Human-Computer Interaction: Ergonomics and User Interfaces - Vol. 1

By Hans-Jörg Bullinger; Jürgen Ziegler | Go to book overview
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Integrating Perspectives for UI Design

Chris Stary
University of Linz, Department of Business Information Systems,
Communications Engineering, Freistädterstr. 315, A-4040 Linz


1
Introduction

Since human-computer interaction does not occur in purely technical, organizational or social systems, but socio-technical systems (being part of work systems), design of user interfaces as well as their evaluation have to reflect these dimensions. This paper emphasizes the issue of mutual integration of perspectives, namely migrating design elements that have been isolated for several development purposes, such as semantic data descriptions, and have to be related to interaction elements. We first reveal the understanding of perspectives in general before we deal with user interface design and detail the perspectives involved in human-computer interaction. We proceed with the issue of integration, discussing the roles of' concepts, procedures, communication and notation in the course of development. We then give a case from a project where technically-driven development has led to organizational deficiencies, as well as cognitive and social problems.

Perspectives relate to the understanding of the environment by an individual. It means 'to look through' either as a standpoint or as a process, namely to express a way observations are interpreted. It may also denote some kind of filter. In this case, the concept operates as a selection of features when referring to an observation or phenomenon ( Nygaard et al., 1989). Perspective as a selection is a commonly used concept in user interface development, as can be easily demonstrated through the upraise of object-oriented systems. Here, filtering of information is performed for several purposes, such as hiding, coupling, generalizing, and aggregating.

For the integration of isolated elements we have to be aware that the selection of particular properties of an object or phenomenon influences the "choice of operative cognitions" ( Nygaard et al., 1989, p. 382), i.e. the way we think about it and represent the object or the phenomenon, e.g., through specifying dialog models. These cognitions are relevant for the interpretation (also considered an interpretation of perspective) of the selected properties, and finally lead to the

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