Advertisements are everywhere, from bus stop benches out in the city to pop-up windows on your computer. It seems no matter where you go, people are trying to sell you something. Of course, with multiple competing corporations vying for your limited resources, designing an “eye-catching” ad or package is a crucial first step.
In this class, we have discussed mechanisms of visual search and attention. We have also discussed eye-tracking, which designers and marketers can use to understand how people interact with products and advertisements. What are some of the factors that result in an advertisement or packaging “capturing” your attention?
For the first part of this assignment, you will be evaluating the ways in which retail store designers and marketers attempt to direct your attention.
1. Pick one of the following options to go to:
· Grocery store
· Department store
Go to your chosen location, WITHOUT ANY INTENTION OF BUYING ANYTHING (!!!), and walk around. Be extra mindful about where your gaze settles as you enter, and what has been placed there. Bring a notepad with you to take notes as you walk around the store normally and be mindful of the following questions you will need to address.
Points to address:
· How does the layout of the store promote certain products?
· When you find a product that captures your attention, look closely at it. What aspects of the product drew you in? Where did you look first, and how did you scan it?
· How is color used to attract your attention and persuade you to purchase a product?
· How is the shape/size of a product (e.g., affordances) used to get your attention? And make it easy (or hard) for you to pick up? Are they selling the product or the convenient packaging?
· Look at how the store is laid out (the Spatial Design) – what do you see upon entering? Are you encouraged to move quickly through some areas and linger in others?
· Where are various types of products located? Is everything just randomly placed in the store? Is there a noticeable pattern to product placement on the shelves?
· Especially note the very important END of each aisle!
· Are heavy items easy to lift from the shelves? Can everyone reach all the products?
Now, pick an item that you want to buy (you don’t have to buy it, just pretend).
· How do you go about searching for this item?
· How is the store laid out to assist your search for this item?
· Once you find the rough location of the item, how do you choose EXACTLY which item to buy? This should include choosing both brand and the exact particular item you select.
And then wrap things up by getting back into course material:
· How does all of this relate to the visual search mechanisms we discussed in class including feature-integration theory? Discuss how both pre-attentive and attentive search were at play while walking around the store.
Pick an area you are familiar with but haven’t seen a map of too recently (perhaps a favorite vacation spot). Make sure that whatever are you choose you have experience navigating (so you have route knowledge of the area). If you wish, you can also draw a map of a virtual area you have explored, such as an area from a video game (assuming you can find a *real* map of the same area). Using only your memory, try to construct a reasonably useful map of the area – pretend you are giving this to a friend who has never been to that area, and this is all they will get.
2. Take a picture of your map and include it on your answer sheet. After you are done, find a real map of the same area and compare the two together. Then address the following questions:
· What landmarks did you decide to include in your map and why? What potential landmarks did you NOT include, and why?
· Comparing your map to the real map, what distortions are present in your map? Why do you think these distortions exist?
· Are there any serious problems in your map that would impact someone else’s navigation to a notable degree? Why or why not?
· What does this exercise reveal about your stored mental representation of a particular area (i.e., your cognitive map of the area)?
For the last part of this assignment, you’ll need to discuss the necessary and sufficient conditions for what makes a game a game.
3. What is a game? Provide a very quick definition, without thinking too hard about it.
· List as many necessary conditions of the category game as you can think of (again, don’t think too hard). These should be qualities that all games have.
· After you list all your necessary conditions, now you can think hard. Try to figure out if they are truly necessary, or if you can think of things you would categorize as being a “game” that don’t include those qualities.
· Once you are done (and probably left with only a few necessary conditions), decide if they are sufficient. Are the qualities that you have remaining enough to call something a game? Or might they describe other things that wouldn’t be called games?
· Do you think we categorize things as being games based on necessary and sufficient conditions? How would you categorize things as being games based on function? History? Prototype/exemplar models?
Your discussion will probably be somewhere around 6-8 pages or so double spaced (quality much more important than quantity). You should cite course papers, books, and course slides whenever necessary in APA format (use this cite for a refresher: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/apa_style/apa_formatting_and_style_guide/general_format.html)
and include a references page. It is always better to cite primary sources over my slides when choosing a citation. You are free to cite any additional material you wish, but only cite primary peer-reviewed sources as evidence (other sources can be used to discuss things like public perception).