Title: Cognitive Science and Design
Context: How Google hacks your brain’s software to make better UIs.
Synopsis: As user experience designers we tend to abstract our target users into aggregate personas in an attempt to try and understand their motivations and expectations. What they do, how they act, where they go, and – in the most foolhardy abstraction of them all – how they think. We subjugate the individual into an amalgam that frees us from having to account for every last idiosyncratic personality trait and unique prejudice. The conscious pastiche we arrive at is a leveling of the range of psyches we are trying to understand but it almost invariably misses the most useful, vestigial threads that bind us all together. Evolution has written our cognitive code as a universal binary and yet we fail to account for these core components even as we try to tie the most tenuous features of our core users together into a representative singularity. The final lesson? When analyzing the psychological software of your users, do not fail to also account for the biological hardware that we all ship with.
Best Bit: “You start with mechanical computation…but then there’s another phase and that’s the biological computation…and this is where your code is actually being interpreted, on the user’s mind.”

via developers.google.com