CTS Stages of Action

Every action someone makes takes place during a period of time. Performing simple actions such as drinking from a cup or bottle involves someone having to know how to pick it up, how gravity affects the liquid etc.

The Gulf of Execution – How do things work?

When learning  a new action you begin to wonder “How can this work? What can I do?” and more.

Signifiers, Constraints, Mappings and Conceptual Models can be used to teach this.

The Gulf of Evaluation – What happened?

Once an action is performed you evaluate what happened and whether you achieved the desired affect.

Feedback and Conceptual Models can be used for this.

For example a child might not know how to use a light switch but over time they see other people performing the action and realize that pressing a button on a wall turns on a light somewhere. The reason why Conceptual Model is listed above twice is that you can see someone perform an action, like flicking a switch, but until you have performed the action yourself you might not know what the end result is. For instance I have a trio of light switches downstairs that turn on a porch light, hall light and landing lights. I’ve lived here for 24 years and I still get them mixed up every day.

Step 1 – Goal

What do I want to do?

Step 2 – Plan

How will I do this?

Step 3 – Specify

Decide on course of action

Step 4 – Perform

Perform action(s)

Step 5 – Perceive 

See what changes have occurred

Step 6 – Interpret

Understand changes compared to prior to action

Step 7 – Compare

Have i achieved my original goal

There are 3 levels of processing information. These could be called;

Visceral

Fast/Basic/Subconscious/Reflexes/Immediate Feeling

Behavioral

Subconscious/Reaction/Anticipation/Expectation

Reflective

Slow/Conscious/Judgments/Decision Making

Designers tend to concern themselves with the reflective process as it is where people form opinions about things and you want them to think positively when reflecting on the stimulus.

Root Cause Analysis

Asking “Why?” until you find a root to a cause, for example “Why is a child being annoying?” and you can use this to try and work out the design process and thought behind something.

Knowledge

In The Head – Knowledge in the head is knowing what you know/memory: for example I lost my glasses case, then i remember where i left it.

In The World – Knowledge int he world is shown through signs, like a zebra crossing sign or “No pets allowed” etc.

These can be interchangeable as for example when learning to type you learn the keys and eventually over time you can touch type and not have to look down at the keyboard at all.

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