Theme: Representation makes a difference… language, imagery in advertising selling your house dressing for an interview informational displays interfaces “…solving a problem simply means representing it so as to make the solution transparent” (Simon 153).
The Power of Representation Donald Norman “The powers of cognition come from abstraction and representation… for if the representation and the processes are just right, then new experiences, insights, and creations can emerge.” Cognitive artifacts – constructed device to support external representations a representation of a representation Experiential artifacts – provide ways to experience and act on the world Reflective artifacts – provide ways to modify and act on representations Examples where how information is displayed makes a problem easier/more difficult. “With the appropriate choice of representation, hard tasks become easy”
On Distinguishing Epistemic from Pragmatic Action David Kirsh and Paul Maglio “What actions can an agent perform that will make the task more manageable, easier to compute?” Epistemic actions – physical actions that make mental computation easier, faster, or more reliable Pragmatic actions – primary function to bring the agent closer to the physical goal Exemplified in Tetris: translate-to-wall and rotate to save mental rotation, among others.
Does the concept of epistemic action extend to beyond a game and into the real world? Robert Travis Are epistemic actions easier for the more expert user? Amal Aziz Are there limits to experiential representations? Marcia Lee Why do we have so many bad representations? Neema Moraveji, Greg Schwartz What might be some drawbacks of designing to reduce the user’s cognitive load? Do you give anything up? What are some of the dangers of abstraction and of choosing a representation? Jae min John, Brett Miller
Norman states that a good representation captures the essential elements of an event and leaves out everything else. Suchman claims that actions are highly context specific. – Antonio Ricciardi How can we understand this apparent contradiction? Prototyping – epistemic or pragmatic? Yeonsoo Yang How do we build representations differently for humans versus machines? Mike Krieger, Chen Wu Can representations affect one’s beliefs in ways that are external to the representation itself? - Loren Yu Kirsh and Maglio put emphasis on reflective action while Norman puts more emphasis on experiential. Nick Briggs Epistemic actions help us think.. Norman suggests the less thinking the easier we have it. Thoughts?
What are some things you do in your own life to reduce your cognitive load? Was that effective for the people’s task, not for mine? – Yeonsoo Yang, Jason Robinson Can we design to support how multiple people think? Do people think in the same way? Are there advantages to choosing one form of representation over another (experiential, reflective)? Amal Aziz Are there advantages to using multiple experiential and reflective representations? Yeonsoo Yang What would be some ways in which we could evaluate whether a certain representation is the right one for the problem? - William Choi
How can we design to reduce the user’s cognitive load? Can we represent our own research data differently to help us understand it better? :)