Free Write- Thoughts on the Norman Reading

I felt there were several very compelling issues that are mentioned in this writing.  From the very beginning of this text, I became extremely interested  in how much representation plays a part in the world around us.  According to Norman, the idea of representation is broken down into two parts;  the first is the representational world which includes all that is presented for society to see.  The second is the representational world which are all of the ways in which ideas and concepts are displayed to us primarily through h the use of symbols.  before reading this document, i always thought of a symbol as a visual reference which can be directly linked to a greater idea because the object itself is associated through its function.  This is not the case with many symbols in the world as I came to find out.  I linked the use of the pencils as symbols of cars.  A pencil in its own right has n o associations to a car but when it is utilized as a representational tool, it makes more sense than perhaps the written account of  the event.  I think this whole idea of representation and symbolism stems from the same underlying idea that human beings are drawn to visual forms of communication and with visuals often great ideas can be broken down into simpler terms.  I also liked the part in the reading that stated that representation in the world is a double edged sword.  Even as effective as symbols can be in conveying messages, they have the ability to take people away from reality.  The world cannot simply be represented because there has to be a real component to ground the individual.  Finally the reading did a good job of explaining the functionality of graphs within society to simplify complex data.  With common shapes such as a rectangle or a circle, we can easily visualize all kinds of change. 

~ by pchief8675 on 12/10/2007.

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