A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


13 found.

About this Site | Advanced Search | Localization | Site Maps




The concept of an affordance was coined by the perceptual psychologist James J. Gibson in his seminal book The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception. The concept was introduced to the HCI community by Donald Norman in his book The Psychology of Everyday Things from 1988. There has however been ambiguity in Norman's use of the concept, and the concept thus requires a more elaborate explanation.

Soegaard, Mads. Interaction-Design.org (2006). Articles>User Interface>Usability



An artifact simply means any product of human workmanship or any object modified by man. It is used to denote anything from a hammer to a computer system, but it is often used in the meaning 'a tool' in HCI or Interaction Design terminology. The term is also used to denote activities in a design process.

Soegaard, Mads. Interaction-Design.org (2006). Articles>Human Computer Interaction>Usability


Backtalk of a Situation (or Situational Feedback)

Making thoughts, ideas and plans explicit by writing them down or by developing an artifact, we create situations which talk back to us. For example, architects use the backtalk of their work extensively. When sketching, unexpecting patterns emerge, which are incorporated and maybe elaborated on in the drawing. Thus, the act of sketching is not only the conscious act of sketching the intended subject, but an interplay between the sketcher, the materials and possibly other situational constraints.

Soegaard, Mads. Interaction-Design.org (2006). Articles>Human Computer Interaction


Demand Characteristics

Demand Characteristics is a term used in Cognitive Psychology to denote the situation where the results of an experiment are biased because the experimenters' expectancies regarding the performance of the participants on a particular task create an implicit demand for the participants to perform as expected.

Soegaard, Mads. Interaction-Design.org. Articles>Usability>Methods


Featuritis (or Creeping Featurism)

Featuritis or creeping featurism is the tendency for the number of features in a product (usually software product) to rise with each release of the product. What may have been a cohesive and consistent design in the early versions may end up as a patchwork of added features. And with extra features comes extra complexity.

Soegaard, Mads. Interaction-Design.org. Articles>Usability>Interaction Design>Project Management


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


Interaction Design Encyclopedia

An open-source encyclopedia of terms from the fields surrounding interaction design.

Interaction-Design.org (2006). Reference>Encyclopedias>Interaction Design



A free, open-content, peer-reviewed Encyclopedia covering terms from the disciplines of Interaction Design, Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), Design, Human Factors, Usability, Information Architecture, and related fields.

Interaction-Design.org. Resources>Directories>Interaction Design



Prototyping is a method used by designers to acquire feedback from users about future designs. Prototypes are similar to mock-ups (see this), but are usually not as low-fidelity as mock-ups and appear slightly later in the design process.

Soegaard, Mads. Interaction-Design.org. Articles>Usability>Prototyping


Reification (to Reify)

In the fields of HCI and interaction design the term is however most often used as 'making something material from something abstract.' In other words 'thingifying' something abstract (like an idea, a work practice, a social relationshiop) or at least making a representation of it.

Soegaard, Mads. Interaction-Design.org. Articles>Human Computer Interaction>Interaction Design



Satisficing describes the situation where people settle with a solution to a problem that is 'good enough.'

Soegaard, Mads. Interaction-Design.org. Articles>Usability>User Experience>Cognitive Psychology


Task-Artifact Cycle

The task-artifact cycle is in other words an iterative process of continuous, mutually dependent development between task and artifact, a process that will never reach an optimum state.

Soegaard, Mads. Interaction-Design.org. Articles>Usability>Methods


User Experience - UX

'User Experience', often abbreviated 'UX', is the quality of experience a person has when interacting with a specific design.

Knemeyer, Dirk and Eric Svoboda. Interaction-Design.org (2006). Articles>User Experience>Usability

Follow us on: TwitterFacebookRSSPost about us on: TwitterFacebookDeliciousRSSStumbleUpon