A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.

Human Computer Interaction

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Behaviour and Information Technology   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Information technology is more than just traditional computers: it includes telecommunications, office systems, industrial automation, robotics and even consumer products. Behaviour and Information Technology (BIT) deals with the human aspects of this technology and reports original research and development on the design, use and impact of information technology in all its forms. Its strictly refereed papers come from a variety of disciplines, including psychology, cognitive science, computer science, ergonomics, sociology, management education and training. BIT attracts a wide, international readership, from researchers and system designers to personnel specialists and planners.

BIT. Journals>Human Computer Interaction>Technology


Being Analog

We humans are biological animals. We have evolved over millions of years to function well in the environment, to survive. We are analog devices following biological modes of operation. We are compliant, flexible, tolerant. Yet we people have constructed a world of machines that requires us to be rigid, fixed, intolerant. We have devised a technology that requires considerable care and attention, that demands it be treated on its own terms, not on ours. We live in a technology-centered world where the technology is not appropriate for people. No wonder we have such difficulties.

Norman, Donald A. JND.org (2002). Articles>Human Computer Interaction>Usability


Below the Neutral Axis: A Case of Writers, Managers, and Companies in the Current Economic Context   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

As a growing and integral part of America's corporate workforce, technical writers increasingly share general employee benefits and burdens. Negative trends that affect the workforce in many companies now threaten serious damage to the teams that technical writers work on, the projects they develop, and ultimately the revenues that pay their salaries. The structural and secondary effects of such trends are explained; an illustration is given in the case of one company; and predictions are made about where such trends will lead.

McKeown, Roger R. Technical Communication Online (1997). Articles>Human Computer Interaction


Review: Beyond Anecdotes: HCI 2009 Tutorial Review

Given the choice, how many people would swap a gloriously sunny Saturday in Cambridge, England, for a 7-hour long tutorial about—wait for it—qualitative user research and analysis methods? Yet thirty odd people did just that, electing to closet themselves in one of the nicer rooms at Churchill College to listen to what UCD researcher David Siegel had to say. This tutorial turned out to be a highly motivating, fast-paced, and anecdote-rich journey through the process of designing and analyzing qualitative field work in a user-centered design (UCD) context.

Muscat, Richard A. UXmatters (2009). Articles>Reviews>Human Computer Interaction


A Breakdown of the Psychomotor Components of Input Device Usage

This study investigates the breakdown of the psychomotor components of three different input devices, the mouse, trackball, and RollerMouse™ using the Stochastic Optimized Submovement Model. Primary movement time (PMT), Total Movement Time (TMT), Primary Movement Distance (PMD), and Total Movement Distance (TMD) were examined for each device. Results showed that psychomotor variables related to the primary phase of movement help to pinpoint how performance efficiency is affected by a particular device. For example, the relationship between %PMD and efficiency suggests that a device that affords users an initial accurate movement decreases the need for more or longer corrective submovements, thus reducing movement time.

Slocum, Jeremy. Usability News (2005). Articles>Human Computer Interaction>User Interface>Usability


British HCI Group

The British HCI Group is the longest-established and largest national group in Europe devoted to HCI. The British HCI Group was set up in 1984 as a Specialist Group of the British Computer Society, to provide an umbrella organisation for all those working on the requirements analysis, design, implementation and evaluation of technology for human use.

British Computer Society. Organizations>Human Computer Interaction>Regional>United Kingdom


British HCI Group

A selection of HCI-related publications, standards, organisations and on-line resources which complement the work of the British HCI Group.

British HCI Group. Resources>Human Computer Interaction>Regional>United Kingdom


Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Have you ever been working at the computer so long that your eyes 'went buggy?' Or so intensely that you could barely move when you got up? Working long hours at a computer may be more hazardous than you know. One real possibility is that you will develop Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS).

Rollins, Cindy. Boston Broadside (1991). Articles>Human Computer Interaction>Biomedical>RSI


CHI Letters   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

CHI Letters is an edited collection of the very best proceedings from conferences sponsored by SIGCHI.

ACM SIGCHI. Journals>Human Computer Interaction


CHI-WEB Mailing List

CHI-WEB is an ACM SIGCHI moderated discussion list on the human factor aspects of the World Wide Web.

ACM SIGCHI. Resources>Mailing Lists>Human Computer Interaction


CHI-WEB Mailing List Archives   (peer-reviewed)

CHI-WEB is an ACM SIGCHI moderated discussion list on the human factor aspects of the World Wide Web.

ACM SIGCHI. Resources>Mailing Lists>Human Computer Interaction



CHIplace is an online community site for Human-Computer Interaction. All HCI topics are relevant, and all perspectives from our multi-disciplinary field are welcome.

CHIplace. Resources>Human Computer Interaction>Community Building


The Comptoons

HCI Vistas presents cartoons that illustrate the interesting relationship between the human and computer.

Katre, Dinesh S. HCeye (2006). Humor>Computing>Human Computer Interaction


The Convivio Network

the European Thematic Network for the human-centered design of interactive technologies. Convivio supports and promotes the development of "convivial technologies", ICT products, systems and services that enhance the quality of everyday life and human interaction.

Convivio. Organizations>Human Computer Interaction>Interaction Design>Regulation


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


Culture-Friendly Mobile Interfaces and Applications   (PDF)

Mobile phones become part of the most intimate and personal space with its users unlike any other computer devices or software applications. Mobile phones accompany the individuals almost everywhere be it home, office, public places or even the most private locations. It connects us with the worlds beyond our physical reach as well as the worlds within our vicinity. The need for culture-friendly mobile interfaces and applications is felt when we are interacting with the worlds within our vicinity (local culture) or when the user interacts with another culture. Considering the intimate relation of mobile phones with its users, the quality of “culture-friendliness” becomes very critical for a successful interaction within the personal as well as social space.

Katre, Dinesh. HCEye (2010). Articles>Human Computer Interaction>Mobile>Usability


The Death of File Systems

The file system has been a trusted part of most computers for many years, and will likely continue as such in operating systems for many more. However, several emerging trends in user interfaces indicate that the basic file-system model is inadequate to fully satisfy the needs of new users, despite the flexibility of the underlying code and data structures.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (1996). Articles>Human Computer Interaction>User Interface


The Degree of Usability from Selected DVD Menus and Their Navigational Systems   (members only)

The purpose of this research is to investigate the usability of DVD interfaces via their menus and navigation, inspired by Donald Norman who has had a pivotal role in user-centred design and usability. The paper encompasses theoretical aspects of interactivity, usability and DVD technology. A usability test was administered with the DVDs chosen. The results from the usability test were the main focus in this research. Such results were supportive of Norman's claims, as participants experienced varying degrees of usability issues. Furthermore, the findings were used to develop a set of guidelines and recommendations designers could follow. If these were adhered to, it would have significantly alleviated the difficulty the participants had in interacting with the DVDs.

Wood-Bradley, Guy and Malcolm Campbell. SpringerLink (2005). Articles>Usability>Human Computer Interaction>DVD


Depth vs Breadth in the Arrangement of Web Links

The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of depth and breadth of web site structure on the user response time.

Mtei, Lianaeli and Panayiotis Zaphiris. SHORE (1997). Design>Web Design>Human Computer Interaction>Usability


Design of the IL-HUMASS Survey on Information Literacy in Higher Education: A Self-Assessment Approach   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

The IL-HUMASS survey on information literacy has been designed, based on and aimed to be applied to a population of students, teachers and librarians holding various degrees in social sciences and humanities at Spanish and Portuguese universities. The case-study method, experts’ opinions, and a literature review were used to prepare an initial version that was refined through student focus groups, interviews with librarians, and academics’ reports. A final version contained 26 items grouped into four categories (information search, assessment, processing and communication/dissemination) and three self-reporting dimensions (motivation, self-efficacy and favourite source of learning). The self-reporting nature of the IL-HUMASS survey involves a self-assessment approach that has until now been proposed rarely and only in a limited way. This will enable a better understanding of user groups through a mixed analysis including two quantitative dimensions (motivation and self-efficacy) and one qualitative dimension (the preferred source of learning).

Pinto, Maria. Journal of Information Science (2010). Articles>Education>Human Computer Interaction>Databases


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


Designs We Love To Hate!

Selections of 'least favorite' designs from graduate students of the George Mason University Department of Psychology.

Mintz, Farilee. Usability Interface (2006). Design>User Interface>Human Computer Interaction>User Centered Design


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


Does Background Music Impact Computer Task Performance?

The effects of music on performance on a computer-mediated problem-solving task were examined. Participants completed the task in anonymous dyads as they were exposed to either Classical music, Punk music, or No Music. Results indicate that those in the Classical music condition performed better on the problem solving-task than those in the Punk music or No Music conditions. However, those listening to the Classical music offered more off-task comments during the task than those listening to No Music. Implications for website designers are discussed.

Phillips, Christine. Usability News (2004). Articles>Usability>Human Computer Interaction>Audio


Does Isolating a Visual Element Call Attention to It? Results of an Eye-tracking Investigation of the Effects of Isolation on Emphasis   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

The study reported here assessed the effects of isolation on attention. Is it true, in other words, that isolating an element in a visual display—moving an element away from other elements and surrounding it with white space—will inspire a greater allocation of attentional resources to the isolated element than to other elements on a page or screen?

Williams, Thomas R., Christopher Mulligan, Kent Koprowicz, Jamie Miller, Christy Reimann and Da-Shin Wang. Technical Communication Online (2005). Articles>Usability>Human Computer Interaction



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