Introduction
Public Spaces
Private Spaces
Case Studies
Other Information

Blog   Mail
|        | Acknowledgements | References | Disclaimer

Glossary

Accessibility - Inclusive Urban Design: Streets for Life (see references)

Accessibility refers to the extent to which streets enable older people to reach, enter, use and walk around places they need or wish to visit, regardless of any physical, sensory or mental impairment. Accessible streets have local services and facilities, are connected to each other, have wide, flat footways and ground level signal-controlled pedestrian crossings.

Attention - Wikipedia

Attention is the cognitive process of selectively concentrating on one aspect of the environment while ignoring other things. Examples include listening carefully to what someone is saying while ignoring other conversations in a room. Sometimes attention shifts to matters unrelated to the external environment, a phenomenon referred to as mind-wandering or "spontaneous thought". Attention is one of the most intensely studied topics within psychology and cognitive neuroscience.
William James, in his monumental Principles of Psychology (1890), remarked:
"Everyone knows what attention is. It is the taking possession by the mind, in clear and vivid form, of one out of what seem several simultaneously possible objects or trains of thought. Focalization, concentration, of consciousness are of its essence. It implies withdrawal from some things in order to deal effectively with others, and is a condition which has a real opposite in the confused, dazed, scatterbrained state which in French is called distraction, and Zerstreutheit in German."

Awareness - Wikipedia

In biological psychology, awareness comprises a human's or an animal's perception and cognitive reaction to a condition or event. Awareness does not necessarily imply understanding, just an ability to be conscious of, feel or perceive.

Comfort - Inclusive Urban Design: Streets for Life (see references)

Comfort refers to the extent to which streets enable people to visit places of their choice without physical or mental discomposure and to enjoy being out of the house. Comfortable streets are calm, welcoming and pedestrian-friendly with the services and facilities required by older people and people experiencing temporary or permanent incapacity.

Conceptualisation - Wikipdia

As the term is used in mainstream cognitive science and philosophy of mind, a concept or conception is an abstract idea or a mental symbol, typically associated with a corresponding representation in a language or symbology.

Disability - Wikipedia

Disability is a condition or function judged to be significantly impaired/distorted relative to the usual standard or spectrum of an individual of their group. The term is often used to refer to individual functioning, including physical impairment, sensory impairment, cognitive impairment, intellectual impairment, mental illness, and various types of chronic disease. This usage has been described by some disabled people as being associated with a medical model of disability.

Disorientation - Alzheimer's | Greater Michigan Chapter and Wikipedia

A cognitive disability in which the senses of time, direction, and recognition become difficult to distinguish. Orientation is a function of the mind involving awareness of three dimensions: time, place and person. Problems with orientation lead to disorientation, and can be due to various conditions, from delirium to intoxication. Typically, disorientation is first in time, then in place and finally in person. Disorientation, the opposite, is a cognitive disability in which the senses of time, direction, and recognition become difficult to distinguish.

Distinctiveness - Inclusive Urban Design: Streets for Life (see references)

Distinctiveness relates to the extent to which streets give a clear image of where they are, what their uses are and where they lead. Distinctive streets reflect local character of the area and have a variety of uses, built form, features, colours, and materials that give the streets and buildings their own identity within the overall character of the neighbourhood.

Domestic - Oxford English Dictionary

Of the home, household or family affairs.

Familiar - Oxford English Dictionary

Often encountered or experienced, well known, knowing a thing well or in detail, well acquainted, intimate, excessively informal or unceremonious.

Familiarity - Inclusive Urban Design: Streets for Life (see references)

Familiarity refers to the extent to which streets are recognisable to older people and easily understood by them. Familiar streets are hierarchical and long established with forms, open spaces, buildings and features in designs familiar to older people

Inclusive Design - English Partnerships

Inclusive Design is a way of designing products and environments so that they are usable and appealing to everyone regardless of age, ability or circumstance by working with users to remove barriers in the social, technical, political and economic processes underpinning building and design.

Judgement - Wikipedia and Choice

Choice consists of the mental process of thinking involved with the process of judging the merits of multiple options and selecting one of them for action. Some simple examples include deciding whether to get up in the morning or go back to sleep, or selecting a given route for a journey. More complex examples (often decisions that affect what a person thinks or their core beliefs) include choosing a lifestyle, religious affiliation, or political position.
Most people regard having choices as a good thing, though a severely limited or artificially restricted choice can lead to discomfort with choosing and possibly, an unsatisfactory outcome. In contrast, unlimited choice may lead to confusion, regret of the alternatives not taken, and indifference in an unstructured existence; and the illusion that choosing an object or a course leads necessarily to control of that object or course can cause psychological problems.

Landmark - Oxford English Dictionary

A conspicuous object in a district, an object marking the boundary of an estate, a country etc. or an event, change.

Legibility - Inclusive Urban Design: Streets for Life (see references)

Legibility refers to the extent to which streets help older people to understand where they are and to identify which way they need to go. Legible streets have an easy to understand network of routes and junctions with simple, explicit signs and visible, unambiguous features.

Math Comprehnsion - WebAIM

Mathematical expressions are not easy for everybody to understand. This does not mean that authors should avoid math entirely. For people who are comfortable reading equations and thinking mathematically, the best way to explain mathematical concepts is to use equations. On the other hand, often it is helpful to explain math conceptually, either with or without the formulas. Conceptual explanations help readers understand the reasoning behind the math.

Memory - Alzheimer's | Greater Michigan Chapter

The ability to process information that requires attention, storage, and retrieval.

Problem Solving - Wikipedia

Problem solving forms part of thinking. Considered the most complex of all intellectual functions, problem solving has been defined as higher-order cognitive process that requires the modulation and control of more routine or fundamental skills (Goldstein & Levin, 1987). It occurs if an organism or an artificial intelligence system does not know how to proceed from a given state to a desired goal state. It is part of the larger problem process that includes problem finding and problem shaping.

Reasoning - Wikipedia

Reasoning is the mental (cognitive) process of looking for reasons for beliefs, conclusions, actions or feelings. Humans have the ability to engage in reasoning about their own reasoning using introspection. Different forms of such reflection on reasoning occur in different fields. In philosophy, the study of reasoning typically focuses on what makes reasoning efficient or inefficient, appropriate or inappropriate, good or bad. Philosophers do this by either examining the form or structure of the reasoning within arguments, or by considering the broader methods used to reach particular goals of reasoning. Psychologists and cognitive scientists, in contrast, tend to study how people reason, which brain processes are engaged, and how the reasoning is influenced by the structure of the brain.

Reading, linguistic and verbal comprehension - WebAIM

Some individuals have difficulties understanding text. These difficulties may be mild or severe, ranging from minor challenges to a complete inability to read any text. It would be unreasonable to expect web developers to accommodate the entire range of reading abilities. The difference between non-readers and genius readers is simply too vast. It is reasonable, however, to expect developers to write as simply and clearly as possible, taking into account the primary audience and including those who may have difficulty with some of the content. After all, an estimated 15-20% of the population has some sort of language or text comprehension difficulty.

Non-Literal Text

A problem for some readers is non-literal text, such as sarcasm, satire, parody, allegory, metaphor, slang, and colloquialisms. In some cases, readers will not realize that the words are not meant to be understood literally. A writer who says "I just love getting stuck in traffic when I'm already late for work" probably means the opposite of what this sentence actually says. Sarcasm such as this can be confusing to some readers. Similarly, someone who reads she must "get her ducks in a row" may not realize that the author is probably not referring to real ducks at all. The author is suggesting that the reader get organized or disciplined, using the comparison of a mother duck with her ducklings lined up behind her in order to illustrate the concept.

Non-Existent Text

The unstated assumptions and implied meaning of written content may seem obvious to the writer, but readers may not have the necessary background knowledge. Some readers may not have the skills to infer meaning from text without additional help.

Safety - Inclusive Urban Design: Streets for Life (see references)

Safety refers to the extent to which streets enable people to use, enjoy andmove around the outside environment without fear of tripping or falling, being run-over or being attacked. Safe streets have buildings facing onto them, separate bicycle lanes and wide, well-lit, plain, smooth footways.

Senses - Wikipedia

There is no firm agreement among neurologists as to the number of senses because of differing definitions of what constitutes a sense. One definition states that an exteroceptive sense is a faculty by which outside stimuli are perceived. The traditional five senses are sight, hearing, touch, smell, taste: a classification attributed to Aristotle. Humans also have at least six additional senses (a total of eleven including interoceptive senses) that include: nociception (pain), equilibrioception (balance), proprioception & kinesthesia (joint motion and acceleration), sense of time, (temperature differences), and in some a weak magnetoception (direction)

Sensory Garde - Sensorytrust

A self-contained area that concentrates a wide range of sensory experiences, such an area, if designed well, provides a valuable resource for a wide range of uses, from education to recreation.

Visual Comprehension - WebAIM

Some individuals have difficulties processing visual information. In many ways, this is the opposite of the problem experienced by people with reading and verbal processing difficulties. Individuals with visual comprehension difficulties may not recognize objects for what they are. They may recognize the fact that there are objects on a Web page, but may not be able to identify the objects. For example, they may not realize that a photograph of a person is a representation of a person, though they can plainly see the photograph itself (as an object) on the web page. For these people, a moving, talking person in a video may be easier to identify and mentally process than a static image of a person in a photograph. Video and multimedia, accompanied with narration, may be the best way to communicate to these individuals.

Visual Depth Perfection - The Free Dictionary

The ability to perceive spatial relationships especially distances between objects, in three dimensions.

Way-Finding - Creating Successful Dementia Care Settings: Volume 2: Margret Calkins (see references)

The process by which the environment helps a person derive cues and information to aids in navigation from a point through space to a desired location.