User Centered System Design: New Perspectives on Human-Computer Interaction

User Centered System Design: New Perspectives on Human-Computer Interaction

User Centered System Design: New Perspectives on Human-Computer Interaction

User Centered System Design: New Perspectives on Human-Computer Interaction

Excerpt

What is this field of Human-Computer Interaction? People are quite different from computers. This is hardly a novel observation, but whenever people use computers, there is necessarily a zone of mutual accommodation and this defines our area of interest. People are so adaptable that they are capable of shouldering the entire burden of accommodation to an artifact, but skillful designers make large parts of this burden vanish by adapting the artifact to its users. To understand successful design requires an understanding of the technology, the person, and their mutual interaction, and that is what this book is about.

The computer can be thought of from the perspective of its technology -- from the field of computer science. Or it can be thought of as a social tool, a structure that will change social interaction and social policy, for better or for worse. It can be thought of as a personal assistant, where the goals and intentions of the user become of primary concern. It can be viewed from the experience of the user, a view that changes considerably with the task, the person, the design of the system. The field of human-computer interaction needs all these views, all these issues, and more besides. Studying these various perspectives can involve many disciplines: computer science, psychology, artificial . . .

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