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In the past one and a half years, we came across different design guidelines and heuristics. Besides the nineteen use qualities from the Lowgren reading, popped out in my mind are the Seven Themes of Good Design from Professor Marty Siegel and Ten Usability Heuristics by Jacob Nielson. Of course, there are many more.
I would like to know how you construct your “knowledge database”, and when you are store such knowledge, what background information do you take along.
Because for me:
They all look good separately.
But when together…
I do want to manage them well.
And within the nineteen use qualities, I’m particularly interested in parafunctionality.
The term parafunctionality was coined by A. Dunne in his PhD Thesis… Parafunctionality deals with critism since it aims to make you stop, make your senses react to something that only apparentely seems to be useful. A parafunctional object has a clear function that you can understand in a while. But after that, your brain starts to work and tells your stomach that there’s something wrong…
This reminds me about the capstone presentation. A special thought I heard was taking the presentation as a stage to present a problematic design. The purpose was to stimulate critics, and by reacting and articulating, the designer got to know more about his own thought, as well as people’s concern, i.e. what the audience care about. Thus, the designer got to know specific directions to dig.
I think the article itself has the parafunctionality quality. Maybe all papers, more or less have this quality. So readers would have both takeaways and brainstorms in situ.
P.S. Links to some examples from this reading
Last night I went to the Chinese Spring Festival celebration organized by IU Chinese Student and Scholar Association. The performances were far more wonderful than I expected and the audiences were having such a good time in the IU auditorium. The hosts and hostesses were speaking both Chinese and English, while many performances used English subtitles. However, I still doubt audiences from other counties had had a close amount of happy moments compared with “us”.
What’s more, my journalism friend was preparing for a detailed report about this event. How would she engage her readers, most of whom are not Chinese? Is it possible to cover the real highlights, which were mostly related to popular culture and some common sense in China?
Knowledge of culture greatly affects one’s experience of such events. While language may be the first barrier, the greater deal breaker should be senselessness of “what’s popular”, “what’s so funny”, etc. Last night’s performances consist mostly of songs, dances, Xiaopin (a short scene reflecting certain characteristics of current society in a humorous way) and a mockup of a popular Chinese matchmaking show, where the later two were typically “only made in China”. For the choice of certain songs, it reminded me of my first time going to a football match where everyone was singing, dancing, making the “I! U!” gesture while I was trying to pick up some known words from the lyrics.
But still, it’s easy to tell the event director was trying to cover a larger scope of audiences by showing how well a Chinese girl can sing popular English songs and how fluent some non-natives can speak Chinese dialects. In addition, by employing traditional costumes from old Chinese literature, the performance contributed to building up an image of Chinese culture visually.
Some suggestions to help engaging non-natives:
Provide background information about the event and each performance, in email invitations, the menu, or other places;
Try to include content from Chinese culture but known by a broader group of audiences;
Spread Chinese culture in different ways to increase its influence and build up cultural common ground.
Feel free to add more 😉