Why is scientific writing so boring?

By Gordon Rugg

Scientific writing isn’t boring because scientists don’t know anything better. There are solid, sensible, positive reasons for scientific writing being so boring. Unfortunately, those reasons are seldom explained to unfortunate non-scientists about to encounter the scientific writing style for the first time. This article gives a brief overview of a couple of the main reasons.

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How people use space: Pedestrian traffic flows

By Gordon Rugg

There are a lot of regularities in how human beings use space. If you know what those regularities are, then you can make it much easier and more pleasant for people to use a space, whether it’s a shop or a workplace or a public building.

This article describes some useful concepts relating to this topic.

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Designing for efficient use of space: A user-centred approach

By Gordon Rugg

Often, simple examples illustrate important principles. This article is about one of those examples. It involves a real café, near a major university in London, which did a brilliant job of designing the layout for fast, efficient and low-hassle use. The key concepts behind this apply just as much to design of huge buildings as to tiny cafés. I’ve used the café as a worked example of how simple task analysis, hassle analysis and design rationale can make produce an outcome that is good for everyone involved.

The café is tiny. It has a service counter on the right as you go in. There’s a door to the kitchen and toilets beyond the service counter, and there are a couple of small tables at the back. That’s about all there is. A lot of the trade is university staff and students who want take-away coffee and sandwiches, and who want fast service. So why is the design so good?

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