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The Role of Color and Functional Design.

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I compiled this presentation for educational purposes only, to showcase my understanding of the role of color in the the development of instructional materials as well as functional design.

developed: March 2007.

Published in: Education

The Role of Color and Functional Design.

  1. 1. the role of color & functional design.
  2. 2. Available research on using color for cognitive functions has largely been inconsistent and inconclusive. (Dwyer & Lamberski, 1982-83)
  3. 3. Color serves to cue and direct a learner’s attention.
  4. 4. When you advertise... •You purposely enhance the cosmetic and motivational attributes.
  5. 5. When you design... • Realism deters a learner’s ability to interpret the instructional message. • Learners may have difficulty identifying and attending to relevant information. (Dwyer, 1987) • What is your interpretation of the following messages? Graphics by: Department of Homeland Security. (c) 2006
  6. 6. The intended messages... • “If you become aware of an unusual or suspicious release of an unknown substance nearby, It doesn’t hurt to protect yourself”. • “Cover your mouth and nose with layers of fabric that can filter air but still allow breathing”. • “Wash with soap and water and contact authorities”. Graphics by: Department of Homeland Security. http://www.ready.gov/america/_downloads/biological.pdf(c) 2006
  7. 7. When you design... •Your intent is to teach and instruct. Graphics by: Department of Homeland Security. (c) 2006
  8. 8. However... Graphics by: Department of Homeland Security. http://www.ready.gov/america/_downloads/nuclear.pdf (c) 2006
  9. 9. More examples from ready.gov : Graphics by: Department of Homeland Security. (c) 2006
  10. 10. What about Emotion? • Unless you desire to evoke emotion, contrast and realism will not be your allies. Graphics by: Department of Homeland Security. (c) 2006
  11. 11. Now it’s time for some fun! The following slides provide a parody of the ready.gov imagery. If you think you may feel offended, you may skip to slide 24.
  12. 12. • “ If you have set yourself on fire, do not run! “ Graphics by: Department of Homeland Security. (c) 2006
  13. 13. • “If you spot a terrorist arrow, pin it against the wall with your shoulder.“ Graphics by: Department of Homeland Security. (c) 2006
  14. 14. • “ If you are sprayed with an unknown substance, stand and think about a cool design for a new tattoo“ Graphics by: Department of Homeland Security. (c) 2006
  15. 15. • “ The proper way to eliminate smallpox is to wash with soap, water and at least one(1) armless hand“ Graphics by: Department of Homeland Security. (c) 2006
  16. 16. • “Hurricanes, animal corpses and your potential new tattoo have a lot in common. Think about it.“ Graphics by: Department of Homeland Security. (c) 2006
  17. 17. • “ If a door is closed, karate chop it open! “ Graphics by: Department of Homeland Security. (c) 2006
  18. 18. • “ After exposure to radiation it is important to consider that you may have mutated to gigantic dimensions: watch your head.“ Graphics by: Department of Homeland Security. (c) 2006
  19. 19. • “ If you are trapped under falling debris, conserve oxygen by not farting.“ Graphics by: Department of Homeland Security. (c) 2006
  20. 20. • “ Do not drive a station wagon if a power pole is protruding from the hood. “ Graphics by: Department of Homeland Security. (c) 2006
  21. 21. • “ A one-inch thick piece of plywood should be sufficient protection against radiation.“ Graphics by: Department of Homeland Security. (c) 2006
  22. 22. • “If you hear the Backstreet Boys, Michael Bolton or Yanni on the radio, cower in the corner or run like hell. “ Graphics by: Department of Homeland Security. (c) 2006
  23. 23. • “ If you spot terrorism, blow your anti-terrorism whistle. If you are Vin Diesel, yell really loud. “ Graphics by: Department of Homeland Security. (c) 2006
  24. 24. For more information about the graphic parodies, please visit the source at: “Don't be afraid. . . be ready!” http://home.carolina.rr.com/zerb/beready/
  25. 25. Behavioral synergy • Color and realism might affect learner’s attitudes towards instruction and their engagement level. Although “no substantive research is available to support the argument” (Surber & Leeder, 1998). Graphics by: Department of Homeland Security. (c) 2006
  26. 26. Motivational appeal: Use it or loose it! • As an effective attention-gaining device. • To show contrast, in order to direct or focus attention. • To show relationships between across screen objects • To increase motivation, interest, and perseverance. Though, this is a fine line to distraction.
  27. 27. The effect of color has not been shown to be potent.
  28. 28. Poor color choices have a high potential for distraction. Graphic by: Apple, Inc. (c) 2006
  29. 29. Evelyn Wells: General Principles of Design.
  30. 30. Do not use color indiscriminately.
  31. 31. Color is... aesthetic and cognitive not cosmetic and decorative
  32. 32. Keep a lean palette. Graphic by: Listerine, Inc. (c) 2006
  33. 33. Make it work as part of a greater whole. Creative Commons Picture by zombizi in London, England.
  34. 34. Have foresight into it’s practical use. T-Mobile Telecom. New York, NY.
  35. 35. Shift paradigms: Experiment ! Creative Commons Picture by zombizi in London, England.
  36. 36. Cognitive Principles
  37. 37. Cognitive Principles • Emphasize relations by grouping items and color coding them. • Dynamic events can be shown with color changes. • Use the 5 +/- 2 rule when using color to code items. • Be wise with high saturation and brightness hues. • Establish priorities using color temperature, be logical and reasonable. • Be cross-culturally adept.
  38. 38. Physiological Design • Do not use highly saturated, spectrally extreme color simultaneously. • Avoid Juxtaposition.
  39. 39. Be wise with blue. (new Ford Mustang semi-transparent billboards) Ford Motor Co. (C) 2006
  40. 40. Be wise with blue. (new Ford Mustang semi-transparent billboards) Ford Motor Co. (C) 2006
  41. 41. • Use red and green for central colors, not for background areas or for small peripheral elements. Times Square in New York City. September 2006
  42. 42. • Avoid adjacent colors which differ only in hue. Graphic by: National Bank of Turkey. (c) 2006
  43. 43. • Consider the final viewing environment. Graphic by: Hewlett Packard Co. (c) 2006
  44. 44. Avoid single-color distinctions. Graphic: Red Cross International. (c) 2006
  45. 45. Functional design recommendations A journey through five instructional applications of graphics: cosmetic, motivation, attention-gaining, presentation and practice*.
  46. 46. I. Pictures • Can aid learning. • Cannot aid learning. • Cannot aid learning and deter. Graphic by: Amnesty International (c) 2006
  47. 47. II. Selection • The needs of the learner, the content and the nature of the task. Graphic: GE Home Appliances, Germany (c) 2006
  48. 48. III. Attention • Graphics should not distract from the lesson goals or objectives. • In marketing, this rule is always “broken” as you can see in the graphic. Graphic by: AXE, Inc. (c) 2006
  49. 49. IV. Instructional value • Cosmetic graphics do not carry instructional value. • Coloring columns to simulate 2D french fries actually deter the instructional value of the information contained in that newspaper page. Furthermore, the choice of color is poor as yellow is not a good color for the amount and the density of text. Graphic by: McDonalds, Inc. (c) 2006
  50. 50. V. Quality • Instructional quality may be hindered by adding ‘cosmetic’ graphics after the Analysis phase. • Transitions should be consistent within groupings and categories. Graphic by: Hoover Technologies, Ltd. (c) 2006
  51. 51. V. Quality Graphic by: AXE, Inc. (c) 2006
  52. 52. VI. Motivation • Procure interest, be careful of distraction. Graphic by: Ché, Magesin. Paris, France. (c) 2006
  53. 53. VII. Contextualize Instruction • Increase the intrinsic motivation of the learner. • Stimulate Imagination and fantasy. • Graphics are used to complement and supplement the entire instructional system. Graphic by: The Economist. (c) 2006
  54. 54. VIII. Attention • The focus are the instructional materials, nothing else. • Pull learners into instruction in general and to a task in particular. • Avoid monotonous stimuli. • Excessive realism may distract student attention from specific or essential information. Graphic by: l’tour. (German Travel Agency). (c) 2006
  55. 55. IX. Processing Information • Cue learners with graphics, if at all needed. • Text can stand on its own! • Graphic: This CTA train ticket dispenser adds a significant cue to what the intended message is: feed a hungry child. Graphic by: operationhunger.org (c) 2006
  56. 56. X. Value • Instructional value of spontaneous internal imaging depends heavily on the context. • Value is iterative: to some people grabbing a bathroom handle is ordinary regardless of wether or not they wash their hands, placing an ad such as the one shown in the graphic, may challenge preconceived notions with the alternative visual proposition. Graphic: Underground transit facilities. City of New York, NY. (c) 2006

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