Background on Signals Signal modulation changes a sine wave to encode information. The equation representing a sine wave is as follows:
Information and the world of tomorrow. Why all this matters.
It cannot be seen or touched. It is not composed of matter at all. However, it is very real. It can perform intellectual work. It can answer questions. It can affect the world by disbursing money at a bank or by controlling a robot arm in a factory.
He slung some weighty stones, to be sure, but their placement had only to please a subterranean audience whose interest in the matter was rapidly decomposing. The dead are notoriously unpicky. Instead, their vivified creations often resemble those of Frankenstein—helpless, unhelpful, maddeningly stupid, and prone to accidental destruction.
For decades, the usability pundits have devoted vim and vitriol to a crusade against frustrating interfaces. Yet, software has remained frustrating, and as the importance of software to society has grown, so too has Clever research paper names crisis. The crusade marches on, with believers rarely questioning the sacred premise—that software must be interactive in the first place.
Perhaps the spark of life is misdirected magic. What is software design? A person experiences modern software almost exclusively through two channels: She reads and interprets pictures on a screen.
She points and pushes at things represented on the screen, using a mouse as a proxy finger. Thus, software design involves the design of two types of artifact: These are not brave new realms of human endeavor.
We share the blood of cavemen who pushed spears into mammoths and drew pictures of them in the living room. By now, these two activities have evolved into well-established design disciplines: Graphic design is the art of conveying a message on a two-dimensional surface.
This is a broad field, because people have such a variety of messages to convey—identity, social status, emotion, persuasion, and so on. Most relevant to software is a branch that Edward Tufte calls information design—the use of pictures to express knowledge of interest to the reader.
Some products of conventional information graphic design include bus schedules, telephone books, newspapers, maps, and shopping catalogs. A good graphic designer understands how to arrange information on the page so the reader can ask and answer questions, make comparisons, and draw conclusions.
When the software designer defines the visual representation of her program, when she describes the pictures that the user will interpret, she is doing graphic design, whether she realizes this or not. Industrial design is the art of arranging and shaping a physical product so it can be manipulated by a person.
This too is a broad field, because people work with such a variety of objects—cutlery to chairs, cell phones to cars.This white paper is part of the NI Measurement Fundamentals main page series.
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Drawing Out the Shy Student: Tips from Lynne Kelly * Provide models of effective communication behavior through demonstrations or videotape. Point out to students when good communication behaviors have occurred and why they are good behaviors.