I loved to learn that color perceptions are subjective and maybe even determined by our childhood environment and experiences. In my country the indigenous color palette is very bright. I read that in the Inca times only royalty were allowed to wear colorful outfits so when the Spaniards arrived and Incas rules were overthrown, everyone took advantage of the new order and started wearing colorful clothes.
Our native culture loves bright colors, I always found sad that those bright colors used to be despised by Peruvians from the cities (like myself) and dismissed as “huachafos” (the very Peruvian word for kitsch), but not anymore, very slowly and in part thanks to massive migration from the countryside to cities has invaded the cities with these colors.
Learning that color perception is subjective makes me wonder how it is that people from different cultures perceive color, maybe there were more than prejudiced explanations for that rejection of bright colors by some Peruvians, maybe Peruvians have an enriched experience of color now thanks to migration, maybe being born in Peru was a colorful gift for me that has painted my perception of reality in bright tones.
I also loved to learn about optical illusions and finding out that they too depend on the culture you were born into. We learned that illusions based on straight lines and arrows didn’t work on some village, because people there were used to organic shapes, so they didn’t have the same experience with perspective as do people from the cities used to straight line structures like buildings, furniture and so on. I wonder if these illusions would be perceived by Peruvians from small towns who still keep a traditional lifestyle.
We also learnt about patterns and how their use will make users life easier.
It keeps surprising me how much research there is behind the design of simple interface pieces that we are used to see so often and take for granted without actually noticing. There’s so much to learn, and so little time.
As a side note, it’s inspiring how being away from home and learning new things about design are coming together in my mind as reflections about my own perception of reality. There are things about myself and about my country that are only evident from far away.