In this task, you will individually select a technology to compare and contrast the evolution of an interface over time and then write a ‘Compare and Contrast’ essay in which you will outline the difference between the design of the same technology and interface in two different time eras. Your essay should be 1,000 words (+/–10%) and may include photographs and/or sketches.
This Assessment will solidify your understanding of concepts introduced in Modules 1–4 and prepare you to think critically about their influence on the technologies developed across the two specified time eras.
Please refer to the Task Instructions (below) for details on how to complete this task.
Be they very rudimentary and not well thought out or the subject of prize-winning innovations, all developed technologies have an element of design. One way to achieve improvements in the development and design of technologies to be used by humans is by comparing technologies from different time eras.
In this compare-and-contrast essay, you will apply the concepts that you were introduced to in Modules 1–4 and use these concepts as a lens through which to understand the difference between the designs of interfaces and a technology over time. Rather than just hoping to prepare you to avoid the mistakes of the past, this Assessment was designed to broaden your understanding of the application of design principles and ensure that you understand the reasons for their evolution. Such reasons include an understanding of human cognition and the influence of the arts and/or literature prevalent at that time.
1.In this 1,000-word essay, you will choose the design of one type of technology, specifically its interface, and compare and contrast the design characteristics of that interface at different points in time. In doing so, you need to address the following questions:
a.How was the technology designed to suit the process being undertaken using the technology available at the time? Was there any evidence that an attempt was made to understand how human cognition and behaviour might influence the design of that technology?
b.Was the interface designed to work in a variety of physical and environmental settings (i.e., was context a consideration)? If so, how did the considerations differ between the two-time eras?
c.What influence did the art/literature scene or social movements popular at the time have on the development of the interface of the technology?
d.In designing the interface, was any consideration given to biases in human behaviour?
If so, what were these considerations and how did they differ in each era?
2.Please choose and write your compare-and-contrast essay on ONE of the following technologies across the periods specified:
a.The telephone interface design of the mid-1800s, early 1900s and the ‘landline’ telephones of the modern era;
b.The elevator interface design of the mid-late 1800s, early mid-1900s and the modern designs of today;
c.The washing machine interface of the mid-1900s, late 90s and those of today; or
d.The stovetop cooking appliances of the late 1700s, late 1800s-mid 1900s and those of today.
3.You are expected to discuss answers to the above questions by referring to some of the concepts you learnt in Modules 1–4.
4.You should use photographs/sketches of the technology you have chosen to illustrate any particular characteristics of the interfaces (these are not included in the word count).
5.You are not expected to decide whether the design of one interface to the technology is better than the other. However, you are expected to address both the positive and negative aspects of the design of the interfaces from both time eras.
If you have any questions related to the content for this Assessment, please refer them to your learning facilitator.
In writing your essay:
- Be formal and objective in your writing;
- Be analytical and demonstrate critical thinking.;
- Keep to the set word limit;
- Answer all the (above) questions in your essay;
- Conduct research using credible sources (e.g., textbooks, peer-reviewed scientific journal articles and .edu, .gov and .org webpages) and cite these references in your report;
- Format the in-text references and the references in the reference list in accordance with the APA (6th ed.) referencing style;
- Proofread your work to check that each paragraph links to the previous paragraph and is easy to read;
- Refer to the attached assessment rubric when preparing your report;
- Check your spelling, grammar and punctuation; and
- Use a size 12 font (e.g., Times New Roman, Calibri or Arial).
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