This entry is part 25 of 43 in the series Words

Skeuomorphism has been around for a long time. Architects including Frank Lloyd Wright have eschewed it. Alan Cooper, known as one of the founding fathers of user interaction design for computer systems, decried it in the first edition of his classic text, About Face: Essentials of User Interaction Design. And more recently (~October 2012), people […]


Dialog-Box Rooms

This entry is part 13 of 43 in the series Words

An experimental study recently (late 2011) ballyhooed in the press looks at how we tend to forget things as we move into a doorway, and that walking back into the room doesn’t help you recover the memories. (Duh. I could have told anyone this. As could everyone.) Not sure why prior studies on the same […]


Cognitive Friction

This entry is part 12 of 43 in the series Words

The Whorf-Sapir hypothesis says that our language shapes how we think. It’s been moderately debunked in recent decades, but it’s likely true, at least in small part. And one of those small parts is when someone coins a new word that encapsulates a new idea. There has been a debate within philosophy since Plato’s time […]


Where is my [fill in the blank]? and Passive Tracking

This entry is part 4 of 7 in the series Tracking Systems

Where is the Chart!?!? If you visit different EDs, one of the most common tracking-type refrains you hear is “Where is Room 5’s chart? I’ve been looking for it for fifteen minutes!” Such problems delay ED patient care, and are one of the great motivators for moving to an all-electronic chart, one that can be […]


Mental Models, Input Modes and Cognitive Friction

This entry is part 10 of 12 in the series Medical Computing

If the point of contact between the product and the people becomes a point of friction, then the Industrial Designer has failed. –Henry Dreyfuss, Designing for People, 1955 Mental Models In the first edition of About Face, one of the first design/usability texts (and a great read, much more personal, personable and readable than subsequent, […]