Appendix B. Glossary

Affordances
Perceived possibilities for action that inform, and are informed by, the different ways that we can interact with objects and our environment.
Cognitive load
The amount of mental effort used the intellect at any moment, according to cognitive psychologist, John Sweller, who applied the concept to using good design to the presentation of information.
Cue
Perceived qualities of objects or environments that signal other qualities such as the state of that object. We use them, and often depend on them, to help us understand what is happening around us, what we should do, and to recognize the state of objects, environments, and situations.
Dimension
Types of stimuli that a sense detects. The many dimensions of touch include warmth, texture, and pressure, whereas light is the single dimension of vision.
Haptic
The combination of the tactile, proprioceptive, and vestibular systems together. (Often thought of as primarily touch-based.)
Human factors
A discipline within design focused on optimizing products or systems for use by and interaction with humans.
Feedback
A response, such as a signal or cue that happens as a result of an action.
Feedforward
Similar to feedback, a special kind of a signal sent in in anticipation of an action, usually as a way of guiding users.
Kinesics
The study of how bodily movements such as facial and other gestures can communicate, whether intentionally or not.
Mental model
A representation of the way a person thinks about ...

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