Everybody has problems using technology, from heating controls through to video recorders. Move to computers and the problems are even worse; even the simplest computer programs seem to behave in strange ways. This book considers usability of technology and examines the factors that play a role in the design of such systems. Its goal is to introduce students and those working in related areas to the issues and to support them in analyzing problems and coming up with their own designs.
It covers the issues surrounding the design of everyday technology before bringing computers into the picture and looking at how those issues change with the design of the user interface to computer systems. There are plenty of good seminar style exercises with accompanying guidelines. The text uses numerous real-world examples to get its message across and it does so in an ‘amusing and authoritative’ style. It steers clear of technical issues which means that it is very general in nature, that it retains its relevance as technologies change and that the text does not get bogged down in technical jargon.
As well as the exercises, each chapter has an imaginary dialogue between Hemelsworth; a frustrated lord, and his dim-witted butler Barker, who is prone to behaving like your average computer system. First printed and reprinted by Addison Wesley, this timeless title is now available from Bosko Books. It is still relevant and useful, and continues to be used to teach interaction design courses and computing courses relating to the user interface.