Nothing is inherently usable. Rather, usability is about cognition—or how our minds process sensory input. If technical communicators understand such factors, they can create materials that address them and develop more usable designs. In this session, the presenter overviews
- Cognitive factors affecting expectations of design and usability
- Methods for researching cognition and expectations
- Approaches for applying cognitive research to design
- Techniques for assessing usability in terms of cognition
By understanding certain cognitive factors, technical communicators can create more usable items and assess the usability of existing materials.
About the Visiting Dojo Master
Kirk St.Amant is a Professor and Eunice C. Williamson Endowed Chair in Technical Communication at Louisiana Tech University where he is Director of the Williamson Usability Research Center. Kirk is also a Research Faculty member with Louisiana Tech’s Center for Biomedical Engineering and Rehabilitation Science (CBERS) and is an Adjunct Professor of International Health and Medical Communication with the University of Limerick in Ireland. He researches how cognition affects usability and design with a focus on international health and medical contexts and international online education.
Watch the Video
Recorded: 5 November 2018
View the slides
Resources mentioned during this session
- Resources on Prototypes and Scripts (Google Doc with links to sources)
- Resources mentioned during the session
- Thinking Globally, Composing Locally: Rethinking Online Writing in the Age of the Global Internet (Rich Rice, Kirk St Amant)
- The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience (Francisco Varela, Evan Thompson, Eleanor Rosch)
- Language Change: Progress or Decay? (Cambridge Approaches to Linguistics) (Jean Aitchison)
- Affect Imagery Consciousness: Volume I: The Positive Affects (Sylvan Tomkins)
- Scripts, Plans, Goals, and Understanding: An Inquiry Into Human Knowledge Structures (Artificial Intelligence Series) (Roger C Schank, Robert P Abelson)
- More articles by Kirk St. Amant
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