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08 NOVEMBER 2014

Hogeweyk: Dutch village designed just for people with dementia

"In the small town of Weesp, in Holland – that bastion of social progressivism – at a dementia–focused living center called De Hogeweyk, aka Dementia Village, the relationship between patients and their care is serving as a model for the rest of the world. ... The idea, explains Hogeweyk's creators, is to design a world that maintains as much a resemblance to normal life as possible – without endangering the patients. For example, one common symptom is the urge to roam, often without warning, which had led most 'memory units' and dementia care centres to institute a strict lock–down policy. In one German town, an Alzheimer's care center event set up a fake bus stop to foil wandering residents. At Hogeweyk, the interior of the security perimeter is its own little village – which means that patients can move about as they wish without being in danger.

Each apartment hosts six to eight people, including caretakers – who wear street clothes – and the relationship between the two is unique. Residents help with everything from cooking to cleaning. They can buy whatever they want from the grocery. They can get their hair done or go to a restaurant. It's those basic routines and rituals that can help residents maintain a better quality of living. ...

People with dementia often struggle with unfamiliar spaces, colours, and even decor. At Hogeweyk, apartments are designed to reach familiar cultural touchstones, categorized into six basic 'genres' of design: 'goois' or upperclass (the decor looks old fashioned), homey, Christian, artisan, Indonesian, and cultural. Each apartment is different, catered to a particular lifestyle, right down to the silverware and furniture. 'Living in lifestyles,' explains Hogeweyk, 'just like before.'

Molenaar&Bol&VanDillen, but it was the brainchild of Yvonne van Amerongen, a caregiver who has worked with memory patients for decades. Starting in the early 1990s, van Amerongen and a group of like–minded caregivers began researching and designing a type of home where residents would participate in life, the same way they did before they entered a dementia care unit. ...

What Hogeweyk reveals is the culturally ingrained way we distinguish between those who do and don't suffer from dementia. By treating residents as normal people, Hogeweyk seems to suggest that there isn't such a huge difference, deep down – just differing needs. By designing a city tailored to those unique needs, residents avoid the dehumanisation that long–term medical care can unintentionally cause."

(All–Generations Care Services, 21 June 2014)

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2009ageing population • Alzheimers • ambachtelijke style • Amsterdam • artisan lifestyle • care centre • care home • care services • caregiver • Christian lifestyle • cultural lifestyle • day to day life • day to day surroundings • De Hogeweyk • degenerative brain illnesses • dementia • dementia sufferer • Dementia Village • dementiaville • elderly • environmental design • extreme dementia • familiar cues • familiar surroundings • familiarityfictional setting • Goois (upper class) • health and social carehealth care • Hogewey • Hogeweyk • Holland • homey • huiselijke • Indonesian • inhabitants • lifestyleliving togethermodel villageNetherlands • normal society living • nursing home • personal autonomypersonal freedom • personal independence • personal safety • personal wellbeing • pioneering institution • psychological perception • residential home • residents • senior citizen • simulationspatial cuesspatial environmentsThe Truman Show (1998)urban simulationvillage • Weesp • weyk • wijk • Yvonne van Amerongen

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
02 APRIL 2014

Designing the Star User Interface: Familiar User's Conceptual Model

"A user's conceptual model is the set of concepts a person gradually acquires to explain the behavior of a system, whether it be a computer system, a physical system, or a hypothetical system. It is the model developed in the mind of the user that enables that person to understand and interact with the system. The first task for a system designer is to decide what model is preferable for users of the system. This extremely important step is often neglected or done poorly. The Star designers devoted several work–years at the outset of the project discussing and evolving what we considered an appropriate model for an office information system: the metaphor of a physical office.

The designer of a computer system can choose to pursue familiar analogies and metaphors or to introduce entirely new functions requiring new approaches. Each option has advantages and disadvantages. We decided to create electronic counterparts to the physical objects in an office: paper, folders, file cabinets, mail boxes, and so on–an electronic metaphor for the office. We hoped this would make the electronic 'world' seem more familiar, less alien, and require less training. (Our initial experiences with users have confirmed this.) We further decided to make the electronic analogues be concrete objects. Documents would be more than file names on a disk; they would also be represented by pictures on the display screen. They would be selected by pointing to them with the mouse and clicking one of the buttons. Once selected, they would be moved, copied, or deleted by pushing the appropriate key. Moving a document became the electronic equivalent of picking up a piece of paper and walking somewhere with it. To file a document, you would move it to a picture of a file drawer, just as you take a physical piece of paper to a physical file cabinet.

The reason that the user's conceptual model should be decided first when designing a system is that the approach adopted changes the functionality of the system. An example is electronic mail. Most electronic–mail systems draw a distinction between messages and files to be sent to other people. Typically, one program sends messages and a different program handles file transfers, each with its own interface. But we observed that offices make no such distinction. Everything arrives through the mail, from one–page memos to books and reports, from intraoffice mail to international mail. Therefore, this became part of Star's physical–office metaphor. Star users mail documents of any size, from one page to many pages. Messages are short documents, just as in the real world. User actions are the same whether the recipients are in the next office or in another country.

A physical metaphor can simplify and clarify a system. In addition to eliminating the artificial distinctions of traditional computers, it can eliminate commands by taking advantage of more general concepts. For example, since moving a document on the screen is the equivalent of picking up a piece of paper and walking somewhere with it, there is no 'send mail' command. You simply move it to a picture of an out–basket. Nor is there a 'receive mail' command. New mail appears in the in–basket as it is received. When new mail is waiting, an envelope appears in the picture of the in–basket (see figure 1). This is a simple, familiar, nontechnical approach to computer mail. And it's easy once the physical–office metaphor is adopted!

While we want an analogy with the physical world for familiarity, we don't want to limit ourselves to its capabilities. One of the raisons d'être for Star is that physical objects do not provide people with enough power to manage the increasing complexity of the 'information age.' For example, we can take advantage of the computer's ability to search rapidly by providing a search function for its electronic file drawers, thus helping to solve the long–standing problem of lost files."

(David Smith, Charles Irby, Ralph Kimball, Bill Verplank and Eric Harslem, 1982)

David Canfield Smith, Charles Irby, Ralph Kimball, Bill Verplank and Eric Harslem (1982). "Designing the Star User Interface: The Star user interface adheres rigorously to a small set of principles designed to make the system seem friendly by simplifying the human–machine interface." Reprinted from Byte, issue 4/1982, pp. 242–282.

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1982 • alien environment • analogy • Bill Verplank • black and white • Byte (magazine) • Charles Irby • common metaphorscomputer history • computer system • conceptual model • concrete objects • David Smith • desktop metaphor • digital analogues • display screen • electronic mail • electronic metaphor • electronic world • Eric Harslem • familiar analogies • familiarityfiles and foldersfiling cabinetfolderGUIinformation ageinterface metaphor • international mail • intraoffice mail • mailbox • memo • office environment • office metaphorold-world equivalents • operational behaviour • physical metaphor • physical world • Ralph Kimball • resemblanceskeuomorphismvisual analogyvisual metaphorWYSIWYG • Xerox Corporation • Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC)Xerox PARCXerox Star PC

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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