parallel parked car

What Is The Automation Doing? Mode Awareness Problems Catch Tesla By Surprise

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One of the most compelling arguments for introducing autonomous driving vehicles is the potential reduction in injuries and fatalities caused primarily by human error. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, human error accounts for 94% of fatal crashes, and advanced safety technologies can be expected to reduce these numbers substantially.

However, at the end of April this year, there was an incident in which a Tesla Model S, from a parked position, collided with a trailer parked in front of it after the “Summon” autopark feature was activated. With Summon, the driver can exit the car and make it roll slowly forward or backward into a tight parking space using the key or an app. The incident caused only about $700 in damage to the luxury car’s windshield, but this incident might be a symptom of a greater problem.

We Work Office Space

Presumptive Design

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As a self-professed codger, curmudgeon, and contrarian, I am increasingly disturbed that so many “designed solutions” of built environments have very little to do with design thinking, understanding users’ requirements, or meeting a specific goal. They are mostly just presumptive designs. By that I mean, the design meets a single or set of underlying assumption(s) most often based on rather tenuous logic.

Presumptive design has dominated approaches to workplaces for more than a decade, resulting in so-called designed solutions that include smaller and smaller individual space, more openness, and less enclosure. In truth, this meets one primary goal: reducing the cost per occupant of these workplaces.

princess bride

You Keep Using That Word, I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means

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One of my all time favorite films – Rob Reiner’s timeless Princess Bride (1987) – has many memorable lines. One of my favorites is the title of this blog post. The group’s leader, Vizzini (Played by Wallace Shawn) is a the self proclaimed ‘brilliant’ Sicilian. He keeps exclaiming “inconceivable” whenever something happens that he didn’t expect. Finally master swordsman Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin) says “You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means.” The same thing can be said of many descriptions of consumer products as “ergonomic.”


Runway Incursion

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Runway incursion is a huge issue in the United States (US). The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) defines a runway incursion as “Any occurrence at an aerodrome involving the incorrect presence of an aircraft, vehicle or person on the protected area of a surface designated for the landing and take off of aircraft.”


Marc Resnick

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It is with great sadness that I share news of the passing of Marc Resnick, who, since 2014, was the genius behind the EID blog. His last post appeared on February 18. As regular readers know, Marc brilliantly commented on a wide range of topics, many gleaned from the popular media, and provided his take on how HF/E research and practice might inform those topics. His writing was lively and accessible, and many people looked forward to his posts as one of the highlights of their online experience.

Man on tablet

Marketing Technology

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Gartner, the IT research company, published its 2016 list of predictions for marketing technology a few weeks ago. As I was reading it, I was struck with how easily the list could be aligned with the user experience of the typical purchase process. Not the complete buyer’s journey; but at least the transactions steps in the middle.

In less than three years, advances in marketing technology will move beyond human intervention to streamlining and scaling activities that currently require manual interactions with audiences. Intelligent technologies will do more than automate repetitive operations — they will investigate, evaluate and make decisions on behalf of both marketers and customers.Marketing technology will soon become so intelligent that it will perform tasks that have always required direct human involvement.

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Social Presence

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Are there specific attributes in an environment that make you feel more present? Not necessarily that enable you to navigate the environment better or communicate with another person better, but something more subtle than these?

Nothing beats talking to another person face-to-face, but a group of researchers are considering whether a life-size projection of a person who appears to be sitting across from you in an actual chair might be a close second.othing beats talking to another person face-to-face, but a group of researchers are considering whether a life-size projection of a person who appears to be sitting across from you in an actual chair might be a close second.


Neuro of Habits

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For this week’s installment of our neuropsych series, we decided to revisit a favorite topic – habits.

Taming that sweet tooth for your New Year’s resolution might be harder than you think. New research suggests that forming a habit leaves a lasting mark on specific circuits in the brain, which in turn seems to prime us to further feed our cravings. The research deepens scientists’ understanding of how habits manifest and may suggest new strategies for breaking the bad ones.

lottie doll

Identity Resonance

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By what I think is coincidence, I came across many examples of design that have as part of their missions to help users either develop a stronger self-identity or display and reinforce the identity they have. I am a huge proponent of using identity resonance as a design tool, so I really enjoyed selecting a few good examples for this article.

That’s why the Lottie Doll looks, well, just like a typical nine-year-old girl. She doesn’t wear makeup, high heels or jewellery, she’s ethnically diverse with tactile hair and clothes, and she can stand on her own two feet. Lottie is feisty. She occasionally makes mistakes. She loves adventure and the outdoors. She has a wild imagination – just like a real child. Even her clothes are made to get dirty.

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