Dynamics of Cognition: An Approach to Usability and Visual Design

Presented by: Kirk St.Amant Louisiana Tech University and University of Limerick


Each day, we engage in a series of mental processes when using objects in the world around us.  These cognitive dynamics affect our expectations of what items are, what they do, and how to use them effectively.  The better we understand these psychological processes, the more effectively we can design materials audiences can use effectively.  

This presentation introduces attendees to core, cognitive dynamics affecting design expectations and product usability.  The presenter will also discuss approaches for researching the cognitive factors affecting the usability and design expectations of different audiences and strategies for applying related results to product development and design processes.

Through the examination of these ideas, attendees will learn 

  • Fundamental cognitive processes affecting audience expectations of usability
  • Approaches for researching cognitive factors affecting usability expectations
  • Methods for applying such research to create more usable products

The presenter will also provide examples of how to apply these concepts and processes when developing communication-based materials.

About our Speaker

Kirk St.Amant is a Professor and Eunice C. Williamson Endowed Chair in Technical Communication at Louisiana Tech University and an Adjunct Professor of International Health and Medical Communication with the University of Limerick in Ireland.  He researches how cognition affects usability and design with a focus on international health and medical settings.