader sense by measuring salivation.  The idea is when we are really hungry for food we salivate so we might also drool when we hunger for other things. And we do!

“Results of an experiment show that individuals salivate to money when induced to feel a low power state but not when induced to feel a high power states.  A second experiment showed that men salivate to sports cars when primed with a mating goal but not a control condition.”

Designers interested in creating “objects of desire” should pay special attention to the role of  priming in the experiments. Priming means stimulating subjects to create a specific frame of mind before presenting the test stimulus.  Money by itself won’t cause me to salivate but if I am primed to perceive it as a way to increase power it might. Likewise a sports car by itself will not cause me to salivate unless I am primed to see it as a means to mate.


SIT- Compelling Possibilities Systematically & Fast

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011


Inventions like everything in nature exhibit patterns. Finding and leveraging the patterns of innovation is the thrust of TRIZ and related methodologies such as Structured Inventive Thinking (SIT). For a brief but meaningful introduction to SIT check out the LAB.  It illustrates the method on everything from corporate training to drugs, office chairs and software.

SIT starts by deconstructing an existing artifact into its components. You then apply a pattern or innovation heuristic to a component to generate compelling possibilities fast and systematically.  Example patterns include subtraction where you take a component away and work with what is left. Another is task unification where you assign a new function or task to an existing component.  You can apply multiple patterns to one component to think divergently.

Image Source: Animated GIF of Kaleidoscope


Design for Calm the Kansei Way

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

waiting-room.jpgIn cognitive design we seek to understand deeply felt but unmet psychological needs and then create or remake artifacts to meet them.  The TQM journal has an interesting article on Affective Design of Waiting Areas in Primary Healthcare that presents a good example. The researchers used the Kansei engineering method to uncover the psychology need to “feel calm” and…

“The core design attributes contributing to this feeling are privacy, colours, child play-areas and green plants. Good design of lighting, seating arrangements and a low sound level are also important design attributes to give a more complete design solution.”

A useful finding for cognitive designers working on servicecapes that call for calm.


Placebos Move Hearts and Minds but…

Monday, July 18th, 2011

brain-on-placebo-effect.gifPlacebos, or rituals dressed up as medical treatments that lack any active ingredients, definitely abate symptoms in many circumstances.  They can change how we think-and-feel about our illness or disease. Indeed, they are so effective at moving our hearts and minds we have explored their implications as a more general tool for organizational and individual change here on the cognitive design blog.

But an important question remains, do they go beyond heart-and-mind impact to create the underlying physiological changes that drugs with active ingredients do? Is belief somehow altering biology? The answer appears to be no, at least within the scope of a recent clinical study of placebos reported by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.  They studied the physiological impacts of placebos on Asthma patients and found:

 ”while placebos had no effect on lung function (one of the key objective measures that physicians depend on in treating asthma patients) when it came to patient-reported outcomes, placebos were equally as effective as albuterol in helping to relieve patients’ discomfort and their self-described asthma symptoms.”

Abating symptoms and relieving discomfort is a significant psychological impact.

This is a very important finding for cognitive designers. It demonstrates that designs (in this case a placebo) that create distinct think-and-feel effects deliver significant value even if they do not produce underlying changes in physiology. Placebos as “pure play” cognitive designs create real value!


Perceptual Training Ups Abstract Learning by 3X

Monday, June 20th, 2011

five-senses.jpgNew York Times has an excellent article, Brain Calisthenics for Abstract Ideas, that describes successful application of perceptual learning to teaching K-12 math and science.

Our minds work best and learn automatically from rich sensory information. Perceptual learning  typically involves the modification of one or more of our five senses through practice to discriminate specific sounds, detect particular patterns, feel subtle changes in texture and so on. Perceptual learning is inductive learning and results from lots of exposure and practice. It can evolve into expertise such as music appreciation, wine tasting, judging the quality of fabric by touch and so on.

Our minds struggle with abstract ideas and concepts such as equations, fractions and the notion of truth.  Such things seems far from the rich sensory experience we are geared to process and are often taught in a top down fashion. Learn the abstract idea and then apply it to examples. Abstract learning is often deductive learning.

Ideally (at least from a cognitive design perspective), we would develop ways to teach and learn abstractions based on how our minds actually work best.  That is exactly what the NYT article reports. Here is one example for learning fractions:

On the computer module, a fraction appeared as a block. The students used a “slicer” to cut that block into fractions and a “cloner” to copy those slices. They used these pieces to build a new block from the original one — for example, cutting a block that represented the fraction 4/3 into four equal slices, then making three more copies to produce a block that represented 7/3. The program immediately displayed an ‘X’ next to wrong answers and “Correct!” next to correct ones, then moved to the next problem. It automatically adjusted to each student’s ability, advancing slowly for some and quickly for others. The students worked with the modules individually, for 15- to 30-minute intervals during the spring term, until they could perform most of the fraction exercises correctly.”

By using the slicer and cloner to manipulate embodied fractions on the computer students engage in perceptual learning but end up understanding fractions as an abstract concept. They learn to perceive fractions not reason about them conceptually.

Students that used this method tested 3 times better than a control group and demonstrated retention over 5 months.

Care must be taken to design modules to stimulate our built in perceptual learning abilities (e.g. tuning perceptual abilities based on patterns in sensory experience) rather than just show random examples or visually illustrate the abstract concept.  A subtle difference and one that requires some skill in cognitive engineering and design.


Are Listicles Part of Your Communication Effort?

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

social-web-cube.jpgThe web, social media, mobile apps and online worlds/games have created a small explosion of new communication forms with unique cognitive impact. Tweets, blog posts, short homemade videos, cell phone pics, text messages, tags (like, friend, stumble, vote, etc.), emoticons, animations and avatar interactions are just a the few examples.

listicles.jpgIn addition to creating new communication forms, the mobile social web takes older forms to new heights. Take for example, the listicle.  A combination of a list with an article or more precisely, an article written as a number list, is getting a big boost on the web.  To see them in action check out some of the entries on

 Or Cracked:

These have 4-5 million views each. Well-written listicles have strong cognitive design. They offer cool information (unique, interesting or even shocking) that can be important to us or just plain fun. All in an easy to consume package. We like lists because they offer high content with low cognitive load. You get a lot of information for very little work. By starting each listicle with a number, we signal the reader’s brain exactly how much info and mental work is in play. Interestingly, many start with the number of 7 plus or minus 2, or the number of items we can hold in short term memory at any one time.

I am interested to hear from readers that use listicles in organizational change or workplace communication efforts.  Want to learn to write good listicles and make some money? Check out Cracked’s writer forum.


Does Your Design Waste Mental Energy?

Sunday, May 8th, 2011

energy-brain.jpgHow much mental work can you do in one sitting? Are you motivated to tackle tough intellectual or emotional issues? Do you feel mentally invigorated or foggy? Each of these questions tests your level of mental energy. Mental energy is the fuel for self control, active reflection, conscious thinking and other executive cognitive functions. It is an important resource and one we need to manage carefully as we design workflows, consumer experiences, organizational change programs and other knowledge-intensive interactions.

So I am always on the lookout for scientific studies that directly probe the nature of mental energy. Take for example the new research, Being of Two Minds: Switching Mindsets exhausts self-regulatory resources.

“Across five experiments we found support for the hypothesis that switching mindsets is an executive function that consumes self-regulatory resources and therefore renders people relatively unsuccessful in their self-regulatory endeavors. The current studies found converging effects across a wide range of mindset operationalizations”

A mindset like a mental model is a set of general purpose cognitive constructs and procedures we boot up often in response to situational queues that guide how we perceive, think, feel, decide and act.  

Avoid switching mindsets to conserve mental energy.

Although a simple idea, it has powerful implications for the cognitive designer.  As you design seek to minimize the number of mindset shifts that must occur during interaction. Designs that invoke a single low-load mindset avoid wasting mental energy.


Body Image Morphing Triggers Pain Relief

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

illusion.jpgGood magic and placebos clearly illustrate the power of cognitive design.   Magic explicitly uses an understanding of how minds work to demonstrate to us in plain sight something we know is impossible. Placebos on the other hand accidentally play off of how minds work to demonstrate to clinicians something that should be biochemically impossible.   In both cases our minds are fooled. Optical illusions and sugar pills that none the less create real effects not because of how the world works but because of how our minds work.

That’s why I was especially intrigue by claims made by Canadian researchers that they created a machine that produces hand illusions that significantly reduce osteroarthritis pain. The machine captures a real-time video of your hand and uses some optics and simple sensors to trick you into believing your finger is being stretched or shrunk.  I captured an image of their YouTube video below.


It feels and looks real and is enough to reduce joint pain by 50% in 85% of the members in one test group.  There is other literature related to the use of optical illusions to relieve pain.

What else can we design optical placebos to do? How can the emerging technology of augmented reality (visual overlay of information on real objects) be used to create applications that leverage these cognitive effects?


Word Modifiers That Jazz Our Brains

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

listening.pngWords are powerful because they activate mental models. Mental models provide context for making decisions, solving problems, learning and all sorts of cognitive tasks.  Some words are much better at activating mental models than others.  While it remains controversial exact which words are best, I am always on the look out for research on the cognitive power of words.

Take for example the recent post on the Neuromarketing blog about Adjective Power. The post reminds us that a wise use of adjectives transforms mundane words or phrases such as “ham” into mentally stimulating phrases such as “hardwood smoked ham”. The post also reviews research that suggests that the impact of word choice is real. It drives revenue.

Even more interesting to cognitive designers is the list of what makes for a mentally stimulating word modifier. These include terms that are vivid, sensory, emotional, specific and branded.  Given what we know about how minds work, this list makes a great deal of sense.

Check out the examples in the post such as “freshly cracked eggs”.  Interested to hear from readers that have examples of communication designs that use this technique in other (non-food) domains.