The Brain and Technology: Brain Science in Interface Design
How This Course Will Help Your Career
What You’ll Learn
- Human attention—in particular, how the brain decides what is most important and therefore what we should look at first
- How to create effective designs, through basing them on how the brain manages and prioritizes the sensory information it receives
- The link between intuition and the evolution of our brains, as well as how to apply this knowledge so as to build software that engages with human intuition
- How to compose screens that work visually, by tapping into the brain science behind visual recognition
- Human recollection, and its implications on designing documents and software that support memory
- How to create products that cater to the brain’s feedback loop, as well as screen controls that tap into our sense of purpose
- How to build technology that makes learning easier, thus becoming more successful
- An understanding of how human and social factors affect technology—including future social and technical evolutions
How do you know if your next computer system, app or website will be a success? Well, if you look at all major technological advances in the last few decades, you’ll see that it heavily depends on whether it works well with people. Developments such as email, smartphones, and social networks have all involved some form of human-to-computer interaction and interface. The critical success factor for modern technology has therefore become not what it does but how it interacts with people. For example, can you even imagine life without your smartphone these days? Technology has interwoven itself not only into the human psyche but also quite literally—handheld devices can now be seen attached to peoples’ palms in virtually any setting.
When people use technology, a biological information processor (i.e., the brain) interacts with a mechanical information processor (i.e., the computer)—and this interaction will fail if there is no common ground. If you, as a designer, miss the mark between these two worlds of natural and artificial intelligence, they will collide jarringly. This course will therefore merge brain science and computer science in order to teach you the field of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). You will learn optimal approaches to designing better software, mobile applications, and websites, including online communities, by learning how to create software that interacts with human intuitions. Such knowledge of HCI is now a critical skill—building new hardware and software goods will result in negative returns on investment (ROI) if users can’t or don’t want to use them. Designers must know the basics of brain science in order to practice computer science, not only for people but for communities, too.
The course is created and presented by Brian Whitworth, a registered psychologist who is also trained in computing and has a wealth of experience and qualifications in both fields: BA (Psych), BSc (Maths), MA (Psych), PhD (IS), and Major (Retd.). Each lesson highlights a particular brain-technology difference and uses it to explain what works—and what doesn’t—when people use technology. Every lesson is further divided into ten-minute video blocks, that you can watch independently, so as to fit your learning experience into a busy schedule.
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Is This Course Right for You?
This is an advanced-level course on brain and computer sciences. It is targeted at anyone interested in the synergy of people and technology:
- UX, UI, and web designers looking to learn relevant skills and knowledge so as to build digital systems for people
- Software engineers keen on writing programs that work for people, not the other way around
- Project managers interested in successfully creating an online platform that fosters interactions between people
- Newcomers to design who are considering making a switch to UX design
- Anyone interested in human-technical interfaces, from reporters and philosophers to the general public
Courses in the Interaction Design Foundation are designed to contain comprehensive, evidence-based content, while ensuring that the learning curve is never too steep. All participants will have the opportunity to share ideas, seek help with tests, and enjoy the social aspects afforded by our open and friendly forum.
Learn and Work with a Global Team of Designers
You’ll join a global community and work together to improve your skills and career opportunities. Connect with helpful peers and make friends with like-minded individuals as you push deeper into the exciting and booming industry of design.
Lessons in This Course
- Each week, one lesson becomes available.
- There’s no time limit to finish a course. Lessons have no deadlines.
- Estimated learning time: 18 hours 12 mins spread over 7 weeks.
Lesson 0: Introduction
Lesson 1: Attention
Lesson 2: Context
Lesson 3: Intuition
Lesson 4: Recognition
Lesson 5: Thought
Lesson 6: Feedback
Lesson 7: Learning
Lesson 8: The Future Is Us
Lesson 9: Course Certificate, Final Networking, and Course Wrap-up
This course is part of 3 learning paths:
How Others Have Benefited
savvina simillidou, Cyprus
“The strength of the course is that the instructor was speaking very clearly (this is important for a person like me where English is not my native language), also it was never boring. It is more interesting to listen someone that reading something.”
Tony Russell, United Kingdom
“Instructor Brian Whitworth was really good. Course content was great and up to date.”
Phillip Dodson, United States
“I wanted to thank you! IDF is just the best thing ever. Just ever! Making this information accessible and available at the high level of quality. Just awesome!”
How It Works
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Lessons are self-paced so you’ll never be late for class or miss a deadline.
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