Back to school Me – computer & human dynamics

With all the highlighters, ballpen, notebook courtesy of my kids. This is overrated killjoy. I’m thinking of retaking the psych major subjects again. I am interested with the human-computer (or vice versa) interaction because it is something I can mix both my interests – computer and psychology (the human dynamics).

Isn’t interesting how facebook gets to be the most visited site, beating google, when really there is nothing there but the phallics of our friends and friends of friends of friends? I’m not really sure what is phallic but i just like to use it. It sounds smartish. But anyhoo, phallic is something like subtle signals we send out to make known of our presence. It’s the poke, the like button – telling others ‘hey,i’m just here but really i’m not in the mood for serious conversation so i’ll just poke/like you.’ Aside from that, facebook is ‘purposely’ designed to make people do nothing but facebook. The phallics/streams of updates feeds the human instinct for instant gratification – every click goes to something gratifying, and refresh button keeps gratifying us. There is just endless series of instant gratification.

Is it not amazing how web apps are designed? Why wordpress places their tools/links/features on the sidebar? But if you go to blogspot, they place its tools/functions on the top part? If you’re in multiply the ‘+Post & its sidekick’ links/icons are always present anywhere you go (if you’re logged in). Why email clients are always arrange that way?

Why some websites use ‘sign in,’ some ‘log in,’ ‘register’ versus sign-up? Rating versus review? The stealth modes? The avatars? The privacy options? And so on and so forth which we do not mind much but those elements actually go into long debates among the team behind those products. A simple ‘save’ against ‘done’ button can entail long decision making process.

The apps i mentioned are ‘pop apps.’ It is something mostly for fun. But though it’s just for fun, a lot of things happen in the background that we are not aware of. Careful planning, research, analysis of what ticks and not.

So imagine how much work is done for applications that affect life/work and businesses. Imagine an accounting app – developers have to imagine how to make an ‘accounting’ task easy, how to make the app not hard to use, and most of all how to make it stable or else business will get screwed up. When multiply/facebook crashed, nobody’s life will get seriously screwed up. How about the toyota prius incident, it was about a glitchy software design. Those life-affecting apps – ever imagine how they make them. Take an ATM machine – there’s fast cash and withdraw options – there are reasons behind it. If we think of them,they are common sense but if you are part of the 1st people to design ATM machine – what features you think you can come up with?
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