CTS Non Visual Experiences

Non Visual Experiences

Since one of our primary senses and one we rely on is our “sight” it is a very important sense to take into consideration when designing things if you work in media or design industries, although other senses are important.

SIGHT – Visual (Eyes)

SOUND – Audible (Ears)

TOUCH – Haptic (Skin)

TASTE – Gustatory (Tongue/Nose)

SMELL – Olfactory (Nose)

Sound is also very important (music or talking/anything you can hear relies on this sound so it can affect video games tremendously) and can add atmosphere and depth to televisions shows and visual mediums and even art galleries sometimes use music to help set the mood or atmosphere for a particular exhibition. For instance I went to the Victoria & Albert Museum to see the Exhibition on Glastonbury and another Exhibition on Music had Rolling Stones’ “Paint it Black” playing.

Smell and Taste are hard to incorporate into designs as TV and Movies and Video Games don’t uses them as senses, but Touch is easy as controllers for Video Games typically have vibration features to convey haptic feedback.

I have been into sweet shops and they use sweet smells and bright colors to make it feel like a Willy Wonka esque candyland. I also went on a tour of the Cadbury’s Factory in Birmingham years ago and they gave us an ungodly amount of free samples which actually turned me off chocolate forever.

You could divide these senses into two groups; Contact and Distance senses. Contact senses require you to touch something, obviously, while Distance does not require this.

Distance Senses; SIGHT, SOUND

Contact Senses; TOUCH, TASTE, SMELL

These are not strict categories though as some could argue that smelling is a distant sense because you do not have to be near an object to smell it, but you could equally say that touching particles from the object with your nose makes it a contact sense. Honestly I think to argue about it to that degree is being needlessly pedantic.

Conservative estimates place the amount of scientific senses at roughly ten;

  1. Vision
  2. Hearing
  3. Smell
  4. Taste
  5. Touch
  6. Pain
  7. Mechanoreception
  8. Balance
  9. Temperature
  10. Blood Pressure

The more scientifically liberal minded believe there are thousands of senses.

Constance Classen “The Witches Senses”

Ocularcentric – Centred Around Sight

Cutaneous – Relating To, Or Affecting, The Skin

Somatic – Relating To The Body, Especially Separate From The Mind

Visceral – Relating To Deep, Inward Feelings As Opposed To Intellect.



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