Category Archives: Communications

children playing computer game

Physical Contact and Video Gaming

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One of the first things I did when I got to the HFES conference this year was to scan the program looking for any research on games, gamification, or game-based training.

And I found a really good one. This study by Rachel Cunningham and her colleagues at Embry-Riddle compared two very similar tablet-based games. Both games requires players to collaborate on the same tablet surface. So it was not remote collaboration, it was real-time co-located collaboration.

women texting and walking

Texting While Walking

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Results suggest that (a) texting is as unsafe as phone conversations for street-crossing performance and (b) when subjects completed most of the texting task before initiating crossing, they were more likely to make it safely across the street.

We shouldn’t be surprised that texting while crossing the street is dangerous. Do we need a study to show us? Since so many people do it, perhaps we do.

innovating for people chart

UX Day 2015 Keynote Address: Chris Pacione

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As a Co-Founder and CEO of LUMA Institute, Chris leads a highly skilled, multidisciplinary team of practitioners located around the world who are passionate about preparing organizations to be more innovative. He is a frequent speaker on the topic of design and innovation in the US, Europe, and Asia and is co-author of the book “Innovating for People.”

If you did not attend the UX Day Keynote session by Chris Pacione from the LUMA Institute, you missed a great interactive experience in innovation. He started off with a little bit of the traditional format as he explained design thinking and the LUMA Institute’s approach to innovation. But then he flipped the switch and engaged the entire audience in an interactive innovation experience.

Social Network Illustration

Get the Most Value from the Conference

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Just as I was getting ready for my trip to Los Angeles for the HFES Annual Meeting (which I am sure you all were doing as well!!), I received this in my Harvard Business Review. The article is chock full of advice on how to get the most from your conference networking.

Between registration fees and travel expenses, conferences are often pricey. We all want to get our money’s worth out of them, and networking is one of the biggest payoffs. But instead of swarming the buffet line and throwing out workplace versions of hackneyed pick-up lines, you can use these strategies to get to know people on your own terms.

group of people talking

The Devil’s Idiot

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Another great case of serendipitous discovery. Is the devil’s idiot a better team deliberation assignment than the devil’s advocate? I heard this as a joke on NCIS Los Angeles, but I think there is some good truth behind it. My Take I have often recommended that team’s should have an officially designated devil’s advocate when deliberating. Two of the biggest risks that teams face are groupthink and information cascades. Groupthink is when teams have similar assumptions and experience so they gravitate towards similar solutions. They…

escape room game

Escape Room Creativity Builder

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I have been voraciously reading the literature on creativity over the past year. Not the crap that comes out of the self-help literature or even in the entrepreneurship mass media. These are pretty trivial and often shortchange the science. There have been many serious research studies that have broad implications for individual and business creative output. But I am not planning on sharing that research today. That will have to wait for another day. Today I want to share a really interesting creative exercise that seems to follow (intentional or not I cannot say) some of the guidelines suggested by the research.

This exercise is the Escape Room (warning – gated). You may have seen it on an episode of the Big Bang Theory last year.

an app that allows picking of a time based on a round clock

EID Hall of Fame: Time Picker Widget

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I have mixed feelings about this design, so I thought I would ask for your thoughts. Please let me know if you think this is an improvement on the current time pickers that we have.

The date picker UI widget is common. It’s a mini-calendar, and the user simply clicks on the day they want. But time pickers are still in the dark ages. they are usually a drop down menu where you have to scroll down to the time you want. My solution is a time picker widget that uses the metaphor of a clock face.

swat team

Framing Can Make All the Difference

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Framing is a powerful tool – one we all should know more about. It can be used for black hat and for white hat purposes. They can be done to us or by us. In all four combinations, look before you leap. I have a feeling that most readers of EID already know something about framing, so let me get to the point for today. I just got my alumni magazine from Tufts University and it had a great message from the Editor. He describes a powerful use of framing that has been in the news a lot lately.

Militarization of policing is not just about gear. It’s a whole way of thinking and speaking—one that assumes police power is based on military might rather than the consent of the policed. Martial language can divide police from their communities just as scary-looking weapons can.

person in the mirror

The Transparency Illusion

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I think you will really enjoy today’s self-delusion topic. Not only is it very common, but knowing more about it can save you from some very embarrassing situations. What is this perilous misconception? The transparency illusion. You can read more about it in Heidi Grant Halvorson’s great new book No One Understands You And What To Do About It or a quick review of the book such as this one in The Atlantic.

Try though you might to come across in a certain way to others, people often perceive you in an altogether different way.