Mental Walls. (Part 2)

Up-till now I have tried to describe few common examples of Blocks, a part of Mental Walls, in this last part I will try to describe the Bugs, second part of Mental Walls.

Bugs, are mental walls created by learned, cultural or environment standards which do not allow people to correctly or effectively perceive the problem and its solutions. Like Blocks, Bugs also hinder us in the solution of problems that we experience.

Bugs are specifically those mental walls or obstacles which we have acquired as a direct influence from the culture/society that we live in or the environment that surrounds us. Different regions and areas that we live in have different Mental Bugs and/or sometimes Mental Blocks. Like some nations/societies have culture/traditions/rituals which are actually not correct or fruitful or healthful for humans, which actually bugs out the new thoughts and ideas.

So once we are able to recognize the cultural and environmental bugs that confront us/bugs us, we then can look past them to find the solution to our problems.

The following are some mind opening examples of Bugs that I have tried to think of:


Wiki says : “A taboo is a strong social prohibition (or ban) relating to any area of human activity or social custom that is sacred and forbidden based on moral judgement and sometimes even religious beliefs. Breaking the taboo is usually considered objectionable or abhorrent by society.”

Our society has imposed or forced few set of standards and traditions which cause us to act in certain situations. These taboos play positive role in our society but sometimes they hinder us to perceive the problem and its solutions.

For example, a family is in very difficult situation, completely stranded in the desert without water. One very possible benefit of their survival might be collecting urine and sponging their bodies with it to cool themselves and conserve limited body moisture. Documented accounts exists in which families’ lives have been saved because of their willingness to consider such action although first impressions were probably negative.

What? I know what you are thinking of or how you felt while reading the solution of the above desert-problem. I wont comment anything on your thoughts or feelings, in-fact those thoughts and feelings were the effects/reflections of taboos.

2) Daydreaming:

How many times you have been scolded or disturbed by others because you were daydreaming?

Daydreaming and relaxing are regarded as signs of laziness. This is a very common socially imposed standard which is often totally wrong. There are tons of articles about TO GET RID OF DAYDREAMING, DAYDREAMING IS BAD, etc. But the truth is that daydreaming is a way of mental practice, it has been proved that mentally prepared people do best in their job/task/etc, I would like to give an example of Abraham Lincoln, he used to daydream and prepared himself mentally about his first speech at the White House, which was one of the best speech of his time.

It has been proved that daydreaming, reflection, mental playfulness and visualizing are aids to creativity, conceptualization, problem solving and accomplishment. This type of “laziness” ought to be considered a positive trait.

3)Intuition and feeling are BAD:

Society often imposes the feeling that judgments and problem solutions should be based on reason, logic, numbers and quantitive information. This information is good and often essential to effective evaluation of a problem, but intuition should not be overlooked. Emotions and feelings which are interpreted by intuition are often necessary considerations to solving problems.

Albert Einstein says “The only real valuable thing is Intuition”.

4) Tradition opposes change:

Our society, which now highly values innovation, indicates that tradition does not hold the strength it once did. Anything new and different is often met with doubt and skepticism rather than optimism. One should not be so in favor of tradition that he/she opposes all change or so in favor of change that he/she disregard all tradition.

5) Assigned cultural and social values:

An example of this might be illustrated in the problem of removing a hundred rupees bill from beneath a precariously balanced object without tipping over the object. It is easy to remove the bill by tearing it in two, but this solution is usually subconsciously ruled out because of our value of money.

Proper and effective brainstorming will be ruled out immediately because of such assigned cultural and social values.

These examples or common types of Bugs and Blocks that you read are by no means all there are. They serve only to introduce an awareness of how these mental walls or obstacles affect individual production. Look around, be conscious of the almost innumerable and subtle habits, values and environments which influence our lives.


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Mental Walls. (Part 1)

“Walls in the mind

They cripple and they bind

Keep you deaf Keep me blind

Keep us both confined.” -Elsa Schieder.

Walls in the mind are such powerful forces against seeing, hearing, registering what is going on. Our mind works the in best and worst situations and sometimes mind itself gets worst, creates mental walls around us that we may never be conscious of. These walls change the quality of our life for the worse.

Sometimes it happens that when you face any problem they stay with you for a very very long time, not that you want them to, but they do anyway. Now have you ever thought why such problems persist? It is because you have simply stopped thinking at other possible solution/alternatives. They continue to bug you because either you have never tried anything different or your efforts lack conviction. In either case its quite certain that your mind has walled you in and blocked you of new and useful information. And as a result, when you get/met some new fresh ideas you end up rejecting it, without even thinking or understanding them.

This happens because of these walls, they BLOCKS you and they BUGS you. In this first part of mental walls I will talk how these walls Blocks you.

BLOCKS, are basically the mental walls which do not allow you to correctly perceive a problem or plan its solution. Blocks creates obstacles in the way of you thinking and so you face difficulty in solving or perceiving the problems. Following are the types of mental blocks which we all experience:

1)The tendency to limit a problem too closely.

Ex: Draw four straight lines(without lifting the pencil from the paper) which will cross through all the nine dots.

A possible solution is shown at the end of this post.

A surprising number of people will not exceed the imaginary boundary even though it is not in the stated lines of the problem. The overly strict limits are examples of mental blocks. Expand the mind where limits don’t restrict.

2) Isolating a problem.

Just as common a block is the tendency to overly isolate a problem or to not adequately isolate it. One must learn to isolate the real problems from the apparent ones.

3) Stereotyping.

Stereotyping is automatically placing values on something – seeing what you expect to see. The following example of a visual “mind-blower” seems awfully strange because of our tendency to stereotype.


Saturation is when our mind subconsciously ignores the sensory inputs because they are familiar sights. For example, try to draw something that you used to it in your routines, like try to draw the fonts of some logo or brand, or try to draw your cell phone, or try to draw the sketch of the keyboard of your system, etc. Few people can correctly place the numbers and letters on the sketch they did. Our mind is so accustomed to our daily routine stuffs that we can’t remember what it looks like.

A very strange but possible solution to this block is to look at the world upside-down by bending over and looking between your legs. You will be surprised at how many details are now notice-able when you looked at from a different perspective.

5) Failure to utilize sensory inputs.

It is often said that people who are blind have other senses which are enhanced. They can better distinguish by touch, hear better and smell better. Might it not also be true that people who see rely heavily on vision and partially ignore their other senses.


Solution of the nine-dots example: 



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The Paradox of Technology.

Technology is how people modify the natural world to suit their own purposes. We tend to invent or modify something so that new/modified technology can make our life easier and more enjoyable, providing more and more benefits. But paradoxically, adding new complexities gives rise to new difficulties and thus increase in frustration.

The U-shaped curve(as shown above) suggested by Donald Norman, in his book The Design of Everyday Things, explains that new technology tends to follow this curve of complexity: starting high; dropping to a low, comfortable-level; then climbing again. New devices are complex and need much effort to learn their usage, as the maturity level of industry and users increases these devices becomes much more simpler, reliable and easy. But when industry reaches a stable point of the maturity, new users figure out how to add increased power and capability, and this always happens at the cost of added complexity and sometimes decreased in reliability.

I will take an example of Watch. Earlier the watches were simple, all you have to do was set the time and them wound. The Stem, a knob at the side of the watch, was the only standard control. Turn the knob to wound the spring and so the work works well. To make the setting, pullout the knob and turn the hands of the watch to set your time. Easy operations, simple and no complexities.

Now consider the watches, that are available in the present market, Digital Watch. New technology which replaced the old spring by a motor run by long-lasting batteries. So no turning of the knob to wound the spring, just setting the time was the only task. Also there is addition to the new functionalities like: watch can give the day of the week, the month, the year, the alarm, stop watch, calculator, counter, different time zones, etc. But these all added functionalities cause problem: How do you design a device(watch) that has so many functions while trying to reduce the cost and complexity of the device(watch)and also the workable control buttons? No easy answers to these. Because whenever the number of controls are less then the required operations and number of functions, the design becomes complex and harder to learn the usage, thus unnatural design. “The same technology that simplifies the life by providing more functions in each device also complicates life by making the device harder to learn, harder to use”(Donald Norman).

Like watch there are many more examples like Radio, TV, automobiles, etc. which can be used to show the paradox of technology But its not like that we have to blame the technology for any poor design, by using and following the principles of good design we can manage the complexities of the device. So added complexity and difficulty cannot be avoided when functions are added, but with clever design, they can be minimized. .


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What is COLOR ?

Wiki says ” Color is the visual perceptual property corresponding in humans to the categories called red, blue, green, yellow and others. “

Briefly we can say that color is the main ingredients of human expressions. This main ingredient have its own specific Behavior and Trends.

Color Behavior is the effect of particular color on human behavior and feelings. The behavior is constant, i.e. it does not changes with time and domain. For example, the behavior of white color is still the same i.e. purity, peace and other positive behaviors.

Color Trends is the translation of color for-casting done by professionals in the fields of color research, marketing, designing, fashion and others. The Trends oftenly changes with time and domain, for example the colors trends in 1980s and colors trends in 2009/10. Color trends may vary with the variation in the domain, for example the red color shades used in emergency services, hospitals, etc and the red color shades used in some matrimonial sites, greetings, etc.

So a designer must know these behavior and trends and must stay updated with these important key factors to build his/her business healthy(and wealthy too).  I have tried to fetch some very useful informations about color behavior and color trends, which I believe will help any designer.

Color Behavior: (I have mentioned the very common behaviors of colors.)

courtesy :

Color Trends: (I have mentioned the very common trends of colors.)


Yellow-Orange or Amber combinations are the most welcoming. Yellow with little Red shades also creates radiants appealing. Monochromatic color scheme of Saffron used with White creates very inviting and classic appeals.


Bright Yellow shades gives very active, constant motion and life-giving sun expressions. To enhance or increase the expression of motion or activity the contrast combinations of Yellow and Violet can be used. These palettes generates movement, especially within a round space.



The palest tints can be used to create elegant color combination, such as, little Yellow and White creates pastel Cream, which can be used to create warmer version of all-white room. Palettes that combine hues similar to the color of eggshell and linens are compatible with most outer hues and offer a workable alternative to achromatic white or non color schemes.


What’s ‘in’ today may be ‘out’ tomorrow. Chartreuse is the best example of accent color used is youthful and off-beat objects. Such hues are used in countless color combination used in fashion from sneakers to sweaters. A combination of exquisite contrast is yellow-green or chartreuse paired with its perfect complement, magenta.


Equal amounts of blue, green or yellow creates healthy and fresh impression. Using colors analogous to green on the color wheel will create strong combinations that resemble vivid, outdoor environments. Such as newly mowed grass on a clear day, sky blue and green always look fresh and natural together.


Historical significances can be used to create traditional color combinations. Colors such as conservative blue, burgundy, tan or green creates traditional themes.  Hunter green with deep golden burgundy or black expresses richness and stability. Hunter green shades can used commonly seen in the decor of bank and legal offices, creating value and permanence.


Cool blue-green combined with its compliment, red-orange usually suggests refreshing themes. Blue-green or teak, is fresh and invigorating. To express travel and leisure blue-green in its full hue is used. ____________________________________________________________________________________________ Some extra visuals showing the color behavior and color trends — ____________________________________________________________________________________________ References and useful resources:

Color:is it real and does it impact behavior?

ColorLovers: color trends + palettes–color-alters-behavior So this is it from my side, now its your turn to yep. Feel free to add comments. Let’s share pretty things!

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