Monthly Archives: February 2014

Look!

This month I was frequently going to the hospital to visit my aunt. Like everyone else, I used the restroom. This restroom in particular though, was different than other ones I have used before. I noticed that the toilet handle was green and the light switch border was red.

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Usually in public restrooms we don’t see these bright colors. The first thought that came to mind when seeing these colors is, “look! Stare at these bright colors.” It’s obvious they put these colors to catch the user’s attention. Now, based on the color choices; green and red, I believe that they want the users to use the handle to flush the toilet and don’t use the light switch. They are telling us that it is important to flush the toilet, and to not forget. On the other hand, it seems like they don’t want us to use the light switch because it’s red. Usually, red means to stop or to warn us of something or use in an emergency. Perhaps they do not want us to use the light switch to turn off the light. I was a bit confused by and I didn’t turn off the light. Maybe it’s to keep the light on for the next user.

These affordances do seem to be both emotional and sensory. Emotional because they surprised me a bit because they stand out and catch my attention. They cause us to observe them and think of using them, or not. After using these affordances I felt like I used them correctly, which made me feel good. They are also sensory because the colors. They obviously get our attention and cause us to look at them and think of how I should use them; carefully.

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The iPhone 5s and my emotions.

This week’s topic is about emotional affordances. An emotional affordances gives the user a positive emotional experience. It  delights the user, and gives a “user experience.” Based on that definition, the first emotional affordance that comes to mind is my iPhone 5s from Apple.

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This emotional affordance has given me countless of positive emotional experiences. The entire phone gives a great user experience due to its user friendly and easy to use UI and navigation. It is so simple to use that even a child can learn how to use it within minutes. Also, the fact that it has one of the best cameras so far on a mobile phone is great. The quality is one of the best, and I love it. I’ve taken great pictures and video. I am always satisfied with the quality and I have created countless of picture slideshow and videos that I’ve edited to create short movies.

I would say that the top emotions I felt when I first used the  phone was excitement. I felt like a little kid receiving a new toy. I previously had an iPhone 4s and it was a bit slow because of the update to iOS 7. It lagged a little bit, but once I upgraded to the 5s, I enjoyed iOS 7 much more. The colors, and apps give the phone that extra “umph” and cause the phone to stand out and shine. The apps for iOS are another great emotional affordance because each app create a positive experience.

The only thing I would change about this phone is only customization. There are not enough options to change the look and feel of the phone other than the background and lock screen picture. I would love if they would allow us to change the size of the apps, create widgets, change little things here and there. That would be amazing.

Julia’s heartfelt art.

Every piece of art is different and unique, but one thing that is certain of every art piece is that it gives the viewer emotions and causes us to think. I have known Julia for almost 10 years, and throughout the years I have seen her art become what it is now. She has grown into a very talented artist and her art pieces are proof. The following pictures are just a few of her art pieces.

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I really love her self portrait painting because it really depicts her tough attitude (no offense Julia lol).  Knowing her personally, I can say that she definitely grabs the essence of herself. Her painting techniques are really different from what I’ve seen, and if you were to really get close to these paintings you can see how much paint she used and strokes she did while painting. One of my top favorite paintings are pictured in the bottom right. Each painting has a word written on it: Healer, Yahweh, Grace, Refuge, and Jesus. These words reflect her Christian faith and beliefs and shes was able to express them through her art and share it with the viewer.

Each painting is designed and painted differently whether by using a variety of colors, brush stroke techniques, and type of painting (self-portrait, abstract, etc.) When it comes to design, her art definitely stands out and grabs the viewers attention, which is one of the goals of design. Also, it gives the viewer something pleasant to look at. Design is supposed to please the user’s eyes, which I think Julia does a great job in doing.

Street Art. Perspective Art.

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I ran across this picture on twitter last week. It caught my eye because, well, it looks amazing. The artist is named Edgar Mueller (Check out his website at Metanamorph.com). I’m just blown away by his talent. What an amazing piece of art, it really does look real; real enough to cause me to walk around it. The only catch to this art is that you have to be viewing it from the correct angle to be able to get a full feel of it. This type of art gives the viewer all kinds of thoughts and emotions. It excites us and in a way makes us feel a bit cautious.

This type of art would be great in corporate  buildings because it would give the feel of the building a little edge and excitement to it, instead of it being bland and boring. Also, it would be great to have something like this on the Cal Poly Pomona campus. Students would definitely love this and it would actually attract people to come see it and visit the campus.

The only downfall of this art is if the viewer is not standing in the right angle or position, they won’t be able to see the greatness of this piece of art.

Click To Drink.

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I never really liked the water bottles that needed the top to be pulled open to drink, so I bought this cool water bottle made by a company called Contigo at Costco. It only cost $8 because it came with 3. I  really liked the design and concept of clicking on the button to make the mouth piece open and appear. This is a great physical affordance that does not fail. A Physical affordance is a feature that gives a clue to use and helps to operate a device.

This water bottle has a hard plastic straw attached to the top cap and a soft plastic covered mouth piece. To use, one must click on the outer button and sip/suck on the mouth piece to drink. This is a great idea because if the bottle tips over it will not spill. This solves the water spill problem that many other water bottles have. Also, you don’t have to open the top with your hands. With this bottle, ones fingers or hands do not need to touch the mouth piece at all. Plus, it’s covered and protected. It’s not exposed until one decides to click on the button to expose the mouth piece. This affordance does not need a label because it is obvious to the user that in order to operate this one must click on the only button found on the bottle. Once the button is clicked the mouth piece pops up and you are able to drink from it. Once the user is done all one must do is push down the mouth piece and it will close. It’s simple and easy to use. I’d recommend this product to anyone, especially college students because we are always on the go and we need to drink lots of  water.

Labels not needed.

A Physical Affordance is a physical feature that gives a clue to use. For example, dials, levers, click, gesture, drag, etc. According to the book, The Design of Everyday Things, “When a simple thing needs pictures, labels or instructions, the design has failed.” I have found countless of physical affordances with signs and labels. Usually it’s on door entrances. The door has a bar handle, but the user does not know if its supposed to pushed or pulled. From my experience I have always pulled because I assume it’s a bar to be pulled. I have been wrong at time and I was supposed to push. I don’t understand why people install these pull bars when the door needs to be pushed instead of pulled. In that case, they should have what we call “panic bars”. These bars are to be always pushed in order to open the door.

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At Cal Poly Pomona, I came across this paper-towel dispenser in the women’s restroom. Now, I already knew how to use this before reading the labels, but I asked myself, why would they put a label on it? We are college students. We’re not that stupid, are we? The labels say, “Pull down with two hands” and ” If no towel turn knob”. I laughed when I read it because I don’t think it’s that hard to figure out how to use this, but I guess some people do need instructions. It’s clear to me what I have to do in order to get a paper-towel. I need to pull down the paper-towel, and that’s it, and if I couldn’t pull down a paper-towel then I would assume that I would have to turn a knob in order to bring down a sheet.

In this case, this paper-towel dispenser  design fails, only because the college decided to put a label on it. But then again, if the college thought it needed labels was probably because users had a hard time figuring out how to use it. So the design fails entirely. There are updated designs of these dispensers. For example, the ones with a sensor that automatically brings down a paper-towel and all one needs to do is pull it to cut it off. Similarly, but not entirely, the latest hand dryers from Dyson are amazing. All one needs to do is put their hands into the machine and let the pressured air push off the excess water left on the hands.

Pull-Up Bar Fail.

I hate exercising. This wasn’t the case eight years ago. I was very athletic most of my life, and grew up playing recreational sports as a kid up until high school.  After my first year of community college, I decided to quit basketball for good. I never planned to completely stop exercising all together, but I did. I never realized how much of an impact it would have on my health. I’m not overweight, but I am definitely not fit or conditioned. I’m sluggish, lazy, and tired most of the time. Lately, I’ve been trying to get back into it, but it is very difficult because I have no motivation or anyone for support to help me.

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A few months ago I ordered the P90X workout program. My 2 younger brothers wanted to do it as well, so I had the support and motivation I needed to do it. I bought all the equipment needed (except the Yoga blocks and matt). The first day we had to use the pull-up bar and do sets of however many we could do. I had purchased a Gold’s Gym pull-up bar, and it worked great the first day, but as time went by and the more we used it I noticed the end parts of the bar, where it meets the door’s border, started to rip. The soft foam support that pressed against the door walls were falling aprt and caused the metal part to start scratching the door wall and leaving marks.

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The design of this pull-up bar fails in this area. If they were to change that part and replace it with something more sturdy that doesn’t rip easily after a few uses, then the product would be great. I have seen other pull-up bars with better support and don’t have this issue, but they are a bit more expensive than the one I purchased. I guess I got what I paid for; a low quality pull-up bar. Next time I should invest in a good quality pull-up bar instead of trying to save a few bucks.

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