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Delivering a unified design model (UDM) - To align design to the way the human brain processes visual information

Hilliard, B., Armarego, J., Turk, A. and McGill, T. (2016) Delivering a unified design model (UDM) - To align design to the way the human brain processes visual information. Journal of Teaching and Education, 6 (2). pp. 215-231.

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Presentation tools like PowerPoint are used extensively (Park & Feigenson, 2013), but they are regularly criticised because poor application obfuscates the message (Schoeneborn, 2013). The project introduced in this paper focussed on developing a Unified Design Model (UDM) and an integrated set of research-based design principles, which would help users overcome identified weaknesses in the use of presentation aids. As a bi-product of the research, this project also addressed issues related to other computer-based visualisations. The first step taken to achieve this objective was to review research in neuroscience, biopsychology, and cognitive science. Collected information was used to develop an integrated understanding of the way the human brain processes information, and particularly visual content. This knowledge was then integrated with guidance and results from psychophysics and design related publications, to create a set of draft principles that holistically covered the key aspects of visual design. In all, the information from 1640 publications was used to develop these draft design principles. The validity of these draft principles was tested through an experimental program, which is explained in the PhD thesis at Hilliard (2016). In the interests of brevity, this paper only introduces the UDM framework. However, even this short introduction to the UDM gives important insights into the design of presentations, and other forms of computer-based visualisations, including web pages and e-learning material.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Engineering and Information Technology
Publisher: University Publications
Copyright: © 2016 JTE
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