Evaluation, Description and Invention: Paradigms for Human-Computer Interaction

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The race between function and usability has made the area of human computer interaction (HCI) a high-profile research area within computer science and within the computer industry: it is difficult to develop usability science and technology fast enough, but it is also critical to do so. The chapter identifies three distinct paradigms, or orientations, to HCI research and application: evaluation, description, and invention. Structured programming and direct manipulation are important theoretical concepts and they surely carry empirical consequences. Direct empirical measurement is still the only adequate means of assessing the usability of software techniques and computing artifacts. The cognitive description paradigm in HCI provided independent conceptual foundations for the psychology of HCI that made it possible to develop useful theory. The human factors evaluation and cognitive description paradigms share basic assumptions about the position of psychological analysis in HCI. They assume that psychology operates outside the development process, outside even the research prototyping process. HCI is about designing new software tools and user interfaces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-77
Number of pages31
JournalAdvances in Computers
Issue numberC
StatePublished - Jan 1 1989

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science(all)


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