A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.

Articles>User Centered Design>Interaction Design

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An Interview with John Carroll

Interview with John Carroll, best‑known among technical communicators as “The Father of Minimalism,” a title he earned as a result of his popular book, The Nurnberg Funnel.

Bleiel, Nicky. Society for Technical Communication (2015). Articles>User Centered Design>Human Computer Interaction>Minimalism


Applying Curiosity to Interaction Design: Tell Me Something I Don’t Know

Given just a bit of information, we naturally crave more. Given a puzzle, we have to solve it. So, as interaction designers, how are we using this bit of insight into human behavior?

Anderson, Stephen. Johnny Holland (2009). Articles>User Centered Design>Interaction Design>Cognitive Psychology


A Brief Rant on the Future of Interaction Design

With an entire body at your command, do you seriously think the Future Of Interaction should be a single finger?

Victor, Bret. WorryDream (2011). Articles>User Centered Design>Interaction Design


Cr@p Error Messages

When writing software, *please* don't give error messages that are only meaningful to developers of the software. Microsoft used to be awful for this: "System fault at DEAD:BEEF, please contact your system administrator". Which would've been cool, except that I *was* the system administrator.

Bailey, Jeff. LiveJournal (2009). Articles>Human Computer Interaction>User Centered Design>User Experience


Critic to Creator: Recognizing Good Design

All too often, people in our field focus so much on pointing out the egregious interaction design mistakes that make it to market, we forget to pay attention to the good design that exists. Not only does it make our profession look bad if we are always complaining, but it also makes us less effective.

Calde, Steve. Cooper Interaction Design (2003). Articles>Usability>User Centered Design>Interaction Design


Design for Effective Support of User Intentions in Information-Rich Interactions   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

With the rise of Web pages providing interactive support for problem-solving or providing large amounts of information on which a person is expected to act, designers and writers need to consider how a person interacts with increasingly complex information-rich environments and how they intend to use the information. This article examines some of the theory underlying why people make errors early in the problem-solving process when they form an intention. Since these errors are cognitively-based and occur before any physical action, it is harder to analyze their cause or incorporate changes to reduce them in a design. It examines factors which contribute to user errors and which designers and writers must consider to produce documents which reduce user errors in forming intentions.

Albers, Michael J. Journal of Technical Writing and Communication (2009). Articles>User Centered Design>Interaction Design>Cognitive Psychology


Designing for B2B and Enterprise Applications

It's not uncommon to hear people complaining about the poor user experience of some B2B and enterprise applications. Read through these top tips to help you design enterprise applications that offer a better user experience and increase productivity.

Baxevanis, Alexander. Webcredible (2009). Articles>Human Computer Interaction>User Centered Design>User Experience


Do Students Really Feel Integrated With Computers?   (PDF)

This paper reports the results of a survey of senior Business and Engineering majors conducted at the University of Cincinnati. The survey's goal was to examine whether or not students felt integrated with computers yet, since the technological trend is towards a human-computer interface.

Stibravy, John A. STC Proceedings (1994). Articles>User Centered Design>Human Computer Interaction


Fun Systematically

This position paper looks at two examples where the study of fun is at very least systematic, and quite possibly scientific. In the first, Virtual Crackers, a systematic process of 'deconstructing experience'; identifies the individual aspects of an experience (pulling crackers), which are then used to reconstruct a new experience in a new medium (the web).

Dix, Alan. uiGarden (2004). Articles>User Centered Design>Human Computer Interaction


HCD harmful? A Clarification

HCD has developed as a limited view of design. Instead of looking at a person’s entire activity, it has primarily focused upon page-by-page analysis, screen-by-screen. As a result, sequences, interruptions, ill-defined goals – all the aspects of real activities, have been ignored. And error messages – there should not be any error messages. All messages should contain explanations and offer alternative ways of proceeding from the message itself.

Norman, Donald A. uiGarden (2006). Articles>Human Computer Interaction>User Centered Design


The Human Interface

The phrase 'human error' is taken to mean 'operator error', but more often than not the disaster is inherent in the design or installation of the human interface. Bad interfaces are slow or error prone to use. Bad interfaces cost money and cost lives.

Dix, Alan. uiGarden (2005). Articles>Human Computer Interaction>Usability>User Centered Design


Mommy, Where Do Ideas Come From?

We know we need to fold necessary constraints back in to our design solution as we iterate it, but lifting them for a bit can provide inspiration or even just some much-needed levity as we tackle a particularly challenging design problem.

Thompson, Suzy. Cooper Journal (2009). Articles>User Centered Design>Interaction Design


Of Mice and iPods, or The Death of the Designer

Computing technologies are becoming so familiar it can feel as if they have always been here. It is strange to think that the mouse, for instance, was invented by Doug Englebart in the seventies. He must encounter a degree of incredulity when he mentions this to people. “You invented the mouse? Really? How nice. Did you also invent the pen?”

Blythe, Mark. uiGarden (2008). Articles>Human Computer Interaction>User Centered Design>Usability


One-Handed Thumb Use on Smart Phones by Semi-literate and Illiterate Users in India   (PDF)

There is tremendous potential for developing mobile-based occupational productivity tools for semi-literate and illiterate users in India. One-handed thumb use on the touchscreen of smart phone or touch phone is considered as an effective alternative than the use of stylus or index finger, to free the other hand for supporting occupational activity. In this context, usability research and experimental tests are conducted to understand the role of fine motor control, usability of thumb as the tool for interaction and the ergonomic needs of users. The paper touches upon cultural, racial and anthropometric needs related with the topic, which also need due consideration while designing the mobile interface. Design recommendations are evolved to improve overall effectiveness of one-handed thumb use on smart phone, especially for the benefit of semi-literate and illiterate users.

Katre, Dinesh. HCeye (2010). Articles>Human Computer Interaction>Ergonomics>User Centered Design


Web Credibility Destroyers

When users visit your web site, their immediate impression of its credibility is based on appearance, colors, text fonts. Then, as they explore your site, other factors contribute to its credibility impact. Lose users here, and they probably will never return.

Streight, Steven. Blogger.com (2004). Articles>Web Design>User Centered Design>Interaction Design


Web Interactivity: Connecting People and Knowledge

We humans are wired to seek interaction with other people. Complex language and reasoning powers support your interactive nature. Your brain can retrieve and store unlimited amounts of information from everyday interactions and use that information to think, analyze, and solve complex problems.

Girolami, Frank. Between the Lines (2007). Articles>Web Design>Interaction Design>User Centered Design



我们常常看到这样的新闻报道:飞机坠毁夺走了好几百人的生命,某次工业事故导致几百万英镑的损失,某新发现的系统医疗错误致使数千病患重返医院。几个月后,公布的调查结果如下:操作机器设备时的人为错误导致了这些事故。人们使用‘人为错误’一词来表达‘操作上的错误’,而经常的情况是,这些‘人为错误’ 根本就是机器设备的人机界面设计或安装上本身固有的问题。低劣的人机界面会导致使用效率降低或者容易发生错误,严重的则会造成财产和生命损失。

Dix, Alan. uiGarden (2005). (Chinese) Articles>Human Computer Interaction>Usability>User Centered Design




Norman, Donald A. uiGarden (2005). (Chinese) Articles>Human Computer Interaction>User Centered Design>Activity Theory



很多人难以理解我的那篇“以人为中心的设计是有害的”文章。 (哈哈,下面这样说可能有些保守!关于这个问题,肯定有五百篇评论和博客文章。) 特别地,我没能够清楚地说明“以活动为中心的设计”是什么意思,以及它和“以人为中心的设计”是如何的不同。 一些人好像认为我彻底抛弃了我以前说过的话。另外一些人则简单地认为我疯了。还有一些人则急匆匆地出来解释我那样说的含义。

Norman, Donald A. uiGarden (2006). (Chinese) Articles>Human Computer Interaction>User Centered Design

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