The video outlines how good Information Design builds meaning in the brain by activating three key areas: the ventral stream of the visual processing pathway, the dorsal stream of the visual processing pathway, and the limbic system to deepen the way people experience information. Tom’s message is identical to how Apture presents content and enhances the way readers experience information on the web.
Five years ago at Stanford University, I took Professor Kalanit Grill-Spector‘s classes on the Psychology & Neuroscience of Perception and read certain literature which influenced a lot of how I think about Apture’s user interface.
Here are the three take-aways and similarities I saw:
1. Use images to clarify ideas.
Apture let’s you turn flat phrases of text and flesh them out into visually rich and memorable representations: images, videos, slideshows, etc. For example, you can turn the word sad, into something rich. Turn the word happy into something more colorful.
How this relates to the brain: Wujec suggests that images activate the “what” part of our visual perception pathway, the ventral stream which deepens how those ideas get stored.
2. Interact with images to create engagement.
Apture doesn’t just let you present information, it lets you interact with it. You can open, close, drag and maximize any Apture window and move them around as you see fit. Try one now. We’ve found in user tests that readers frequently drag a window around and feel pleasure in having the control to rearrange them as they read. Interactive maps are an even cooler example.
How this relates to the brain: Wujec suggests that being able to spatially manipulate images (or Apture windows) activates the “where” part of the visual perception pathway: the dorsal stream and deepens the meaning of our engagement.
3. Augment memory with persistent and evolving views.
When we designed Apture, we chose to include animations so that users had a persistent and evolving view of a content object. As a window spawns or maximizes, it happens smoothly and creates continuity. But there’s another reason too: the right animation can literally cause an emotional response. It can be fun!
How this relates to the brain: Wujec suggests that animation activates the limbic system, which is the part of the brain responsible for feelings & emotions that are very core. If we’re doing our job right, you should say “oh wow, that animation just feels so nice!”
Certainly there are many more ways to deepen a person’s understanding without depending on your visual senses, specifically. After all, we have four other senses we use to experience the world. But I believe there is something to this idea: that the more senses you can engage in a story, the more deeply you are able to process and experience it.
What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.