8.1.1 Visibility

Recall that a key usability design feature identified by Donald Norman – from his analysis of using everyday objects such as doors – was visibility. An everyday object such as a door, or a control such as a button on a product should appear to be obvious about how it is used, and indeed it should perform that obvious function. For example, is it obvious how you insert a disc into a player? Is it obvious how you switch the machine on, adjust volume, and so on?


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7 Ergonomics and human factors

This section discusses designing for human capabilities and limitations. It introduces the study of ergonomics which can offer general guidelines as well as specific suggestions for good, user-centred product design.

Taking the user as the central point of reference for the design and evaluation of products is the approach encouraged by ergonomists.

The field of ergonomics (also known as human factors engineering) is the systematic study of human capabilities, limitations and requ
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2.5 Air circulation

At this stage, air circulation enters and plays a dual role. Firstly, winds transmit moisture horizontally from one location to another. In this way, moisture derived from oceanic evaporation can be transported many miles to a land mass. Secondly, convective or vertical currents arising from unequal heating or cooling can transmit moisture upwards. When it cools, some of the water vapour condenses. It is from these currents that most precipitation develops.


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2.3 Transpiration

If there were no vegetation, the rate of evaporation from land surfaces after rain would diminish rapidly to a very low value. Plants increase this rate by transpiration. In this process, water is transferred from the soil through the roots to the leaves by osmosis and capillary action. Water evaporates from the surface of the leaves and the resulting vapour diffuses into the atmosphere. For hydrological measurements, this phenomenon is frequently lumped with evaporation because the two proce
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Module team

Andy Lane, author Mary Thorpe, author

John Martin, course chair, Amber Eves, course manager

Mandy Anton, graphic designer

Susan Carr, critical reader

Tony Duggan, project controller (Technology)

Eion Farmer, critical reader

Clive Fetter, editor

Jim Frederickson, critical reader

Pip Harris, compositor

Caryl Hunter-Brown, subject information specialist

John Naughton, critical reader

Pat Shah, course secretary

Ro
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Acknowledgements

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Grateful acknowledgement is made to the following sources for permission to reproduce material in this text:

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4 Introduction

(Please refer to Reading 4: Learning to act: managing and systems practice, by Andy Lane) This unit teaches some aspects of systems thinking and practice. But what does it mean to be a systems practitioner, and is it different to being a manager? This reading attempts to answer those questions.

First, I believe a good systems practitioner will be more competent at handling complex situations, more capable of managing their working and domestic lives, and more able to learn not only how
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3.4 Conclusion

The headings alongside each of the activities in this article were there to remind you of the three different types of learning to which you were introduced in Reading 2: memorising, understanding and doing. The three models of the learning process that I have discussed in the present reading – acquisitive, constructivist and experiential – have strengths particularly for each of these three kinds of learning.

Some learning goals require that we know information accurately and can r
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3.2 The constructivist model of learning

This model of learning concentrates on what happens during the process of learning. It identifies the central role of concepts and understandings that learners bring to new learning and the way in which new and old ideas interact. Its starting point is that learners use their existing frameworks of understanding to interpret what is being taught, and that these existing ideas influence the speed and effectiveness with which new ideas are learned. Learners are actively involved in processing w
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3.7 Aftermath

In the immediate aftermath of the disaster, it was vital to prevent any further collapses, especially on bridges of similar design. Two other bridges were built to a design similar to that of the Silver Bridge, one upstream at St Mary's, West Virginia and the other in Brazil at Florianopolis. The bridge upstream on the Ohio river, at St Mary's, was the focus of concern, and it was closed to traffic immediately after the disaster. The eye-bar design was actually quite widespread in other bridg
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2.4 Activities 9 and 10

Activity 9

Watch the next segment of video. Once you’ve watched the video, jot down some notes on what you learnt about how the Grand Louvre meets the needs of today.

Click to view video

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Learning outcomes

By the end of your work on this unit you should have:

  • an understanding of the main events of the French Revolution 1789–99 and its significance in the shift in European culture from Enlightenment to Romanticism;

  • an enhanced appreciation of the French Revolution and its significance through exposure to selected contemporary texts, documents and illustrations of the period.


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1.2 Napier's bones

Before pursuing who logarithms were for (and what they are), we first look briefly at another of Napier's computational aids. For in the years following his death, it was in fact his numerating rods, the so-called Napier's bones, that were more widely known and used. These consisted of the columns of a multiplication table inscribed on rods, which could make the multiplying of two numbers easier by setting down the partial products more swiftly. This simple contrivance was derived from
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4 Conclusion

The biographical monograph is probably one of the best ways of writing appealing and accessible art history. Helen Langdon's Caravaggio is an attractive and well-written narrative of the life and work of an important and allegedly infamous artist. We learn about a set of artworks in a particular context and at the same time get to know a ‘new friend’ whose personality and environment seem to speak through the illustrations. The biographical structure is also a convenient way of con
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Introduction

This unit will concentrate on one of the most common forms of art history writing – a biographical monograph about a single artist's life and work. You will be focusing on the way that one author, Helen Langdon, has used biography in her book about one artist, Caravaggio. In order to get the most out of studying this unit you will need access to a copy of this book (ISBN 071266582x)

You will look in detail at the methods she has used to approach her subject and the different kinds of
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4 Review

  1. We began by considering the meanings of ‘imagination’ and related terms in everyday contexts, and then looked at the twelve conceptions of imagination that Stevenson distinguishes. This suggested a first definition of ‘imagining’ – ‘thinking of something that is not present to th
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4.3 Sentences: subject and object

A sentence consists of a number of words which, to make sense, must include a verb. Unless this is the only word in the sentence (as in ‘Run!’), there will normally be a word telling us who or what is doing the action. This doer, whether noun or pronoun, is called the subject of the verb.

Consider these sentences:

The players ran onto the pitch. The referee blew his whistle, and the centre-forward
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4.2.4 Verbs

Verbs are the most important words of all, as is suggested by the fact that the verb in both English and Latin is named after the Latin word uerbum, word! Without a verb, a sentence cannot be a proper sentence, or a clause a proper clause. A one-word sentence consists of a verb only, for example, Run!

The ending of a Latin verb shows who the doer of the action of the verb is (which is why there is usually no need of a pronoun to show this). Below are the pres
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Acknowledgements

This unit was written by Dr Angus Calder

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Grateful acknowledgement and thanks are made to Michael Schmidt, OBE, FRSL, Carcanet
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2.3.4 War

MacLean's love poems present a situation where the speaker is baffled by stasis. He cannot act. Frustration in love is involved with political frustration.

Gaelic tradition values men of action – often heroes who died in defeat. The battle cry of the MacLeans, ‘Fear eile air son Eachainn’ (‘Another One for Hector’), recalls the battle of Inverkeithing in 1651, when the seventeenth chief of the clan, ‘Red Hector of the Battles’, fell in action. Clansman after clansm
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