• Adobe GoLive - is a HTML editor from Adobe Systems. Its interface and function is similar to the more popular Dreamweaver.[[|]]
  • Affective computing- computing that involves emotion. 4 Pleasures (Physio, Socio, Pyscho, Ideo) need to be considered in order to construct the best affective computing.
  • Affective wearables - An affective wearable is a wearable system equipped with sensors and tools that enables recognition of its wearer's affective patterns. (Picard, 1997, 227)
  • Agents - Communication with other agents (people) within a site.
  • Analysis - When undertaking an analysis the designer should concentrate on getting the appropriate functionality and concepts, exploring the ramifications of the metaphor, evaluating how people will interpret it.
  • ANS - The autonomic nervous system, which links organs such as the heart and stomach to the central nervous system embodied in the brain and spinal cord. (Benson, Turner and Turner, 422)
  • Auditory Perception - involves transduction (the transformation of sound vibrations’ neural impulses in the ear), auditory grouping processes (how sound is segregated into systems and integrated into coherent streams), scene analysis (examination of auditory perceptual properties) and interpretation (sound is interrelated by the brain to understand the “experience of the auditory environment”) (Benson, Turner and Turner, 397).
  • ARCMAP - Allows you to download information according to the coordinates. Allows for the manipulation of geographical information.
  • Auditory grouping processes - process in which sound elements are segregated into seperate streams and integrated into sound in coherent streams.


  • The Baldwin Effect - organisms can learn to reshape their environment and consequently alter the path of evolution.
  • The Basic Human emotions - Fear, surprise, disgust, anger, happiness, and sadness. (These are generally regarded as being universal) (Benson, Turner and Turner, 421)
  • Bearing - The bearing is the horizontal angle at a given point, measured clockwise from magnetic north when turning to a second point. Used in mapping and path finding.
  • Beck's Map of the London Underground- an example of excellent information design: utilizes colour in a schematic structure, concentrating on the linear relationship between each station (rather than their actual location) (Benson, Turner, and Turner, 591).
  • Bertin, Jacques- French semiologist (1981), one of two founding fathers of the concept of information design (and Sir Edward Playfair), theorizes on how to present information on different visualization types (Benson, Turner and Turner, 591).
  • Bitmap Information - by cluster, ie Pixel. It can not be measured nor located in relation to human standards.
  • Blends - 'metaphors in design' ; a blend takes input from at least two spaces, the characteristics of the domain described by the source and the characteristics of the target that we are applying it to.
  • Bricks system - is a good example of a graspable user interface. It was developed by Fizmaurice, Ishii and Buxton and reported as long ago as 1995. It was desgined to allow the manipulation of digital objects by way of physical 'bricks'. (Benson, Turner, and Turner, 407)


  • The cannon-Bard theory - Two psychologists working in the 1920s, Cannon and Bard, disagreed with the James-Lange theory and argued that when an emoticon-arousing stimulus is first perceived, then actions follow from cognitive appraisal. They also noted that the smae visceral changes occur in a range of different emotions. (Benyon, Turner and Turner, 424)
  • Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is a simple mechanism for adding style (e.g. fonts, colors, spacing) to Web documents. Mostly used in HTML or XHTML.
  • Cartography or mapmaking is the study and practice of making maps or globes. Cartography acts not merely to record the various ways that the city is materially present, but as a creative intervention in urban space, shaping both the physicaly city and the urban life experienced and performed here.
  • Chartjunk - has to do with clarity of understanding a design; it refers to too much 'junk" or stuff in the way of important information making it the meaning unclear. ex. bad graphics lead to distortion, obsecured meaning.
  • City'O'Scope - Data was collected at a fixed moment in time and is therefore more or less static. (Sheds light on the question of where in the world might we travel or perhaps even relocate-to pay less, earn more and improve our living conditions).
  • Closure - a concept in Gestalt theory that incomplete objects are made complete by the users/readers in their perceptions
  • Cmap tool - The Cmap Tools program suite empowers users to construct, navigate, share and criticize knowledge models represented as concept maps. It allows users to, among many other features, construct their Cmaps in their personal computer, share them on servers (Cmap Servers) anywhere on the Internet, link their Cmaps to other Cmaps on servers, automatically create web pages of their concept maps on servers, edit their maps synchronously (at the same time) with other users on the Internet, and search the web for information relevant to a concept map. You could download the Cmap tool from here.
  • Cochlear Implants- hearing devices that can help people with certain kinds of hearing impairment or who are entirely deaf .
  • Co-evolution - as one person or technology evolves it will affect the structure and jobs of others (ex. the record industry after the introduction of mp3 players)
  • Cognitive Mapping - long term information about relative location of objects and phenomena in the everyday physical environment.
  • Cognitive Collage - sense of large scale spaces conditioned by cartographic interpretation (maps influence the way we think about a place).
  • Concept Maps - visual representation of concepts that are correlated through different concepts and ideas
  • Conceptual/physical objects - Conceptual>breakdown or layout of the page (pages/files/documents). Physical> perpetual devices that are used to interact with the space (ie. mouse/scroll bars...)>>>good mapping of conceptual and physical objects generally results in a better interaction.
  • Continuity - a concept in Gestalt theory in which users perceive things to be continuous or "flowing" together even if they are not
  • Core Competencies - a set of integrated and harmonized abilities that distinguish a firm in the market place
  • Coarse-grained ontology – only has a few types of objects – each will be ‘weakly typed’ (fairly vague description)
  • CSS ('Cascading Style Sheets): W3C is responsible for developing CSS language, a mark up language for specifying over 100 different style features including layout, color and sound.
  • Curlybot - a toy that can playback a motion that is set up by the user. When you play with it, it remembers how you moved it and then once released it will mimic that movement.
  • Cutaneous - Pertaining to the skin itself or the skin as a sense organ. Includes sensation of pressure, temperature and pain. (Benyon, Turner and Turner, 403)


  • Data visualization - Visualization is the graphical presentation of information, with the goal of providing the viewer with a qualitative understanding of the information contents and Information may be data, processes, relations, or concepts.
  • Dead reckoning - you calculate your position by noting the diretion you have headed in, the speed of travel and the tiem that has passed.
  • Derive (drift) - as a means of experiencing everyday life in the city free from attempts of authority to plan and regulate urban movement.
  • Design - overall look of the site
  • Digg - a community-based website devoted to ranking popularity of articles such as news, blog, syndicates on the web. All the articles links submitted to Digg and Digg creates a framework for each of the article, allowing members of the community to rank and post comments about each of the articles.
  • Direction - important to overall flow of the site so that there is always a sense of previous and next.
  • Directional Signs - signs provide route and survey information. They do this often through sign hierarchies, with one type of sign providing general directions.
  • Distance - How many clicks needed to get from one section of the site to another.
  • Districts - large sections of the city distinguished by identity or character.
  • Diversity - many niches, roles and functions needed for a healthy and growing information ecology. Eg. think of a species; not one kind of tree in a forest.
  • Dominant Design - a single product/process architecture that dominates a product or category with normally 50% of market share.
  • Dreamweaver - a web development tool originally created by Macromedia (now owned Adobe, since 2005). It has features such as What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) html editing, support for Javascript, CSS and many server side frameworks. It is the most popular web development tool and since the purchase of Macromedia, Adobe is including Dreamweaver as part of the Creative Suite 3 (commonly known as CS3) bundle that released on March 27, 2007.


  • Earcons - are musical sounds designed to reflect events in the interface. It can be used in structured combinations to create auditory messages. (Benson, Turner. Designing Interactive System 2005 p400)
  • Edges - perceived boundaries such as walls, fences, building, water.
  • Egocentric navigation: self-awareness of distance and direction traveled and is independent of the immediate surroundings
  • Exploration (type of Navigation) - concerned with finding out about a local environment and how that environment relates to other environments (Benson, Turner. Designing Interactive System 2005 p612)


  • Facial Coding System (FAC) - a sytstem developed to quantify any conceivable facial emotions expressed by humans
  • Feelies - cinematic experience, introduced by Aldous Huzley who invented the concept of “haptically enhanced cinema – not only could we watch the action and screen but feel it too” (Benson, Turner and Turner, 404). * Frequency: Of a sound wave, is the pitch of a sound. A low frequency sounds like an earthquake rumble, meanwhile a high frequency sounds like screaming children (Benson, Turner, Turner, 395).
  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome - FAS or Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is a developmental disability that is caused when a women during pregnancy drinks copious amounts of alcohol.
  • Fine-grained ontology – structure which has many strongly typed simple objects with a relatively few instances of each
  • Force feedback - Relating to the mechanical production of information sensed by the human kinaesthetic systems. (Benyon, Turner and Turner, 403)


  • Geocentric navigation: relies on external environmental cues such as landmarks and any available map information. Also called allocentric or exocentric.
  • Gestalt Theory - principles used in information design that involve how people perceive and process information
  • GIS - Geographic Information Systems- a computer based system to capture/ store/ retrieve/ analysis/ manipulate and display of data according to its location.
  • Global nagivation bar - common to have navigation bar across top of site that points to main, top-level categories and then within these there are sub-categories.
  • Google Earth: a virtual globe program that shows the earth by the superimposition of images obtained from satellite imagery, aerial photography and GIS over a 3D globe.
  • GIS (Global Information System) - storage retrieval analysis (layered base), combines layers of information about a place.
  • GPS - Global Positioning System - a satellite navigational system which includes 24 satellites orbiting the earth that can track locations and speed through a GPS receiver.
  • Grid (checkerboard) - creates the simplest and most ubiquitous form of an urban plan. The grid can be easily elaborated to generate open spaces to interrupt its monotony and produce public space within an otherwise privatized space.


  • HandScape - tape measuring tool that can be used in the physical world with the measurements transferred to the digital world. The linear measurements are transferred wirelessly to remote computers in real-time.
  • Haptic perception: is the interpretation of the sense. It starts with touch which is sensed by receptors lying both beneath the skin surface and in the muscles and joints. (Benyon, Tuner. Designing Interactive System 2005 p402)
  • Hearing: Occurs when an individual processes variations in air pressure (sound) (Benson, Turner and Turner, 394). Benson, D., Turner, P. and Turner, S. (2005). Designing Interactive Systems. Harlow, UK: Pearson Educational.
  • Hertz: The basic unit of frequency. 1Hz = 1 cycle per second. (Benyon, Turner and Turner, 397)
  • Hierarchical structure (aka tree) - arranges pages with a single root at the top and a number of branches underneath, each of which has sub-branches.
  • Hippocampus - The part of the brain that assists in storing memory by sorting and sending new bits of information to be stored in appropriate sections of your brain and recalling them when necessary.
  • HTML - abbreviation for HyperText Markup Language, it is the most commonly used markup language for creating webpages today. It is a standardized system for tagging texts to achieve desired font, size, color, images, hyperlink and many other effects. It was originally created by Tim Berners-Lee but standization did not come until 1980s. For more information regarding HTML, visit World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
  • Hyperlink - commonly know as links, provides specific targets or references to other documents, resources or to another part of the webpage. The most common form of hyperlink is Uniform Resource Locator, otherwise known as URL.


  • Iconic Representation - is a part of information design; what makes actions, objects, and concepts easier to find, recognize, learn and remember. There are four kinds of iconic representations - similar, example, symbolic and arbitrary.
  • Ideo-pleasure - results from an outer source of pleasure. Ie. books, music, art
  • Image Schemas- Lakoff and Johnson, explain the philosophy of "experientialism" or cognitive semantics. They argue human thinking emerges from the "metaphorical use of a few basic concepts" (also known as image schemas), which are linked to the way we conceptualize the world (Benson, Turner and Turner, 596).
  • Information Architecture- The art and science of structuring and classifying information spaces to help find and manage information.
  • Information Design- involves many different things, icon design, instruction design (ie: manuals), graphics and fonts. Jacobson theorizes information design is design that deals with "meanings rather than materials" (ie: how data is presented), (Benson, Turner and Turner, 591).
  • Information signs: provide information on objects, people and activities and hence aid object identification and classification
  • Information Ecology- a concept introduced in the 1980's outlining information space a complex, evolving ecosystem made up of diverse keystone species which interact within a local environment but influence the system as a whole.
  • Informational Signs- signs provide information on objects, people and activities and hence aid object identification and classification.
  • Information Studies- a Masters Degree Program from University of Toronto's Graduate School for students to pursue a more advanced and comprehensive education in digital technologies.
  • Integration-to do with coherence and not mixing metaphors. The aim here is to manipulate the whole blend, maintaining the web of relationships. The blend has its own structure and it is this that needs to have consistency maintained.
  • Interpretation: the analysis of auditory streams by our brains.
  • inTouch - explores the role of communication through touch. Place hand over one rolling object while someone else places their hand on another nearby rolling object. Physical communication over distances.


  • The James-Lange theory - This theory, which dates from the 1890s, argues that action precedes emotions and the brain interprets the obeserved action or actions as emotions. (Benyon, Turner and Turner, 423)


  • Keystone species: there are certain people that are needed to keep things working, moving and advancing.
  • Knowledge, The - refers to the London Taxi drivers' natural ability to know street locations and addresses, as opposed to consulting maps.
  • Kinaesthetic - The feeling of motion. Associating with sensations originating in the muscles, tendons and joints. (Benyon, Turner and Turner, 403)


  • Labryinth: unicursal, there is a well defined path that leads into the center and back out again, the labryinth is an ancient symbol with a history.
  • Landmark - easily identifiable objects which serve as reference points.
  • Legibility: the overarching goal of city mapping to be achieved (accuracy for statistics)
  • Local navigation: could be placed down left hand side of site or drop down when the main category is chosen.
  • Logicland: Dynamic global data is visualized in 'virtual real time' as predicted through simulation game independent of clock time. Online visualization of global economic, political and social systems that can be regarded as a multi-player long-run strategic simulation game in which any Internet user can adjust the variables.


  • Map - a representation, usually on a flat surface, as of the features of an area of the earth or a portion of the heavens, showing them in their respective forms, sizes, and relationships according to some convention of representation: a map of Canada. (
  • MCRpd - The control and model elements are unchanged but the view component is split between Rep-p (physical representation) and Rep-d (digital representation). This model highlights the tight linkage between the control adn physical representation. (Benson, Turner and Turner, 406)
  • Mazes - multicursal, they offer a choice of paths, along with a disorienting mix of twists, turns, blind alleys, and dead ends (hard to find your way and easy to get lost)
  • Media - specific use of different media such as text and/or graphics to make the site easier or more difficult to operate.
  • Meta Data- Data about data, used to classify and identify specifics regarding any given web document. For example source, author, date created, etc.
  • Metaphor - generally seen as taking concepts from one domain (called the source domain, or the vehicle) and applying them to another (the target, or tenor)
  • Meta tags- Information placed in the HTML header of a Web page, providing information that is not visible to browsers. The most common meta tags relevant to search engines are keyword and description tags.
  • Moving Through- A concept in information design, understanding how users navigate through media, recognizing each medium's differences, strengths, differences, in order to present your data in a logical way.
  • MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) - a brain scanning technology used by specialists to view real- time images of internal brain activities and functions. MRIs produce and provide valuable information to specialists concerning brain processes such as memory and navigation. (Vanderbilt, Tom (2006), Cerebral Cities, pages 5 and 7).
  • musicBottles - system includes a specially designed table and glass cork screw bottles. The user can control the music that is emitted from the bottles through the opening and closing of the bottles. Patterns of colored light are also emitted from the bottles.


  • Navigation - concerned with finding out about, and moving through, an environment. (Benson, Turner. Designing Interactive System 2005 p611)
  • Network - as soon as the structure of a hierarchy breaks down it soon becomes a network. Networks are structures where the same thing can be connected into various different hierarchies. It is a more of a natural structure but also can be confusing for some people to comprehend (Benson, Turner. Designing Interactive System 2005 p 584).
  • Newsmap: Dynamic global data is visualized in real time, as it is continuously collected.
    Software application that reflects the constantly changing landscape of global news stories collected by the Google News aggregator by mapping this into a visual space using the 'tree map' visualization technique.
  • Nodes - focal points, intersections, gathering points, decision points


  • Object Identification (type of Navigation) - concerned with understanding and classifying the objects in an environment (Benson, Turner. Designing Interactive System 2005 p611)
  • Ontology - The first thing that an information architect must do is to figure out how to conceptualize the activity. The ontology is the chosen conceptualization, and important and affects all other traits of the information space (Benson, Turner. Designing Interactive System pg. 571).
  • Organizational Structure- the way information is laid and connected
  • Owasys 22C - an example of an auditory user interface; a screen less mobile phone, uses speech synthesis technology to talk to you, so you hear all your information rather than view it on a screen (especially good for the visually impaired). The Owasys corporation received the Tecnet 2007 award for being the most innovative product/service, as named by Seniornet magazine.


  • PACT - the key components of interaction: people, activities, contexts, and technologies.
  • Paths - streets, sidewalks, trails, footpaths
  • Part-Whole Relationships - the classic law of "the whole is greater than the sum of it's parts
  • Physio-pleasure - results from our sense of touch and pleasure
  • Pinna - the outer part of the ear which captures/reflects sound waves
  • Pitch - The property of sound by which sounds are able to be ordered on a musical scale (Benyon, Turner and Turner, 397)
  • PPS - Precise Positioning System; more accurate than GPS
  • Projection - The geometric representation of the curvature on the surface of the earth, which is presented in a two-dimensional space, maybe a sheet of paper.
  • Proprioceptive - Relating to sensory information about the state of the body (Benyon, Turner and Turner, 403)
  • Proximity - a principle of Gestalt theory that involves grouping objects closer together, which are perceived as belonging together
  • Psycho-pleasure - results from the pleasure of accomplishing a task




  • Scene Analysis: extraction of perceptual properties.
  • Scope: where the emphasis on functionality (what the site will let people do) and on content (the information the site will hold)
  • Semiotics - the study of signs, symbols and their meanings. The analysis of individual signs as well as systems of signs. Includes the study of how a sign is constructed and understood.
  • Signal to noise ratio - ratio of meaningful to irrelevant information in a display
  • Size: the size of the info space is governed by the number of objects which in turn is related to the ontology.
  • Similarity - a principle of Gestalt theory, that involves grouping items that are similar to each other
  • Skeleton: concerned with information design, navigation design and interface design.
  • Slashdot - Another community-based website, similar to Digg devoted news, articles, mostly related to science to technology. Known to nerds simply as the symbol, "/.".
  • Social Navigation - arise from social interactions; customized and adapted to suit particular needs, follow well trodden paths, and rely less on designed information artefacts.
  • Socio-pleasure - results from the pleasure of interacting with others
  • Sound Wave: The Simplest sound wave is a pure tone. When reading a sound it is important to consider its height (amplitude) and the distance between peaks (period). The height (amplitude) of a wave measures the loudness of the sound, while the time between peaks (period) measures the wave frequency/pitch (Benyon, Turner and Turner, 395). Benson, D., Turner, P. and Turner, S. (2005). Designing Interactive Systems. Harlow, UK: Pearson Educational.
  • Strategy: bottom layer of a website concerned with understanding the overall objective of the website.
  • Structure: covers information with information design, navigation design and interface design.
  • Surface: concerned with the aesthetics of the site and with ensuring that good design guidelines are followed.
  • System - like a biological ecology, with strong interrelationship and dependencies among different parts. Many parts that work together ie. banks: when a computer network breaks down in a bank, the whole bank would be affected.


  • Tactile - Pertaining to the cutaneous sense but more specifically the sensation of pressure rather than temperature or pain. (Benyon, Turner and Turner, 403)
  • Tangible Bits - the vision at MIT tangible lab of a human computer interaction. This form of representation requires the use multiple senses and takes advantage of the skills we have acquired and makes information more attainable through the use of multiple forms.
  • Tangible Interactions (TI) - is a practical application of haptics. Tangible interactions gave rise to Tangible User Interface (TUI). Most of the work to date in terms of tangible interactions are done in the major research labs, for example the Media Lab at MIT, which have created advanced prototype systems (Benyon, Turner and Turner, chapter 16, page 404).
  • Tangible user interfaces (TUIs) - “TUIs couple physical representations (spatial manipulable physical objects) with digital representations (graphics and audio), yielding interactive systems that are computationally mediated by generally not identifiable as “computers” (Benson, Turner and Turner, 405). For example, instead of using the mouse to draw a picture on the computer, the user is given a pen and draws on the actual surface. TUIs in practice: Illuminating Clay (digital representation system of a given area which is used in landscape designing)
  • Technology - explained here
  • Timbre - The quality of a sound. Timbre depends on the frequency as well as the amplitude of partials, and also on how they change over time. (Benyon, Turner and Turner, 397)
  • Tone - A sound wave that evokes a sensation of pitch. (Benyon, Turner and Turner, 397)
  • Topology -The different spaces should have a similar topology. We saw how the structures of waves and furrows have a similar topology, whereas waves and trees do not. Topology is about how the concepts are organized and structured.
  • TouchCounters - detects objects and weight in bins. This device tracks the use of physical objects through magnetic acceleration and infrared sensors. The information can be sent and stored to computers that create use histograms.
  • Transduction: translation of sound vibrations into neural impulses by the ear.
  • Tree Maps: based on the proportional division of a display surface into sub-surfaces, where the surface areas stand for some quantitative attribute in the represented domain. Ideal for visualizing quantitative proportions within hierarchically nested data structures.
  • Triangles - the shape you create physically with the triangles is then created digitally on a computer screen. The pieces connect together with magnetic and conductive connectors. Users can make two dimensional and three dimensional patterns.


  • Unpacking - People should be able to unpack the blend and understand where the inputs have come from and why they work. Of course this will often be a case of interpretation. With consideration, reflection and evaluation the designer can achieve this. Designers should only have things in the blend for a good reason.


  • Vector Base Information - by object. A mathematical equation that is represented as a line in computer environments. It is quantifiable.
  • Vector Image - An image that does not use pixels. Very clear. Does not change when resolution is changed, same quality.
  • Vestibular - Pertaining to the perception of head position, acceleration and deceleration. (Benyon, Turner and Turner, 403)
  • Virtual Community - A community of people sharing the same interests, and ideas over the Internet. It is said that Howard Rheingold was the inventor of this term. He is also the one that created one of the first major Internet communities called The Well.
  • Vision - deals with the physiological and neurological processing of light (with visual perception from the meaning of patterns of light) (Benyon, Turner and Turner, 394).
  • Visual thesaurus: mapping tool that creates a web of words.
  • Volatility - one of the key aspects of information spaces concerned with how often the types and instances of the objects (information) change.


  • Warning and Reassurance signs - provide feedback or information on actual or potential actions within the environment.
  • Wayfinding (type of Navigation) - concerned with navigating towards a known destination (Benson, Turner. Designing Interactive System 2005 p612)
  • Wearable Computer - is a computer that is subsumed into the personal space of the user, controlled by the user, and has both operational and inter-actional constancy. (Mann 1988)
  • Whole/part - a Gestalt theory which states that the object is greater than the sum of its parts
  • Wireframe aim to capture a skeleton of a general page layout.





Benson, D., Turner, P. and Turner, S. (2005). Designing Interactive Systems: People, Activities, Context and Technologies. Harlow, UK: Pearson Educational.