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May 27, 2021

E207 - VR Warps Perception of Time

Recorded live on May 27th, 2021, hosted by Nick R…


Recorded live on May 27th, 2021, hosted by Nick Roome & Blake Arnsdorff.

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Transcript

| Disclaimer: Transcript provided by Temi. Any inaccuracies or errors are not attributed to the Hosts or contributors to Human Factors Cast. |

welcome to human factors. Cast your weekly podcast for human factors, psychology and design. 

Hello everybody. Welcome back to another episode of human factors cast. This is episode 207. Uh, we are recording this live on May 27th, 2021. Uh, I'm your host, Nick Roome. I'm joined across the internet waves by Mr. Blake Arnsdorff 

Across the waves themselves. How are you Nick? Hey Blake. 

I am fantastic. Uh, normally we banter, but now we're doing some programming notes. I've got to jump into some things because we got some exciting announcements here today. The top of the show, I want to make sure everyone hears them. Um, this is a big announcement, Blake. Uh, this is something that we've been, yeah, it's a big one. We've been cooking this up for a while now. Um, and we are proud to announce that we have opened up the human factors, cast digital media lab. Um, so it's, uh, basically what it is. Sounds like it's a lab. Um, if, if you're interested in getting involved with the show, uh, that's an opportunity to do that. If you're a grad student looking for more experience, if you're a undergrad looking for experience, um, students looking for that real world experience, we're, uh, incubating a bunch of different, uh, ideas here. 

Um, and you know, the, the main focus here is to, uh, make human factors accessible and communicate it in different ways. But yeah, it's a great opportunity for anyone looking to get involved. Um, if you're an academic looking to share your work, reach out to us, there's probably an opportunity here for you. Designers who want to work on your portfolio. Certainly can do that with us. Uh, if you do want to get involved, please get in touch with us. Uh, we can work together to figure out something that might be a good fit for you, um, and your skillset, you know, we're, uh, we're, we have blog articles that you can write. You can write custom code for our website, um, conduct interviews with people in the field, uh, produce YouTube content, stream, human factors related content on Twitch. That's something you can do contribute to our Patrion exclusive content, uh, or come up with your own ideas. 

There's a bunch of stuff that you can do to help out the show. Um, and so we are formalizing that in, uh, the human factors cast digital media lab, um, and, and like I said, contact us. There's a form on the website, uh, that you can get to us. You can reach us at human factors, cast@gmail.com, uh, get to our website. You can leave a voicemail there, there's a bunch of ways that you can get to us, reach out to us on social media, whatever it is. Um, with that said, though, uh, I do want to welcome the newest addition to the human factors, cast team, uh, Katie Sabo. She's, uh, maybe she's watching tonight. I don't know. Um, Katie is actually joining us, uh, as a digital media production research assistant. So, um, you know, with that, she did publish her first article on our blog yesterday, giving a bit more detail on the cave syndrome that we discussed on last week show. So go check it out. It's a great piece, uh, gets more into the nitty gritty than even Aaron and I did on the show. Um, so it's a great companion piece to the podcast. If you're looking for that, I'll put a link to that in the show notes. Um, yeah. Uh, w what do you think about the digital media lab Blake? 

Oh, that's going to be so much fun. I'm just looking forward to getting a lot more people involved in various aspects of the podcast and just, you know, getting ideas out there. But I mean, your goal with this show has always been making human factors much more accessible. And I think this is like one of the giant leaps forward for what the podcast can do. So this is really cool. 

Yeah. I'm really excited. Uh, another kind of less pressing programming note. My office hours are going to change, uh, from 11:00 AM Pacific on Tuesdays to 1:00 PM Pacific on Tuesdays. Um, small change, um, yeah, with that. Um, I think it's time for human factors news. 

Yeah, that's right. It is human factors news. This is the part of the show where we searched all over the internet to talk about human factors. This could be anything 

Related to the field, as long as it's a medical privacy, security, robotics, artificial intelligence. We've got some VR in there this week. I'm really excited. Um, you name it, uh, it's a, as long as it relates to the field of human factors, it's fair game for Blake and I to sit here and talk about Blake, what do we have up first this week, 

Uh, first this week. So how virtual reality can warp your sense of time? So Grayson Mullin, cognitive scientists at UC Santa Cruz wanted to know how virtual realities affect on a game player, sense of time could differ from those of conventional monitors. So he and other co others of his colleagues designed a maze game that could be played in both formats. So both in VR and through conventional monitors participants in this study that they conducted would play both conventional and virtual reality formats with researchers, of course, randomizing, which version each student played, or each participant played and participants were then asked while playing the game, whether they felt like five minutes had passed since there were actually no clocks in the game. Each person had to estimate this time based on their own perceptions while they were playing the game. So the study found that participants who played the virtual reality version of this maze game, uh, played an average of about 72 seconds longer, uh, than before they actually realized five minutes had passed or claimed that five minutes had passed it compared to students who had done it on a conventional monitor. 

In other words, about 30% more of the time they realized they were actually in virtual reality, then actual time had passed. So compared to your conventional format where you're kind of thinking that time is just passing a little bit slower. So this effect where time goes faster than you think is called time compression and time compression being observed amongst reality, it months players in virtual reality is much more than you see in conventional gameplay. So Nick has been a long time since we've talked about anything VR, but, uh, initial thoughts. What are you kind of thinking here? Yeah, 

It's obvious to me. Um, and I think it's pretty much obvious to anyone who's spent any extended period of time in virtual reality, um, time gets away from you. And, uh, I mean, we can talk about some specifics here, but I think just my general thoughts time gets away from you. And I think that's largely because you have no perception of the outside world. You're not looking at things that are changing, like the shadows slowly changing from day to night, uh, outside your window, or, um, you know, the ambient light in your apartment or home that give you those cues as to what time it is or how much time has actually passed. So just off the top of my head, yes, I, this makes sense to me. Um, what do you, what are you thinking you, cause you have a little bit of experience in VR, 

So it, it seems like a no brainer to me. And I do have like very, very limited experience with VR, but I know what it's like to get lost playing video games and realize like, oh man, four hours has passed or not even, even just like watching and playing on conventional monitors or in my living room. So I could imagine it would be doubly. So in VR, I mean, I've had basically one or two VR experiences, one of which was with you. And I could imagine just getting lost in just looking around in the world, much less playing a game. So it seems, seems straight forward. Uh, but it may tell us a little bit more about virtual reality and how people kind of interact with it. 

Yeah. So let's, I guess let's take a step back. Let's talk about virtual reality where it's at now. Um, just in terms of what's going on with VR headsets, uh, and where it's headed. Right. I think that's a good place to start. So if you look at most headsets out on the market, um, I think there's a lot of focus on making these things more comfortable. You have something like the PlayStation VR, which, uh, fits on your head. It, it, uh, it is clearly designed with comfort in mind and things like comfort will extend the amount of time that people are able to keep them on their head. Um, you know, there's a bunch of different design considerations, like being able to, uh, press a button and decouple the lenses from your face. So that way air can reach up and vent into your glasses and eyeballs. 

Um, you know, these also think about like the bulkiness of equipment from something like, uh, you know, in the 1980s where you had these big bulky headsets. Now they're getting sleeker and, uh, more streamlined and less of a, of a cumbersome thing, right? Like if you think about like the Oculus quest, this is something that has no, um, no tether really. Uh, and so it's just a headset that you throw on your face and it's light enough and it plays games at a certain fidelity that, you know, is kind of unreal. Um, and, uh, so, so if you're thinking about the progress of where these things are at right now, these things are fairly comfortable to wear, uh, and are not going to cause discomfort when you're using them. Um, in terms of where it's going to go. I mean, we even talked about a couple of these things on the show before where, you know, you have these patents where they're like super flat up against your eyeballs. Uh, and there's not this like bulky, heavy weight in front of your face, pulling your head down and straining your neck. Um, so we can see that there's progress being made to shorten the distance between your eyeballs and the screen increase the field of view to make it more immersive, uh, as well as lighten the load on your head to stop with the like, you know, strain on your neck. So that's kind of where the technology is at now. Uh, anything to add to that, Blake? 

Yeah. It's just interesting that I think there's also a lot of partnerships that are going on now with companies trying to make it much more commercial than it ever was before, especially when you mentioned like the Oculus quest. I mean, thinking about the fact that you used to have to consider the machine, the basically CPU and machine you were going to buy in addition to the headset to even think about doing something in VR or getting a video game console. But now the fact that you can eat, you can even access this technology and an untethered format makes it much more realistic in terms of people having in their homes or people, you know, giving to their kids or whatever it may be. So I think we're going to see it more and more. So the comfort aspect has got to continue to improve, but I know AR is much different here, but I know a lot of companies are also kind of banding together to get the first, you know, popular AR glasses out there through companies like Ray-Ban and others. So I think only more and more we're going to see this become something that we kind of consider to be an everyday household item. Um, both for things like games like this paper talks about, but I think for other kind of applied fields and kind of uses as well. 

Yeah. You bring up another point there, Blake, that I didn't even touch on, which is the compatibility issues. So there's yeah, you were right in, in days of old, you used to have to pick a PC that was able to run the thing. You had to get a headset that was compatible with your PC. You had to have the right graphics card and all this stuff to be able to run it and then tether it to the thing. And now you can buy the Oculus quest for like $400 and it's an all-in-one package. You don't need to worry about anything, you just slap it on your head and go buy the things that you want to buy. Uh, you know, and, and with that said, there's some kind of limitations on, uh, the device, obviously it Oculus is owned by Facebook. They want to, um, make sure that you're in their ecosystem. 

And so there's only certain games on that environments. It's not as open source, although there's ways around that. And it's, that's a little cumbersome, but in terms of ease of use, it's getting, it's getting there. Right. Um, now I do wanna, I do wanna kind of take a step back from that and talk about time and just the perception of time in general. Um, we had a wonderful conversation with Peter and Gabby Hancock at HFCs in 2018, if you haven't, uh, listened to that interview yet, go listen to that because we discussed whether or not time is even real. Um, do you talk about a brain fry there? Uh, so that's, that's, uh, some additional listening if you want to go listen to that, but, um, time perception is interesting. Uh, there's a couple of different things that go on with it. Um, in this case, in this study, we are looking at, um, time compression, right? 

And there are certain things that make time compress and time extend, uh, based on what's going on. Right. I think we talked about, I don't remember if this was on the show or if this was some other thing, maybe it was office hours. There was a study that was done, that if you're looking at somebody in the eyeballs time or time extends a little bit, uh, when you make eye contact with somebody. So it seems longer than it actually is. Anyway. Um, that's beyond the point that the point is that time compression and time extension happens in these environments. Uh, and so what's happening in VR is you are misinterpreting the amount of time that is passing in. I'm going to say the real world, um, or in reality, we can call it in reality, right? So let's say five minutes passes in reality. And you may think only four minutes has passed in VR. Um, and that is because you are perceiving time to have only moved four minutes in virtual reality. When in reality it has moved five minutes. And so you are perceiving it as being slower in the virtual environment, but in reality time outside has compressed. I don't know if I'm doing that justice. Blake, can you help explain it a little bit? 

Yeah. So basically what Nick is saying, and I think you did a good job, but ultimately what it is is like consider yourself playing a video game, watching something in virtual reality, whatever it may be, if you think that five minutes has passed, what's happening in this time, compression effect is in reality, five minutes has passed, but it passed long before you assumed it had. Um, or in this case, in the study, it's like, it's so amount of seconds, longer than five minutes, typically a little bit over a minute, past five minutes, people are estimating that they were playing a game for five minutes, that when in reality they played for longer than that. Um, so that's really this time compression effect that Nick is describing. Uh, you thinking something's happened, uh, at a specific interval of time, but in reality, it's already passed you by. 

Yeah. And there's a couple of really great examples of this, right. Something painful, um, that you are watching in real time. Um, and I have a story about this, uh, that actually just happened this week. Um, I, I made dinner for us Monday pot pies, uh, and, um, they were scalding hot and I gave my wife one and I can't, I don't know where this is going 

Build over on her foot and oh, no, burn her or foot 

Really badly am I shouldn't laugh. Cause this is still recent. Um, but everything in that span of time, that was probably like 10 minutes felt like 20 hours. Um, I'm sure, 

Oh, goodness. 

Dinner time. And, and my son was eating and, um, you know, I was trying to clean up messes and make sure my son was okay and make sure my wife was okay a lot going on. Um, and it was an unpleasant experience and it felt like, uh, the time that was happening there, it was, uh, it took forever. Um, and, and that's kind of the opposite of compression. I know, but it's just a perception of time thing that went on. So, um, this can be, let's talk about compression specifically, right? This can be good. Uh, in a couple of different situations, I can think of like a medical procedure that might be unpleasant. Um, you could, you know, like you're carrying burns or something. You can, you can make that go by quicker, uh, by compressing time, um, by, you know, like playing video games while you're getting the procedure done or something to distract you from the unpleasant thing that's being done. Right. Um, chemotherapy, something like that. Uh, then there's the opposite spectrum where it could be bad where you are, um, potentially in an environment where maybe you don't want to lose track of time. Like, I don't know what casino and you have, you know, you, you, uh, you were in the casino and you just keep throwing money away, um, or, you know, or winning money or whatever you do it again, drink it away, 

Keep like spending way too much time in a dark room with no clocks and real sunlight. 

And that's, that's part of the trick, right? Like, like I mentioned, that ambient light, uh, going on around you actually plays a big role in, in, um, how you perceive time. And so that could be a situation where it could be bad. Um, I don't know, Blake, what do you got for, for compression time compression time perception? So 

One thing that, so you've mentioned this a little bit. I do want to call it out a little bit more because I thought it was, uh, it was awesome that one, it had been studied or like VR, virtual reality and time compression had been studied in the capacity of like shortening something that's painful or something that you don't want to, you know, focus too much on like chemotherapy. Because I remember when my stepdad was going through that a couple of years ago, it was kind of a horrible process for him. Like we would be at a place for an hour and he felt like he had been there, you know, an entire day just from like the draining aspects and all that kind of stuff. And so something like this where you're, you're basically using a, to trick your mind with a secondary device. So in this case, virtual reality, uh, it's got some interesting effects that can be really, really positive. 

And that's not like a real application than I would have thought of because it's so tangential to, you know, playing a game and losing track of time in this case. But thinking about like, okay, yeah. In the surgery world or in the medical world, that could be really beneficial. Or even in times where like kids have need to be able to do something that's, you know, a use of their time while their parents are kind of interacting and doing other things they have to do. But I think the negative effects are something that are not talked about enough. I don't, I don't know. I played video games most of my life. And I didn't realize like the, probably the, some of the damage I was doing to my sleep cycle and the amount of time that I would lose track of time. So I do think this is one of those phenomenon that it's important to understand a little bit more. 

Um, and it'll be important, like as cause as you've really laid out for everybody, the development of these headsets is only has gotten really awesome since the eighties. And it's probably only going to get better from here and more accessible to everybody. So the, the more we kind of understand from the human factors and the design side of what we can do in these games to make it, so it doesn't turn into you always losing time or always getting so lost in immerse in something that you're like, you're the rest of your life or things you have to do passes you by will be a really important aspect. And we don't want to start causing, you know, adverse health issues like affecting somebody's sleep or, you know, making people have different mood swings and disorders based off of playing too many games in VR. Well, 

Let's, let's talk about like what, what this time compression can do if you are in a situation where it is impacting your sleep cycle. Right. Um, you know, it's, it's heavily researched that if your circadian rhythm is off, even by a little bit, it can impact your mood and kind of result in a, in a large number of, uh, health, um, problems, right? Like, like mood disorders, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, uh, seasonal affective disorder, even, um, you know, and, and there's, uh, there's some research out there that would suggest that there are certain types of people, like night hours that might have a better resistance towards these types of things. But, um, even so, uh, you know, everyone has their own circadian rhythm and when that is thrown off, um, some of these major, major mood disorders can, can come through. Uh, and if we're talking about time compression and VR, uh, if you're thinking about pushing, like throwing on that headset at 7:00 PM and bedtime is 10:00 PM, and now it's 3:00 AM because you've been playing a game in VR or something, you know, it's a huge deal, um, because you've just offset your schedule by that much. 

And it's going to take time to recover from that. Uh, and if you're, if you're doing it on a regular basis where, oh, the next night you throw it on it, 8:00 PM and you're up until four it's it's again, the same thing. You're slowly throwing off that rhythm and it's going to have a lasting health effects. 

Absolutely. Yeah. And trying to recover from something like that. Like, I feel like I've learned more about sleep probably in the past two years from the Blake, just more access to research that's available kind of like in the zeitgeists, um, through podcasts and whatnot, but trying to catch back up is really, really hard. It's not something that you can just like sleep an entire day and it you're just back to normal. It has a really, you know, long lasting effect. And it can take days to kind of get yourself back to a norm. And I think in a world too, where we're stuck, where we spend so much more time than we ever have in front of screens, both like mobile working stuff, stuff after work. So it it's, it's a careful balance for sure. And I think with VR and the potential for it to be as immersive as it can be, it's just going to, it's going to be up to in a lot of ways, the designers of both games and like applications that are designed for VR, for you to interact with to create them in ways that make sure that you, as the user are very clear about what's going on in terms of the rest of your life outside, whether it's just like monitoring time or setting windows for when you shouldn't, shouldn't be using the application or whatever it may be. 

So it's a, it's a cool set of technology, but I do think it could have severe consequences if not moderated. 

Yeah. So I want to go back to this article and talk about the key research claim here, right? [inaudible] this is a quote, this is the first time we can really isolate that. It's not just that you're playing a video game or the content of whatever you're seeing. It's really the fact that it is virtual reality versus a conventional screen that contributes to this time compression effect. Right. They had them do something that wasn't that engaging. It was amaz it's, it's a, it's a goal based thing. It's not like a game where it's engaging, it's just an objective based, uh, thing. And I think that's kind of what the rationale they would use is that's why it's, it's shown that at least in this study that it's VR and not like, uh, playing a game or watching content or anything like 

That. Yeah. I got you. Yeah. 

So I think that's an interesting claim. Um, and it's, it's, uh, it's I guess, validating, validating to see it, um, uh, shown in this study. Cause I mean, like it's, it's, it's cool because it definitely, like I said, I've experienced it. Um, and, uh, you know, we've, we've talked about the impacts that this has on things like mood or even what time compression is. Do you have any other last thoughts, opinions on this study here, Blake? I w 

One thing that I, because I'm glad you brought up the, the main point here and that's the fact that the game was very simple. So the immersion aspect was really related to VR because when we first started, I was like, this can't be that insane because I know that from conventional games I've been, you know, sucked into time. Um, and you know, spent too much time playing them are much longer than I intended, but I think the fact that we're seeing this like related directly to VR or something, that's very simple. I wonder if, if it's kind of the same magnitude, if you played like two different or if two people play the same game in different contexts, so, you know, traditional versus VR and how that would affect them, uh, because I feel like part of it could be some of the immersion is related to the game, which then is related to the player's interest and things of that nature. Yeah. Yeah. Thanks. 

Thanks for bringing that up because the, the kind of last piece that I want to talk about here is the why, um, why is virtual re like that's kind of the next step in this research is what aspects of being in virtual reality make it, uh, or, or contribute to that time compression, right. Is it the fact that you are playing a game? Is it that you're doing some goal based thing or is it because, um, you have lack of peripheral vision or something like that? So that's kind of the next steps in this research is to figure out why, um, you know, they do say that there is one kind of thing that I've kind of mentioned here, tangentially, but it's the body awareness piece. Right. Um, and, uh, I I'm, I mentioned it in the sense of being aware of your surroundings, your body and the surroundings, the light coming through the windows, that type of thing. 

But they do mention here, uh, when you look down in virtual reality, you might see nothing where your body is, um, or you might see a schematic of a body, but you don't feel like you're in your body. Uh, and you know, does that impact the way that, you know, you perceive time in virtual reality or, uh, you know, is it other things like heartbeat and bodily rhythms, uh, to track the passage of time? And when you're, uh, when you're in these environments, you have less of a sense of your body in reality, versus virtual reality. Um, and, and you're missing the pulses of that time keeping mechanisms. So there's some interesting suggestions in there curious to see where the research goes from here. Um, yeah, I think, I think it's really cool. I 

Think there's a massive opportunity to be based on that one theory, right? So I kind of want to break it down for listeners real quick. So there, there are theories out there that say state, we may rely on our heartbeat and other bodily rhythms to help our brain track the passage of time. So looking down and you see a less vivid image of your body or of a body that you don't identify as yours from your brains thought process, then you may be less likely to even, you know, keep track of time in a normal way. So maybe that's why what's going on here, but that, that little bit right there, which this is all related to playing games and VR, but it makes me think that there's a lot to be done in neuroscience and understanding how the brain actually works and communicates with the rest of the body. Um, through studies like this that are focused on like what happens in virtual reality, because a theory like that, where your body is basically, if it doesn't, if your brain's not seeing your body, it's not as concerned with these different rhythmic pulses that it's usually keeping track of and identifying like you with yourself. And so it kind of experiences the world in a different way. Uh, so I wonder like over time how this will like translate into understanding, you know, just neurology and your brain in general. 

Yeah, I do. I do want to mention one other thing too. Right. Um, and, and it's, it's fun to talk about time compression and, um, playing games and having like the, the weird effects. Right. But there is some real benefit to doing this. This is the kind of the application piece. What can we take away from a study like this? And I think that's really important to talk about is to, um, you know, what you could do is potentially get insight on how to design environments, how to design experiences in virtual reality that potentially, um, can minimize some of the heart done the harm done by, um, you know, some of the things that we just talked about, right? Like if you do have missing pulses for that timekeeping mechanism, maybe, uh, there are ways to design around that. So you have a better sense of your body and time in virtual environments and experiences, um, and, and potentially providing that insight to designers of the, of these experiences. 

So that way, uh, they are less harmful on the body, the human body in the long-term. I think that's kind of one really interesting application here that, um, that we almost got away from, but I'm glad we kind of mentioned it because it is like, this is a fun topic, um, time compression it's, it's like one of those things you don't realize the harmful effects of until it's happened. Um, and, uh, you know, th there, there are real world consequences here. And, um, you know, hopefully, hopefully this will provide insight into that type of thing. Absolutely. 

Yeah. Those are really great points. And I think the more that we're able to kind of design around issues like this or phenomenon that we learn about, like this they're related to VR, the better off people are going to be able to enjoy the experience and not be sucked into a lot of the negative consequences behind it. 

Yeah, I agree. All right. Well, uh, thank you to our patrons this week for selecting our topic and thank you to our friends over at UC Santa Cruz for our new story this week. If you want to follow along, we do post the links, uh, on our blog and our slack and our discord whenever we find them. So go and join us over there for more discussion. We're going to take a quick break and then we'll get back to see what's going on in the human factors community.

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All right, as always huge thank you to our patrons and especially our honorary human factors, cast staff, Michelle trip, because patrons like you keep the show running, uh, and keep the lights on over here at human factors. Cast. Thank you so much for your continued support. Um, go check out Patrion Magali. Like I S like the, uh, like the ad always says, rewards are always changing. We even got some, uh, other stuff up there, like us show sponsor role. So if you're interested in something like that, um, go check that out. Patrons, like, uh, patrons are actually what keep the show on. I don't know if we've said that, but seriously, like, you know, look at the quality of us streaming video now it's, it's, you've mentioned it in the pre-show Blake it's come a long way and it's all because of our patrons. All right, let's go ahead and switch gears and get to this next part of the show. 

That's right. It came from this week. It's Reddit. This is the part of the show where we started all over the internet to bring you topics. The community is talking about. It's going to be anything related to the field of human factors, uh, as long as it's good enough for, um, Blake and I to sit here and talk about an answer and we have stuff to talk about anyway, that's a long-winded thing. It's anywhere, anywhere it could be anywhere. Uh, all right, so let's go ahead. And, uh, we have three today, and we're going to, we're going to, we talked about this in the pre show a little bit. We're going to tell a story today. We're going to talk about this story of Joe Schmoe, who is, uh, going through, um, early career development. Let's let's talk about it that way. All right, so we have three here. 

This one, this first one here is from left newb enthusiast on the user experience subreddit, I was interviewed for a job interview. I think I'm not qualified for, could that be a mistake? Uh, they go on to write hello. There I am. A new grad will be graduating this year and had cold mailed a product manager at a tech company for an entry level product designer job. To my surprise. He sent me a design challenge link. However, after clicking on the link, they were for someone with four years of experience, I had clearly mentioned I had no corporate experience, but I took my chance and I worked on the design challenge and submitted it. Now. He said he wanted to take it forward and invited me for an interview. The design challenge clearly mentioned they were looking for someone with four years experience. And obviously I don't have that. So what's happening here. Does he just not notice that I was a new grad or did he not? Did he want to give me a chance before rejecting me, Blake? What do you think what's going on in this situation? Have you ever had anything like this happened to you? 

Yes, I absolutely have. And I think this is one of those times where it's probably a good time to remind people that U S U R is as good as you, as other people think you are. So definitely take a step back here, because I think the connotation you're putting on yourself as like bred out of grad school, I'm too new at this. I don't know what I'm doing, but obviously somebody is trying to give you a chance in some way now whether they, you know, totally weren't paying attention needed to fill the role that badly, maybe. But it sounds like to me that although you think you're not in the right place, maybe you are, it could have been the way you presented yourself in whatever precursor. Cause you said there was like a cold email or cold call. So maybe it was how you presented yourself in an email. 

Maybe they looked you up on LinkedIn, or they looked at the program that you're from and were like, Hey, maybe this is worth a shot. Um, but regardless, it sounds like the after all, you really are in the right place. Because if, even if you, one thing to consider for like hiring managers and job postings that you see, yes, they put, you know, amount of experience they want on there. But if you are able to get an interview without that experience, just show off what you can do, because sometimes they'll, uh, they'll put a larger tier of, or a low or whatever, a higher limit in terms of experience or job qualifications. And they actually need, which is not a great practice, but you can still get the interview and have the conversation. Um, but I don't know. I think that this is not, somebody's not noticing something. And just looking to reject you, I think this person likely saw potential in you through one of the actions that you did, whether it's the email or the, the first design challenge that you mentioned here, and they actually wanted to give you a chance. I hope that's the case, but Nick w what are you seeing here? Have you kind of put, been in this situation yourself? 

I've not necessarily been in the situation in this myself. Um, we'll talk about imposter syndrome a little later, but I think, I think what's happening here is the fact that, uh, the bad practice of saying four years, right? Entry-level job, four years experience, uh, $15 an hour, you know, that type of thing. Um, I think the four years probably came from, um, some writer. And if it's a large tech company, um, they say it's a tech company. They don't disclose the size. If it's a large tech company, chances are the person who needs the hire is not the person that's writing the qualifications for the job. Uh, usually they farm those out to HR or marketing or something like that, where they will put in things that they find elsewhere on the internet. At least this is my understanding, right? So they'll see like, oh, this position typically needs someone with this many years of experience. 

And if it's a tech company, they're going to say that everywhere. They're going to say it, you know, in the, in the job posting, they're going to say it, uh, everywhere. I'm I tend to agree with you Blake, if you've got the interview, take it, um, kind of believe in yourself until, uh, you know, it does, it happens or doesn't happen. The worst you can do is, um, you know, not be honest with them though. I mean, like, just tell them like, Hey, you know, uh, maybe, maybe omit the truth. Maybe don't mention the fact that you have less than four years experience here, but don't call it out either. Don't I don't know. I feel like I'm telling you to lie. Don't lie, but don't tell them that, you know, you missed it because it's on them at this point. If they haven't noticed it's on them, that's how I feel about it. Uh, and that might not be the right way to go about. Well, 

I think you're right though. I mean, if they've gotten this far, I guess my opinion is that the amount of experience they had, maybe it doesn't even matter that much. And that if that should be coming up in the interview or when they look at your resume anyway. So I mean, definitely like Nick said, don't lie about it, but at the end of the day, I think that you've already gotten past, like, I wouldn't be worried about how many years of experience you have, 

Honestly, honestly, that comes from the submission of a resume, right? Like that's the check. Um, they look at your work experience and determine whether or not it's four years or equivalent and say, okay, you're in to the next round. Right. That's kind of the check that I would imagine that for your check is at anyway. Um, so I don't know, go for it, do it. You got this, 

You cold mail them, go after it. We 

Believe in you. Um, all right. Uh, we should get into the next one here. So again, we're telling a story here about this. Let's pretend it's the same person. Um, although this one was written by gum soup on the user experience subreddit. So, uh, this next one here, just pretend it's the same person. Now they've been working at this company for a while. They say, is it really that bad to stay at the same company for more than two years, they must really like it there. Um, think Andre, I'm a UI UX designer at a medical device company in the United States. And I've worked here for about eight months. I graduated last year, and this is my first full-time job. Since it's a medical device company, everything is moving extremely slow, similar to the defense industry because of that. People stay at this company for a long duration. 

The team I'm in is getting backstabbed pretty often, but I don't think one of those will become a death blow that will get me fired. Hopefully since all jobs are requiring at least three to five years of experience, I'm thinking about staying at the company for three to five years and move to a different company at a medium or senior level thing is I'm seeing a lot of posting that employees that stay at the same company for more than two years are valued less. Is it really that bad to stay at the same company for more than two years in the industry? Blake, this 

Is really interesting of a post. So I, I don't know where the validity of this it's you're devalued. If you stayed somebody where for two more than two years is, uh, in the human factors or UX industry, I don't really know where that's coming from. As long as you do, then you can go through it. But it just doesn't seem like from my perspective, the way this is written, that it's worth just sticking three to five years out, because listen, the way that I perceive this stuff is if you're not feeling like you're either happy growing, enjoying the process or learning a lot, then maybe you don't need to be at a company, whether it's, you know, seven years down the line or it's one year in. So I don't really know about this whole deal of just staying so that it looks like you stayed somewhere for a specific amount of time. 

So then you can go apply for other jobs. Cause that's like having a plan B and just staying executing plan a until you're ready for plan B. And I just think you might as well go and do the other thing you want to do because like the, the, the post before this, I mean, you could get lucky and get a job offer for something with a lot less experience, or you could spend a lot of time networking instead of waiting for three to five years and build, build your way into the next job that you want to do, or be doing stuff on like on your nights and weekends to help you get a different job. So I, I just don't really know that if you're feeling this way and you're not really excited about what you're doing, and you're kind of worried about the longevity at the company as it is, um, mentioning like a potential death blow to get you fired. Maybe it's just time to consider looking at other places and networking to see what else you could do. Um, and not really worrying too much about the three to five year cap. 

Okay. Let me, let me address this two years thing. I think the two years is being conflated. I don't think people get devalued for staying less than two years, right? There's, there's certainly a generational shift. Um, I would say those of older generations I'll be polite there. Uh, typically value things like loyalty to a company, right. And loyalty is rewarded. However, I feel like the younger generations have figured out how to quote unquote hack the system. I think the two years comes from the, I guess, socially accepted amount of time before moving onto another company. Uh, without it looking like you're, you're just jumping from company to company, people in early careers, do this to increase their salary. Um, I think that's where this two years comes from. You stay with a company for two years, you jumped ship to another company, get a huge bump in salary. 

Um, and then do the same thing. Another two years later, another huge increase in salary and the cycle goes on and on. Um, and so I think, you know, at some point there's going to be a you're, you're going to say it you're, you're too old to get a job at a certain company because they want somebody with, you know, fresh out of school or something that's less expensive or something. So it's, it's a off, I feel like, uh, in terms of generational to get to a place where you will either have work lined up for a while, or, um, you know, you have a steady job. It's, it's weird. Um, I that's, that's my opinion on where that two years has come from. Um, I personally value loyalty. I, I think, um, you know, if I were in charge of the payroll, I would pay people, you know, a substantial boost for being there for a long time because, uh, that's, that means that they're going to keep working for me as long as their work is good. 

Right. Um, and so is it really that bad to stay at the company for more than two years? Absolutely not. Um, I think it kind of just fits, uh, or it depends. it. I did the thing we need to like an, it depends buzzer over here. Um, yeah, like the belly button, right. Uh, it does depend though on your situation, right? We had a, we had a question couple weeks ago about, um, a mother who, uh, was asking about jumping from contract to contract and whether having children impacted that. And if you have children having a job, a stable income might be more valuable to you. Then let's say a 10 to 20% increase in salary that 10 to 20% increase in salary might also be very helpful to somebody who has a family and malice to feed. So it can be and attempting, um, slowly, but it's like, do you take that risk factors involved? 

So I wouldn't like necessarily harp on anybody for jumping ship after two years. And I say jumping ship, but really it's leaving a company. If it, as long as you do it on good terms, then I don't see any issues. Um, I don't know. I it's, it's a complex question and I think there's a lot of conflation going on there with, um, de-valuing somebody after two years, I don't think that's necessarily true. Um, so anyway, we're, we're, we're telling the story of this person, Joe Schmoe, who has now graduated college, gone to the first job, uh, and is thinking about jumping ship. So let's ask, let's answer the question, uh, moving from one question, one company to another imposter syndrome, question mark. This one's from why so overprice, uh, on the user experience subreddit. Um, and so they say, sorry, I'm a level one at my current company I'm working at, but I've been leading projects on my own more or less. 

So I'm potentially moving out to a similar sized company with a more established design culture and cross functional relationships with your user experience, but it'll be more of a mid-level role with an entirely new domain. I'll have to grasp during my interview. I think I overload myself a bit on how I deal with certain situations and work with PMs and engineers, but maybe that's just imposter syndrome. I know my potential manager will have tons of resources for me. And I mentioned imposter syndrome to him during my one-on-one interview. Any tips for me when I start the new company Blake 

Did I, so this all sounds normal for sure, because I it's, it's so funny to me. So when you go through the interview process, you try to, you try to be somewhere in the middle, but you tend to always oversell yourself. Cause you know, like when a question gets asked, you know, what the right answer is. So you'll lean into that. Like that's, that's pretty natural here. So overselling yourself in an interview is one thing. But the reality of that is the person you're talking to, has to be able to weigh like, okay, am I, how much am I trusting all of this? This person is saying, and they have to weigh how much they expect you to be able to do on your own. Um, but they'll still need to like help you through the company. So ultimately because you're starting something completely new in a different style of role, um, with a new domain, I mean, there is going to be enough kind of learning curve uptime for you to kind of get a handle on where, where you're at in reality. 

But if you already have been doing a lot of like manage management and dealing with different cross-functional teams outside of a company with a really defined like design culture, I think you're going to find it a good bit easier to insert yourself into a new culture that has designed processes that are put in place and you'll be able to learn a whole lot just from being in a new spot. Um, and if you were up front about somebody in a one-on-one interview, like before you even got the job that you, there are imposter syndrome issues, that's awesome. Cause it shows a good bit of vulnerability. So they, I don't, from my perspective, if that was you and me in an interview, I would have a lot more trust than I did when you first walked into the interview, just because you were able to tell me exactly how you're feeling. 

So I think that there's probably a, a nice, careful balance of feeling like you're going to a brand new role. You're kind of nervous about it. You haven't gone through that proof of concept period where you have to perform or whatever and see what you're really made of. But I think that's natural going into any brand new role. Um, and I would just die. I wouldn't doubt your prior experience and then kind of think about retrospectively what you would improve from your prior job into a new role and see how you can grow into this new place. 

Yeah. Uh, my answer is going to be fairly simple here. Um, I think imposter syndrome is a terrible disease, uh, and needs to be eradicated, but I also feel like, look, if you are going to, if you're interviewing with a company that in your words have established a, a more established design culture, cross-functional relationships with UX chances are they know what they're doing when they're hiring people. Um, and so I would look at the fact that the company has this great design culture, great cross-functional relationship, uh, with other groups and say, okay, well they know what they're doing. If they were to hire me, which would then backhandedly give me faith in myself, if they hired me. So what I'm saying here is they're hiring you for a reason. And, uh, it's, it's normal to feel imposter syndrome, but if they didn't think that you couldn't do the job, they wouldn't have hired you. 

Um, and that's ultimately what it comes down to. So, you know, there's, there's a certain understanding that any job that you pick up air going to have a learning curve where you're learning, um, a new domain, potentially it could be the same domain, but there's still nuances to every job that you have to learn. And it's not just a walk in and, uh, lead the show. You know, it's going to be walk in, learn the culture, learn the product, learn the user, and then act on those. And you know, it might take you a month, two months to get up to speed once you're there, you're there. And again, they won't hire you unless they think you can do it. And if you can't do it, then they'll fire you and that's it. That's the simplicity of it. 

Yeah. I mean, either way, it's going to be a good learning experience. Um, and I think a lot of people get caught in their heads about that. They don't know what they're doing and it's easy to do cause we work. I think like, especially in the human factors world, we work in a lot of complex domains where just learning to domain seems insane. Um, much less doing the job. I 

Agree. All right. Well, why don't we go ahead and get into one more thing. It's pretty self-explanatory we don't have a little fun thing for this yet. I don't know if we will, but we have one more thing, Blake, what's your one more thing. One 

More thing, Dick, this resource that I came across on the internet while I was taking a Google AI machine learning course, um, is I forget what it's exactly called, but, uh, it's called people plus AI, the guidebook, and it's a, basically a guidebook of design patterns from Google about how to implement AI or think about AI in terms of when you're designing new software, where it would be useful kind of like material design, but for thinking about AI systems. Uh, so it's just one of those things I wanted to throw out there to make people aware, cause I'm sure a lot of people have seen it before, but it was something I stumbled across by accident. And I thought that the much like material design, the value of brings to how I think about, you know, the way when AI would be beneficial to think about in terms of pieces of software app, application development, it just provides a nice scaffolding. Uh, so it is just something I wanted to throw out there. 

Yeah. We'll put a link to that in the show notes. So this is a, this is how people in AI interact together. I'm looking at it now. It's pretty cool. Right? It gives you, um, this is actually kind of a neat little web interface for this too. Right. It kind of gives you a couple of different entry points, right? Like you could just get started or, um, you know, it breaks down by, uh, chapters and it's actually, um, it's pretty neat. I'm, I'm looking at it now for the first time and I'm pretty, uh, excited to jump into this Blake. So thank you for bringing this up. And like I said, we'll put a link to this, um, down in the show notes. Anything else? People, people, AI, guidebook, I 

Think that's it. That's all I got for those one more thing this week, Nick. 

Yeah. All right. For me. Um, man, I got to say, uh, getting an apartment is harder than getting a PlayStation vibe. Um, I, I don't know if you've tried to get a PlayStation five. Yeah, 

I tried today and it was not successful. Right. It's hard. So, um, 

The housing market, uh, Aaron and I actually talked about this last week on our post-show, uh, housing market right now is kind of nuts. It's very competitive. Um, we're, we're talking with a, uh, real estate agent right now who had a, um, who had a client jump off the plane, go to a house and had to make a decision that day before, um, you know, a certain time, I think it was 4:00 PM or something and they had eight minutes to spare when they wrote the offer. They got off the plane, saw the house, made an offer same day because the market is insane right now. Now, uh, that is actually being carried over to places like apartments. We're looking for, um, you know, specific parameters and uh, you know, so that way I can do the show and, um, have an office basically while we house hunt in this new area that I'm not mentioning it. 

Um, so, uh, another part of the country, how about that? Uh, and so, um, finding a place with these specific parameters was difficult enough when we visited and then now we have to camp and we have to camp out on the website. So I had my five different tabs open with the different places that we were considering and some rank higher than others. And we were, there were compromises. We were willing to make on some but not others. And so it's like I had all these windows open and like every couple of hours I'd refresh and then, you know, one would pop up and we were like, oh yes, that's it. And then it'd be gone like in 20 minutes. And it's like, it's kind of insane because I think that the attributes that we're looking for, a certain number of bedrooms, certain number of baths with, um, certain attributes, like a pantry or washer dryer, and you know, those types of things, right. 

Those attributes are more desirable. And so they're more competitive. And so I'm sitting here looking at like the five, uh, different tabs, you know, every hour, just refresh, refresh, refresh, just making sure that it's there and I'm having a harder time than I have finding a PlayStation five. Um, you know, cause at least those are up and available and you can get on it. I haven't still, haven't got one, but, um, but I did and get an apartment. So I guess maybe it's not as hard as a PlayStation five. I dunno. We have one kind of like a bare minimum that we've accepted. We're willing to eat the application fee. If another one better one comes available anyway. 

Nice. Yeah. That's good. At least you got prospects and the PS five is still, you know, hiding from everybody. Yeah. Well, 

We'll get there. Um, yeah. And then, uh, I'll just say one more thing, I guess. No, you know what? That was things. No, it's one more thing. I'm going to leave it at that. Maybe I'll say this one next week. All right. So that's gotta be effort today. Everyone let us know what you guys think of the news story this week. Have you ever been in VR? You have time dilation when you go in there, let us know. Uh, you can hang out with us on our slack or discord or get to us at any of our social channels, visit our official website. Um, and if you are so inclined, feel free to reach out to us about joining the human factors, cast digital media lab. Um, if you like, what you hear, you wanna support the show. There's a couple of ways you can do that. 

Uh, you can leave us a five star review on your podcast, medium of choice if they allow you to do it, if they don't, you can tell your friends about us that always helps to show grow. And, uh, if you have the financial means, you can always consider supporting us on patron and allows the team to grow. It allows us to do more fancier things with more fancier bells and whistles. And we do give back to you for doing that. So, um, you know, think about it and as always, uh, it links to all of our socials and our website or in the description of this episode. I'm going to thank Mr. Blake Arne store for being on the show today. Where can our listeners go and find you if they want to talk about playing games in virtual reality, 

You guys wanted to pay whether time is real or not. You can find me across social media at don't panic UX. 

As for me, I've been your host, Nick Rohem. You can find me streaming on Twitch Tuesdays now at 1:00 PM office, a specific time for office hours and across social media at Nick underscore. Roam. Thanks again for tuning into human factors cast until next time 

It depends.