Modern theories (distributed cognition) [M3]

Känd [M3] Modern theories (distributed cognition) vol.2 - How did distributed cognition evolve

The map firstly reflects upon the three theoretical approaches in HCI modern theories. Firstly Social approaches like external cognition, distributed cognition and ecological psychology. They were all a sort of derivation of the others. External cognition was quite concrete and focused on the relations of internal and external representations. Distributed cognition took into account the environment in which the task was carried out as well as the interactions among people and the artifacts used. The main limitations of the distributed approach brought out in the article were the need of extensive fieldwork – the analysis needed to be carried out in the environment and it also expected to have a good overview of the different aspects and relations within it. Because it did not have a set of out-of-the-box interlinked concepts, it was also difficult to apply. Ecological psychology approach on the other hand was more focused on invariant structures in the environment and using them as tools to guide and design the surroundings or visuals. The approach used ecological constraints to guide actions, accordances to give usability clues and entry points to attract and trigger interaction. There were some limitations for usability and interaction like being unable to find similarities between certain visual artefacts on the screen and real world analogies (e.g. door knob and grasping action).

As far as the theories and approaches are concerned, it was a bit easier to comprehend than classic theories. Mainly because I am able to easily visualize the point and put it into a real world perspective. Some aspects of the social approaches are quite new and modern (that is why they must be called that) and are easily applicable even today.

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