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Rizwan Ansary

Assignment 1

"Human-Centered Public Transportation Systems for
Persons with Cognitive Disabilities -
Challenges and Insights for Participatory Design"

1. what did you find

1.1. interesting about the article?
The methodology used was simple and interesting. The diversity of
design participants with different areas of expertise was quite
fascinating. The findings for people without cognitive disabilities shed some light on problems that I was not familiar with before.

1.2. not interesting about the article?
I read the future plans with lesser interest than I read the rest
of the article. The plans are more of a natural extension to the
current idea and as such do not introduce any new ideas.

2. what do you consider the main message of the article?
Problems in transportation systems for people with cognitive
disabilities cannot be completely solved yet they can be
significantly reduced. By extending the ideas of participatory
design, existing systems can be continually improved.

3. are there themes discussed in the article which you would like
to know more about?
I would like to know more about participatory design and why it is
essential and not optional to employ in this system. In other
words, what are the other approaches and why do they fail or do
worse. I would also like to know whether it can always be used as
part of a design, learn and collaborate cycle.

4. what did you find interesting about the ?EDC/CLever? system?
It could have employed on a user interface that was more basic
than the current one. Yet, it chose to rely on 3D visualization
and audio instructions thereby simplifying the learning task for
people with cognitive disabilities and it is this community that
faces the biggest challenge as opposed to people with no cognitive
disabilities. In contrast a more basic interface would have made
the learning more difficult.

5. do you know of other papers, ideas, and systems which are
closely related to the article and the ??EDC/CLever? system?
I have read of an intelligent agent program that helps a cab-
driver navigate his way through the journey while maximizing the
utility and comfort of the trip for the passenger. The agent learns through supervised learning. Also, there are now GPS devices installed in automobiles which can, in certain cars, lay out the entire route to the destination taking into consideration concerns like time and traffic.

6. what do the article and the associated system say about
I find the iterative methodology used to be similar to the idea of
design, learning and collaboration. The four stages ensured that
constraints of the existing system and limitations of the users
were properly addressed.

6.1. design
The design activity included identifying the constraints of
existing systems and the problems faced by the user community.

6.2. learning
The iterative activity of prototyping and design evaluation
enabled the system to learn from the previous iteration.

6.3. collaboration
The deployment of the system and its evaluation by the diverse
group of diverse participants enabled a platform to exchange ideas
and view problems from each participantís perspective.

6.4. innovative media to support for these activities?
To quote from the authors, the media was chosen in order to "
create technologies that eliminate the need to master complex
navigational artifacts".

7. do you have any ideas how this research could / should be
extended (based on your own knowledge and experience)?
I would like to explore the use of alternative user interfaces for
solving the same problems as discussed in the article. Also, I
would like to see the kind of results achieved with applications
and interfaces customized for each disability. The idea is that
people with different disabilities face different kinds of
learning hurdles.

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