Where were we? Listing senses.

I want to add some extra senses to our list.

Given what I feel when I’m high up, I think I have a sense of potentially dangerous situations. It’s a sense of possible futures.

Horses, incidentally, have a similar sense. They’re scared of being in a field on their own. Their loneliness is like our fear of heights, and sometimes it doesn’t even matter if they can see another horse if there’s a fence in the way. So horses have a sense of company.

I think we also have a sense of quantity: we can tell how many things there are, up to 3 or 4, just by looking. So we have a sense of: one, some, many. That sounds right.

Another sense I think we have is “good or bad”. It’s just a gut feeling about everything we perceive. Maybe this blends into the sense of affordances—the possible actions we can perform with something.

Also reading, or, more generally, dereferencing. we have this ability to see through what things represent to the object they depict. We can react to a picture as though it’s the thing itself.

Right, too many senses to think about right now. So let’s take a step back.

What bigger jobs do our senses do? Why are they a useful model right now? How should we apply them, in design?

Matt Webb, S&W, posted and presented on 2006-06-01