This web site reflects my learnings from Computer Based Learning I as well as my beliefs about technology and information.
The WordPress blogging platform is an excellent example of a human-tech design. With this tool an author can very quickly create a site design that is reflective of them. This ease of use enables the author to spend their time on intelligent design choices and content rather than learning the application. “Where content matters the user should not have to spend time mastering the device, but rather should be able to devote time and effort towards mastering the content, enjoying the presentations, and exploring the domain” (Norman, p. 45).
The thematic choices made throughout this site are intentional and reflect an understanding of emotional design. At a visceral level, the soft, calming colours and nature themed banner image are intended to provide a sense of comfort and warmth. Photos are used throughout the site to provide a friendly atmosphere and a sense of space. “Because designers want their colleagues to recognize them as imaginative, creative, and deep, making something “pretty” or “cute” or “fun” is not well accepted. But there is a place in our lives for such things even if they are simple” (Norman, p. 67). At the behavioural level, the content of the images provide an efficient overview of the articles that they are attached to. The menu at the top of the screen provides only a handful of clearly described pages. This same menu appears at the top of each page for consistency. On the right hand side of the page are quick links to individual reading responses and our course project LORI-2.0. At a reflective level, images are chosen to provoke a thoughtful response. Visitors are encouraged to comment building a sense of community. Most importantly this site is designed to represent the author’s personality. “Personality is, of course, a complex topic in its own right. A simplified way of thinking of product personality is that it reflects the many decisions about how a product looks, behaves, and is positioned throughout its marketing advertisements Thus, all three levels of design play a role” (Norman, p.57).
Many of the images and links that appear on this site are licensed under the Creative Commons License and reflect my beliefs about open access to information. “Good communication – the give-and-take of information – is fundamental to any democratic political body” (Vicente p.240). The WordPress software itself is Open Source and can be freely downloaded. Concept maps are based on the free and research supported IMHC-CMapTools. “I learned that products can be more than the sum of the functions they perform. Their real value can be in fulfilling people’s emotional needs, and one of the most important needs of all is to establish one’s self-image and one’s place in the world” (Norman, p. 87).