Friday, November 27, 2009

Want to Hear Better? Touch Someone

On this Black Friday, I was listening to NPR instead of shopping with the masses when I heard this interesting story on listening. A recent study in the journal Nature found that sensations on the skin help you hear better. Sounds such as "Pa" require a burst of air while others like "Ba" or "Da" don't. Bryan Gick, a professor of phonetics at the University of British Columbia says:

From my point of view, we're whole-body perceiving machines. We just take all of the information that comes at us in our environment and merge it into a percept of something that happened in the world.

We already knew that seeing a person's lips while they are talking helps our perception, but feeling their words is really interesting to me. It got me wondering...When we design user experiences are we too one dimensional? A lot of companies, including Google, use statistics as their core view of their users. A holistic view of our customers could uncover product features we couldn't find through stats alone.

Here is the full article from NPR:

http://weblogs.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=120873368

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