A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.

Human Computer Interaction

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Guidelines on the Common Features of Mobile Phone Interfaces   (PDF)

An ever increasing range of mobile phones are appearing on the market, each with their own features, designs and interfaces. Our extensive experience of working with a wide range of phones suggests that, despite their many differences, there are some user interface requirements common to all mobile phones. These requirements are presented as guidelines below.

Stockbridge, Lucy and Azia Mughal. Serco (2007). Articles>Human Computer Interaction>Mobile>User Interface


Hands Across the Screen: Why Scrollbars are on the Right and Other Stories

Why are scrollbars on the right, and is it the best place for them? There are good reasons to think that the left-hand side may be the better choice. In this short paper we'll talk about two cases, from which we can find: the best placement does not look right when you see it statically, but feels right when it is used.

Dix, Alan. uiGarden (2005). Articles>Human Computer Interaction>User Interface


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


HCI Books: Bibliographies and Reviews

This section contains information on books on HCI. Specifically, it points to the main bibliography of HCI publications, recommended reading lists, websites related to specific books, and announcements from publishers.

de Graaff, Hans. HCI Index. Resources>Bibliographies>Human Computer Interaction


HCI Commentary

Blog on all aspects of HCI, technology, design, usability, and its impact of society, users, ethics and life.

Beale, Russell and Peter Lonsdale. University of Birmingham. Resources>Human Computer Interaction>Usability>Blogs


HCI Conferences and Workshops

HCI Events listed by date. If you want to submit a paper an overview sorted by submission date might be more convenient. Events of interest may also appear on the CapCHI events page.

de Graaff, Hans. HCI Index. Academic>Conferences>Human Computer Interaction


HCI Design for Network and System Management

All too often the people responsible for the care and feeding of the information technology infrastructure are poorly supported by the very technology they must manage, even as the popularity and use of networks (such as for the World Wide Web) grows. Corporate MIS staffs spend billions of dollars just on managing their computing infrastructures, and still they must continually cope with ineffectual products that do not support them in their work. A $2,000 PC may cost $5,000 to $10,000 a year to support.(1) This Special Interest Group (SIG) provided an opportunity for over 30 HCI practitioners and researchers in the domain of network and system management to share information about the problems faced by operators, system managers, administrators, and end users, and to explore new techniques in user interface design that might provide better support in the future. The group spent the majority of its time sharing information about design problems in a structured brain-storming exercise. Candidate areas for solutions were considered in response to the defined problem.

Graefe, Thomas M. and Dennis Wixon. SIGCHI Bulletin (1997). Design>Human Computer Interaction>Management


HCI Education and CHI 97

Education always plays an important role in the annual CHI conference. The tutorial program provides a valuable opportunity for both HCI practitioners and researchers to explore new topics. Other venues, including workshops, panels, special interest group sessions, and papers are also used to explore educational issues. This year HCI Education was represented by a panel, a Special Interest Group, and several short papers discussing issues important to HCI education.

Sears, Andrew and Marian Williams. SIGCHI Bulletin (1997). Articles>Education>Human Computer Interaction>Usability


HCI Education and CHI 98

This year, the CHI conference placed special emphasis on three application domains: education, entertainment, and health care. The education domain included everything from pre-school for children through continuing education for working professionals. HCI education was well-represented, and was the focus of a paper and a panel.

Williams, Marian G. and Andrew Sears. SIGCHI Bulletin (1998). Articles>Education>Human Computer Interaction>Usability


HCI Education: Past, Present and Future?

The roots of HCI came from a number of separate disciplines, including computer graphics, human factors, ergonomics etc. (Hewett et al., 1992). In higher education, HCI was also represented as separate disciplines and sub-disciplines with separate courses or modules within the various disciplines. In contrast, the 1980's began to recognize the multi-disciplinary nature of the field. Conferences such as SIGCHI and books on HCI (e.g. Baecker & Buxton, 1987; Card, Moran & Newell, 1983; Norman, 1988; Shneiderman, 1987) appeared that brought the various disciplines together in new ways.

Gasen, Jean B. SIGCHI Bulletin (1996). Articles>Education>Human Computer Interaction>Usability


HCI Education: Where is it Headed?

As HCI continues to mature as a discipline, we must continue to question the bounds of the field. We must define what is within the realm of HCI and what is not. To begin, we can explore some of the proposed definitions for the discipline.

Sears, Andrew. SIGCHI Bulletin (1997). Articles>Education>Human Computer Interaction>Usability


The HCI Index

This collection of pages points you to many different resources on Human-Computer-Interaction on the Internet.

de Graaff, Hans. HCI Index. Resources>Human Computer Interaction


HCI Publications and Other Information

This section lists various sorts of publications: weblogs, columns, journals, magazines, papers, reports, theses, web sites, etc.

de Graaff, Hans. HCI Index. Resources>Human Computer Interaction>Online


HCI Solutions for Managing the IT Infra-structure

In a kick-off Special Interest Group (SIG) at CHI 97, participants focused on key design challenges in the domain of network and system management. At the conclusion of the CHI 97 SIG the group decided it would be helpful to continue to meet and to provide a forum for exploring solutions to these key design challenges. The CHI 98 SIG provided an opportunity for over 30 HCI practitioners and researchers in the management domain to share information about work in several key areas.

Graefe, Thomas M. and Dennis Wixon. SIGCHI Bulletin (1998). Design>Human Computer Interaction>Management


HCI Tools

A variety of tools to help do HCI-related work better or easier.

de Graaff, Hans. HCI Index. Resources>Human Computer Interaction>Software


HCIRN Job Bank

Job postings in Human-Computer Interaction, organized by geographic region.

HCIRN (2003). Careers>Job Listings>Human Computer Interaction


Help Strategies and Their Effect on Graphical Icon Usage

An increasingly popular component of modern graphical human-computer interfaces are graphical command buttons. Studies have shown that graphical command buttons can enhance user productivity. However, two factors, the time required to acquire a working knowledge of the graphical command set and the need for frequent use to maintain the knowledge limit the effectiveness of graphical command buttons as a user interface strategy. This study attempts to quantify the effects of four types of help (balloon style, a mouse documentation line at the bottom of the screen, a help browser, and hardcopy documentation) on the ability of novice users to acquire a working knowledge of a graphical command set. The study did not find any significant difference (based on the anova and manova tests) between the four treatments.

McAlister, Britt and Chavi Greengart. SHORE (1997). Design>Documentation>Human Computer Interaction>Help


HFI Certification: Fulfilling Your Needs as a Practitioner

Usability is more and more critical to online success, but most developers have no formal training in it and most companies have no formal program for it.

Schaffer, Eric M. and Phil Goddard. Human Factors International (2006). Presentations>Human Computer Interaction>Usability


How Do You Make the Student-to-Professional Transition?   (PDF)

A summary of the 1998 panels, 'Transitioning from Student to Professional: What's in Your Future?' and 'To Ph.D. or Not to Ph.D? That Is the Question'.

Trich Kremer, Jennifer D. HFES (2000). Careers>Human Computer Interaction


How May I Help You? An Ethnographic View of Contact-Center HCI   (peer-reviewed)

This study used an applied ethnographic research method to investigate human-computer interaction (HCI) between call center agents and agent-facing software in the context of contact-center culture. Twenty semi-structured interviews were completed, along with non-participant observation at two contact centers, one that followed a user-centered design (UCD) process for software development and another that did not. Agent productivity and satisfaction at the non-UCD center were hampered by poor task-UI integration, ambiguous text labels, and inadequate UI standardization. Agents required multiple applications to complete a single task, leading to long task times and cognitive strain. In contrast, the UCD center used a unified UI that reduced task times and decreased cognitive strain. In both centers, the workflow was reported to be stressful at times; however, management at both companies employed high involvement work processes that mitigated this stress. Implications for possible high-involvement UI design are considered and a strategy for applied ethnographic research is discussed.

Kiewe, Howard. Journal of Usability Studies (2008). Articles>Human Computer Interaction>Usability>Contextual Inquiry


How Much Bandwidth is Enough? A Tbps!

In the long term we will need about a million times more bandwidth than a T1, as shown by the following list of requirements for the perfect user interface.

Alertbox (1995). Articles>Human Computer Interaction>User Interface


Human Computer Interaction (HCI)

Human-computer interaction (HCI) is an area of research and practice that emerged in the early 1980s, initially as a specialty area in computer science. HCI has expanded rapidly and steadily for three decades, attracting professionals from many other disciplines and incorporating diverse concepts and approaches. To a considerable extent, HCI now aggregates a collection of semi-distinct fields of research and practice in human-centered informatics. However, the continuing synthesis of disparate conceptions and approaches to science and practice in HCI has produced a dramatic example of how different epistemologies and paradigms can be reconciled and integrated.

Carroll, John M. Interaction-Design.org. Articles>Human Computer Interaction>Interaction Design>History


Human Error and the Design of Computer Systems

People err. That is a fact of life. People are not precision machinery designed for accuracy. In fact, we humans are a different kind of device entirely. Creativity, adaptability, and flexibility are our strengths. Continual alertness and precision in action or memory are our weaknesses. We are amazingly error tolerant, even when physically damaged. We are extremely flexible, robust, and creative, superb at finding explanations and meanings from partial and noisy evidence. The same properties that lead to such robustness and creativity also produce errors. The natural tendency to interpret partial information -- although often our prime virtue -- can cause operators to misinterpret system behavior in such a plausible way that the misinterpretation can be difficult to discover.

Norman, Donald A. JND.org (1999). Design>Human Computer Interaction>Usability


The Human Experience

There has been a lot of talk about technology and human experience. Many people believe that technology is bad in the sense that it is making us more and more detached from humanity. The web has much to do with technology. Take cinema for example: films were once genuinely hand crafted and dealt with humanity. Today many films are all technology and deal almost entirely with technology.

Fox, Justin. Digital Web Magazine (2000). Articles>Human Computer Interaction>Technology


Human Factors

Human Factors is often used interchangeably with User Interface Design or Human-Computer Interface. There is a lot of overlap in these disciplines; however, Human Factors generally refers to hardware design while HCI generally refers to software design.

Usernomics. Design>Human Computer Interaction>User Interface



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