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Monday, April 17, 2017

MIT’s WaitSuite Uses Clever Interaction Design To Make You Smarter | Co.Design - Interactive

Photo: Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan
"By harnessing moments where you’re waiting–from Instagram to Gchat–these apps help you make a habit of learning." according to Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan,  Co.Design's deputy editor.

Photo: Guerilla/Getty Images

How long has it been since you learned something new?

Perhaps you’d like to learn Italian, or be able to identify stars in the night sky. Maybe you even have a dedicated app that helps you memorize vocab, or flash cards showing the constellations. Maybe you even make a New Year’s resolution. Yet some research suggests that 80% of resolutions fail by March. It isn’t necessarily your willpower that’s to blame, though. Adults have limited time to devote to repetitive learning tasks like memorization on a daily basis–jobs, kids, and other responsibilities simply take priority.

Photo: Carrie Cai

“Everyone these days wants to learn something, but can’t seem to find time for it,” says Carrie Cai, a PhD student at MIT’s CSAIL. Cai is interested in how to make life-long learning a more relevant part of life as an adult. Yet in her research, she observed that the primary limiter isn’t a lack of great apps or platforms for learning. “That’s when I realized that time was the missing element,” she says.

You might not have 20 or even five minutes of consistent free time to devote to learning every day, but you do spend a surprising amount of time waiting. You wait for apps to load. You wait for your coworker to respond to a Gchat. You wait for your Wi-Fi to connect. You might wait for an elevator. 

To keep yourself entertained during these moments, perhaps you open a new tab and load Facebook, or the New York Times.

Cai describes this kind of behavior as compulsive technology use, and suggests that these micro-moments of waiting time actually represent a real learning opportunity. Her platform, called WaitSuite, is a suite of five apps that use clever interaction design to embed micro-learning moments into the interfaces you’re already using...

You can try the first publicly accessible app of the bunch, WaitChatter, for yourself here.
Read more...  

Source: Co.Design (blog)


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