First, my apologies to those of you who receive two copies of this.
Several weeks (maybe months at this point) ago I sent email to these
lists asking for recommendations for articles/books/etc to be included
on a PhD reading list (PhD in CS, exam in HCI). I've finally had time
to process all of the responses.
I've pruned duplicates and sorted alphabetically by author (journals
and conferences are at the end). Otherwise, I have not altered this
list. So what you see below are all of the suggestions I received.
If someone included comments about specific books/articles, I left
them in the list. So any comments you see are from some anonymous
person out there - not me.
I will be pruning this list before we use it and am still interested
in additional suggestions. So, if you have any recommendations you
don't see in this list, please let me know.
Thanks to everyone that took the time to provide suggestions!
Andrew Sears Phone: (312) 362-8063
School of Computer Science FAX: (312) 362-6116
DePaul University email: [log in to unmask]
243 S. Wabash Avenue
Chicago, IL 60604
Adler, P., Winograd, T. (eds, 1992) Usability: Turning technologies
into tools. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
* This book, which came out of a 1990 seminar on the effects of
technology on future work, contains seven chapters on usability from a
work perspective. The presentation is broader than the traditional HCI
notion of usability in that it entails the development of whole
systems, including their effects on work and the changing work
conditions. The book is very useful as an illustration of what the
field of information systems development can contribute to HCI.
Baecker, R., Grudin, J., Buxton, W., Greenberg, S. (eds, 1995)
Readings in human-computer interaction: Toward the year 2000. Second
edition. San Francisco: Morgan Kaufmann.
* An excellent collection of scientific HCI papers that, at the time
of writing (March -96), feels current and relevant. The coverage of
the field is very good; I particularly like that there are some hints
on the relations between HCI and systems development. The editorial
introductions to every part provide very useful overviews and many
references beyond the readings in the book. The main drawback is that
most papers are reprinted from the original sources, sometimes with
fairly low print quality, which makes some of the pictures less
* How to design usable systems. This delightful paper, originally
written in 1988, presents many informal methods and how they are
applied to the usability design process.
* User technology: From pointing to pondering.
* in Chapter 5: Brad Myers, State of the art in user interface
software tools introduction to Chapter 7: Touch, Gesture, and Marking
all of Chapter 8: Speech, Language, and Audition
* Chapter 2: Design and evaluation. This overview summarizes the fit
between design and evaluation.
Barfield, L. (1993) The user interface: Concepts and design.
Wokingham, UK: Addison-Wesley.
* This book is aimed at interaction designers to be, and intends to
offer a suitable set of tools for thought: concepts, notations and
some basic values. The structure is unusual in the sense that it
starts with general design and gradually focuses on interactive
computer systems, but it covers much of the contents found in
conventional HCI books. The author is very good at finding examples
for his ideas and writes in a readable and accessible way. I think the
book would work very well in an introductory course if empirically
oriented methods and exercises are addressed on the side.
Bentley, R., Hughes, J.A., Randall, D., Rodden, T., Sawyer, P.,
Shapiro, D. and Summerville, I. (1992) Ethnographically-informed
systems design for air traffic control, in Proc CSCW'92, p123-129,
Bias, R.G. (1994) Chapter 3: The pluralistic usability walkthrough:
Coordinated Empathies. In J. Nielsen and R. Mack (eds) Usability
Inspection Methods, p63-76, Wiley and Sons.
* Describe the steps in the pluralistic walkthough process.
Bias, R., Mayhew, D. (eds, 1994) Cost-justifying usability. Boston:
* Financial justification for usability work is the topic of this
collection. Several examples of cost-benefit analyses are presented,
where the authors demonstrate numerous ways of calculating the costs
and revenues of usability activities in systems development. There are
also chapters on the economy of reuse, suggested designs for tools
supporting financial analysis, and discussions of how usability work
can be introduced into a development organization. The quality of the
contributions is variable, but the book can nevertheless be
recommended to anybody looking for arguments in favor of usability
Booth, P. (1989) An introduction to human-computer interaction.
London: Lawrence Erlbaum.
* A introductory textbook covering interaction principles and techniques
as well as cognitive models, usability and usability-oriented
development approaches. The level of description is fairly
superficial, which means that the book serves as a useful introduction
but hardly as a resource for deeper studies.
Borenstein, N. (1991) Programming as if people mattered. Princeton:
Princeton University Press.
* This book was written by a programmer who has learnt about user
interface design by making all the mistakes. It contains many amusing
stories about failed designs, and there is also an excellent
discussion of the conceptual differences between user-oriented design
and software engineering.
Bowers, J. (1994) The work to make the network work: Studying CSCW in
action. In Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer Supported
Cooperative Work, p287-298, ACM Press.
Bush, Vannevar. "As We May Think". Originally published in Atlantic
Monthly, 1945. Reprinted with permission in interactions, Volume
III.2, pp. 35--46.
* Chapter 2, The Human Information Processor, pp. 23-97.
Card, S., Moran, T., and Newel, A. (1980) The keystroke level model
for user performance time with interactive systems. Communications of
the ACM, 23(7), p396-410, ACM Press.
* The original paper describing the model.
Card, S. (1996) Pioneers and settlers: Methods used in successful user
interface design. In M. Rudisill, C. Lewis, P. Polson and T. McKay
(eds) Human-Computer Interface Design: Success Stories, Emerging
Methods, and Real-World Context, p122-169, Morgan-Kaufmann.
* Successful systems are reconsidered against a variety of design and
evaluation methods as well as real deployment requirements.
Card, S., Moran, T., Newell, A. (1983) The psychology of
human-computer interaction. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
* This is a milestone in psychology-based HCI. It describes a
cognitive model of human expert interaction with computers and
illustrates how it can be used to explain and predict behavior.
Household concepts like GOMS and the keystroke level model all have
their origins here.
Carroll, J. M. (1982). The adventure of getting to know a computer. IEEE
Computer, 15(11), 49-58.
Carroll, J. M. (1990). The Nurnberg Funnel: Designing Minimalist
Instruction for Practical Computer Skill. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Casey, S. (1993) Set phasers on stun --- And other true tales of
design, technology and human error. Santa Barbara: Aegean Publishing
* The author, an experienced human factors consultant, has collected 18
true stories about the sometimes horrible effects of human-technology
misfit. Some of the stories are about computer systems, whereas others
address aircraft, buildings and medical technology. The stories are
written in a readable, journalistic style and make very good material
for anybody who wants to make the case that HCI is important.
Collins, D. (1995) Designing object-oriented user interfaces. Redwood
City, CA: Benjamin Cummings.
* There is currently a lot of talk about the need to integrate HCI
with systems development and software engineering, but this is one of
the first books to give it an honest try. The author rightly points
out that object-oriented development models are very suitable for the
analysis and construction of object-oriented user interfaces. He
covers basic HCI knowledge, some systems analysis and a fair amount of
user interface programming (in Smalltalk and C++). The listing and
discussion of different classes of metaphors for object-oriented user
interface is a particularly interesting feature. To be useful in
teaching and practice, this book should be complemented with some
literature on usability-oriented methods, and specifically usability
Cooper, A. (1995) About face: The essentials of user interface design.
Foster City, CA: IDG Books Worldwide.
* This is an exhaustive discussion of graphical user-interface design,
particularly oriented towards Windows. The author starts from a
work-oriented perspective on computer use and demonstrates how a
graphical user-interface can be designed to support productivity and
learning on different levels. Interaction techniques and widgets are
dealt with in detail and the vocabulary introduced by the author
should be very useful. There are also some significant ideas of wider
scope, such as re-designing file systems, using animation in the
interface, and endowing programs with memory. The writing style is
easy-going and sometimes a bit colloquial, but the book is very
accessible and generously illustrated. The author consistently writes
as a designer rather than a usability expert, something that is sorely
needed in the HCI field. On the whole, the book should be very
valuable for interaction designers who need to build up their
graphical user-interface repertoire.
Cox, K., Walker, D. (1993) User-interface design. Second edition. New
York: Prentice Hall.
* This is an introductory textbook for practically oriented HCI courses.
It is firmly based in a systems development perspective and covers
topics such as usability testing, dialogue design and user
documentation. Each chapter has a rich set of exercises, some of which
are very good.
Csikszentmihalyi, M., & Csikszentmihalyi, I. S. (1988). Optimal
experience: psychological studies of flow in consciousness. New York:
Cambridge University Press.
Diaper, D. (1990) Task analysis for human-computer interaction.
Chichester: Ellis Horwood.
* This is a good example of the formal task analysis tradition within
HCI. The techniques presented in the book are accessible and
presumably useful, if they are combined with a more comprehensive
systems development model.
diSessa, A. A. (1986). Notes on the future of programming: Breaking the
utility barrier. In S. W. Draper & D. A. Norman (Eds.) User Centered
System Design: New Perspectives on Human-Computer Interaction. Hillsdale,
NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Dix, A., Finlay, J., Abowd, G., Beale, R. (1993) Human-computer
interaction. New York: Prentice Hall.
* chapter 11 briefly surveys a variety of methodologies, and is a
* An ambitious attempt to write a comprehensive textbook, starting
with discussions of humans, computers and interaction from an HCI
perspective. It moves on to nine chapters on different aspects of the
usability-oriented development process and closes with a number of
advanced topics (multimedia, CSCW, etc). On the whole a useful book,
but I find it incoherent in places. Also, I personally think that the
authors overestimate the role and value of formal methods.
Downton, A. (ed, 1991) Engineering the human-computer interface.
* Being a collection of chapters written by British HCI experts, it
obviously lacks the coherence of a regular textbook. On the other
hand, the scope and coverage is considerable. For example, there are
chapters of applied psychological research and knowledge analysis that
would not be expected in a textbook. The core areas of HCI are also
covered decently. Appended are two very detailed case studies of
usability evaluations, something that an interested student may find
Dumas, J., Redish, J. (1993) A practical guide to usability testing.
Norwood, NJ: Ablex.
* You wouldn't believe that there is so much to know about usability
testing. The authors use 24 chapters and close to 400 pages to discuss
what usability is, how to plan and perform an evaluation and how to
use the results most efficiently. The book is full of practical hints
and the authors share generously of their experience in the field. I
think that the book will be extremely useful to the reader who has
understood the purpose and ideas of usability work and is about to get
started. However, it is hardly usable as a standalone textbook since
it does not cover the alternatives to usability testing.
Eberts, R.E. (1994) Extracts from User Interface Design, Prentice Hall.
* A general and high level introduction to experimental design.
Extracts are: Chapter 4: Experimental methodology; Chapter 5:
Experimental designs and analysis; Chapter 6: Hazards to conducting
and interpreting HCI experiments
Ehrlich, K., Butler, M. and Pernce, K. (1994) Getting the whole team
into usability testing. IEEE Software, p89-90.
Endesly, M. (1995) Measurement of situation awareness in dynamic
systems. Human Factors, 37(1), p65-84.
James Foley, Andries van Dam, Steven Feiner & John Hughes, Computer
Graphics, 2nd Edition Addison-Wesley, 1990.
* Chapter 1: Introduction Chapter 8: Input devices, interaction
techniques, and interaction tasks Chapter 9: Dialogue Design Chapter
10: User Interface Software
Gardiner, M., Christie, B. (eds, 1987) Applying cognitive psychology
to user-interface design. Chichester: John Wiley.
* There are numerous books on psychology and other behavioral and
social sciences of relevance for HCI. When this one was written, it
was distinctive in that the authors tried to focus on the relations
between psychology and user interface design. The result is a survey
of relevant psychological knowledge and a set of design guidelines
derived from that knowledge. In that respect, it is similar to Mayhew
Gaver, W. W. (1991). Technology affordances. Proceedings of the CHI 91
Conference on Computer and Human Interaction. 1991, March. New York: ACM.
Gould, J., Conti, J., and Hovanyecz, T. (1981) Composing letters with
a simulated listening typewritter. In Proceedings of the ACM
Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, p367-370. ACM Press.
Gould, J. D., & Lewis, C. (1987). Designing for usability: Key principles
and what designers think. In R. M. Baecker & W. A. S. Buxton (Eds)
Readings in Human Computer Interaction. San Mateo, CA: Morgan Kaufman.
Gray, W., John, B., Stuart, R, Lawrence, D. and Atwood, M. (1996) GOMS
meets the phone company: Analytic modeling applied to real world
problems. In R. Baecker, J. Grudin, W. Buxton and S. Greenberg (eds)
Readings in Human Computer Interaction: Towards the Year 2000,
** Another case study of GOMS in use.
Greenbaum, J., Kyng, M. (eds, 1991) Design at work: Cooperative design
of computer systems. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
This is an excellent collection of practical techniques and methods
within the systems development philosophy known as participatory
design. Considering the increasing interest in socially oriented
development approaches within HCI, this book can be recommended as a
resource for the practically oriented. Schuler and Namioka (1993)
offers a more extensive treatment of the philosophy of participatory
design and other broader issues.
Grudin, J. (1990). The case against user interface consistency.
Communications of the ACM, 32, 1, 1164-1173.
Harrison, B. and Baecker, R. (1992) Designing video annotation and
analysis systems, Graphics Interface, p157-166, Morgan-Kaufmann.
Helander, M. (1988). Handbook of Human-Computer Interaction. Amsterdam:
Helander, M. (ed, 1988) Handbook of human-computer interaction.
This is a voluminous collection of articles addressing various aspects
of HCI. It contains a total of 52 chapters, written by renowned
experts in the respective fields and covering everything from
input/output devices to psychosocial and work-related issues. The book
is a very useful reference source but probably not something that you
would read from front to back.
Hix, D., Hartson, H. (1993) Developing user interfaces. Ensuring
usability through product and process. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
Most textbooks in the field are focused either on design guidelines or
on development processes. The authors of this book attempt to cover
both. The first part is a good summary of design primitives on
different levels, together with rules for their use. The second part
covers a usability engineering approach. A common example is used
throughout the second part, and practical notations for design and
evaluation are introduced. In my opinion, the book as a whole is
useful for teaching and for practical use.
Holtzblatt, K. and Jones, S. (1996) Contextual Inquiry: A
Participatory Approcah. In D. Schuler and A. Namioka (eds)
Participatory Design: Principles and Practices, p177-210.
** Describes contextual inquiry
Holtzblatt, K. and Beyer, H. (1993) Contextual Design: Principles and
Practice. In D. Wixon and J. Ramey (eds) Field Methods Casebook for
Software Design, p303-333.
Howes, A. & Payne, S. J. (1990). Supporting exploratory learning. In D.
Diaper, et al. (Eds.) Human Computer Interaction - INTERACT '90.
Hutchins, E. L., Hollan, J. D., & Norman, D. A. (1986). Direct
manipulation interfaces. In S. W. Draper & D. A. Norman (Eds.) User
Centered System Design: New Perspectives on Human-Computer Interaction.
Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Hughes, J., King, V., Rodden, T. and Andersen, H. (1994) Moving out
of the control room: Ethnography in system design. In Proc CSCW'94,
p429-439, ACM Press.
Incontext, Inc. Getting Started with Contextual Techniques.
Jeffries, R., Miller, J., Wharton, C. and Uyeda, K. (1991) User
interface evaluation in the real world: A comparison of four
techniques. In ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems.
p119-124, ACM Press.
Jirotka, M., Goguen, P. (eds, 1994) Requirements engineering ---
Social and technical issues. London: Academic Press.
Understanding user requirements is obviously a crucial prerequisite
for building the right system, and not merely building the system
right. That is why requirements engineering is important for HCI. This
book contains articles on social as well as technical aspects of
requirements work which makes it a valuable addition to the literature
within software engineering, where social issues are sometimes
overlooked. The book plays an important part in the increasing
integration between technologists and social scientists.
John, B. and Vera, A. (1996) A GOMS analysis of a graphic
machine-paced, highly-interactive task. In R. Baecker, J. Grudin, W.
Buxton and S. Greenberg (eds) Readings in Human Computer Interaction:
Towards the Year 2000, p626-633, Morgan-Kaufmann.
** A case study of GOMS in use.
Karat, C., Campbell, R. and Fiegel, T. (1992) Comparison of empirical
testing and walkthrough methods in user interface evaluation. In ACM
Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. 397-4044, ACM Press.
Keiras, D. E., & Bovair, S. (1983). The role of a mental model in learning
to operate a device. ONR Technical Report No. 13.
Landauer, T. (1991) Lets Get Real: A Position Paper on the Role of
Cognitive Psychology in the Design of Humanly Useful and Usable
Systems, In J. Carroll (ed) Designing Interaction, Cambridge
Landauer, T. (1995) The trouble with computers: Usefulness, usability
and productivity. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
The first part of the book describes the productivity paradox of IT,
i.e., the disturbing observation that the use of computers does not
boost industrial productivity to the levels one might have expected.
The author's suggested cure is user-centered systems development,
aiming at achieving usefulness and usability. The logic is obviously
not conclusive but the book can still be seen as a very well-written
motivation for HCI and usability-oriented work. The author's
descriptions of development methods and approaches are very good,
particularly the pieces that address how to deal with different kinds
of evaluation data.
Lansdale, M., Ormerod, T. (1994) Understanding interfaces: A handbook
of human-computer dialogue. London: Academic Press.
As the title suggests, the authors work from the perspective of
human-computer interaction as dialogue. They address what human
capabilities are needed and used in the dialogue with the computer,
what properties the computer must have, different dialogue styles etc.
The whole book is based in psychology and demonstrates in a useful way
what applied psychology in HCI can be about. Unfortunately, the
concluding part of the book addresses design and evaluation in a
superficial and not very convincing way. The most obvious problems are
that the discussion is limited to the user interface and not relevant
for practical and professional contexts.
Laurel, B. (ed, 1990) The art of human-computer interface design.
Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley.
A collection of articles by different authors that makes up one of the
first examples of a design perspective on HCI. The book has
recommendations and reflections on how to deal with the design
process, along with visionary statements and many examples of
interaction design that was pretty innovative when the book came out.
Generally stimulating reading, and a valuable complement to the more
analytical and evaluation-oriented HCI literature.
Laurel, B. (1990). The Art of Human-Computer Interface Design. Reading,
Laurel, B. (1991). Computers as Theatre. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.
Laurel, B. (1993) Computers as theatre. Wokingham, UK: Addison-Wesley.
The basic assumption of this book is that the notions of user
interface and computers-as-tools is unnecessarily limiting. Instead,
we should think of computers as arenas for human activity. Based on
dramatic theory, the author develops a number of design principles
that mainly address communication, agents and use experience. The book
is highly relevant for readers who want to think about virtual
realities and other new directions in human-computer interaction.
However, it is obviously hard to apply the new ideas to contemporary
(tool-oriented) computing: the examples presented by the author mainly
address computer games and some information presentation.
Lewis, C., Rieman, J. (1993) Task-centered user interface design --- A
practical introduction. Shareware book, available by anonymous ftp
A very useful and readable introductory text which covers many
important topics within the framework of practically applicable design
techniques. The treatment of theory-based evaluation, for instance, is
very good and hard to find in other books. There is also an
interesting discussion of US copyright legislation and its
implications for user interface design.
Lewis, C., & Rieman, J. (1993). Task-Centred User Interface Design.
Boulder: University of Colorado (ftp.cs.colorado.edu).
Lindgaard, G. (1994) Usability testing and system evaluation. London:
Chapman & Hall.
In spite of the title, this book offers a fairly broad presentation of
empirical data collection and analysis in general. Most of the
techniques are focused on usability data, but there are also
discussions of interviews and questionnaires to use in early phases of
systems development. It may be interesting for HCI people with a
technical background that the author describes formal (psychological)
experimental methods in an accessible and useful way. On the whole,
the book feels more like a reference than a textbook, even though it
appears to have been written with a pedagogical intention.
Lowgren, J. (1993) Human-computer interaction --- What every system
developer should know. Lund: Studentlitteratur.
This is a superficial introduction to HCI from a development process
perspective. A basic discussion of individual and organizational user
traits is followed by chapters on usability specification and
evaluation, design, prototyping and implementation. The book is
written as a dialogue between a teacher and a student, a style that
some readers appreciate and others find irritating.
Kennedy, S. Using video in the BNR usability lab, SIGCHI Bulletin,
21(2), p92-95, ACM Press.
Kieras, D. (1988) Towards a practical GOMS Model methodology for user
interface design. In M. Helander (ed.) Handbook of Human-Computer
Interaction, Elsevier, North-Holland.
Mack, R. and Nielsen, J. (1994) Chapter 1: Executive summary. In J.
Nielsen and R. Mack (eds) Usability Inspection Methods, p1-23, Wiley
** An exectuive summary and discussion of inspection methods.
Mackenzie, I.S. (1996) Movement time prediction in human computer
interaction. In R. Baecker, J. Grudin, W. Buxton and S. Greenberg
(eds) Readings in Human Computer Interaction: Towards the Year 2000,
Malone, T. W. (1981). Towards a theory of intrinsically motivating
instruction. Cognitive Science, 5, 333-370.
Marcus, A. (1992). Graphic design for electronic documents and user
interfaces. New York: ACM Press.
Marcus, A. (1992) Graphic design for electronic documents and user
interfaces. New York: ACM Press.
With the growth of graphical user interfaces, graphic design has
become increasingly important in HCI. This book covers basic
principles and techniques for graphic design in the context of user
interfaces, including topics such as layout, typography, symbols and
color. There is also a comparative analysis of five of the most
popular graphical user interface environments.
Mayhew, D. (1992) Principles and guidelines in software user interface
design. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
The author does a very good job of demonstrating the relations between
psychological HCI research and practical design guidelines. The
research survey has an impressive coverage and the presentation works
well. The reader can choose to trust the guidelines and apply them
directly, or easily find the background and rationale for specific
design rules. In that sense, the book is similar to Gardiner and
Christie (1987) but it is much more current in its coverage of modern
interaction techniques such as direct manipulation. The contents are
organized around different interaction techniques and facilitates
informed design choices based on an understanding of the users and
their work. To me, the closing chapter on development methodology
feels regrettably superficial and out of place, but I guess it may
provide some context for the design guidelines that form the main part
of the book.
McGrath, J. (1996) Methodology matters: Doing research in the
behavioural and social sciences. In R. Baecker, J. Grudin, W. Buxton
and S. Greenberg (eds) Readings in Human Computer Interaction: Towards
the Year 2000, p152-169, Morgan-Kaufmann.
** A general discussion and comparison of fundamental concepts in
a lot of people reference the paper by George A. Miller from the
March 1956 "The Psychology Review" on 'The magical number seven
plus or minus two: some limits on our capacity for processing
information'. It was republished in some anthology (details not
to hand) much later than that and so more readily available. In
any event I suggest that at least a photocopy be placed in your
library so that your guys can actually read the paper and not
just use the number seven without seeing the real basis for that number.
Molich, R. and Nielsen, J. (1990) Improving a human-computer dialogue,
Communications of the ACM 33(3), March, p338-348, ACM Press.
** This article lists the heuristics and presents a working example,
solutions, and alternatives.
Monk, A., Wright, P., Haber, J., Davenport, L. (1993) Improving your
human-computer interface: A practical technique. Hemel Hempstead:
This short and concise book describes a usability evaluation method
called Cooperative Evaluation: basically an empirical test with
representative users doing representative tasks. The data collected
concern unexpected user behavior, mistakes and comments. The method is
aimed at identifying major usability problems in prototypes in a
cost-efficient way. The book combines rationale for the method with
useful how-to information in a very good way, and also covers
experimental validations of the method. All in all, I think the book
should be very useful for professionals as well as for educational
Moran, T., Carroll, J. (eds, 1996) Design rationale: Concepts,
techniques and use. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
The notion of structuring and capturing design processes is attractive
for many reasons, and quite a few notations and methods have been
proposed. Unfortunately, it turns out that they may be hard to apply
in practice, for technical as well as organizational reasons. This
book provides a good overview of the most prominent approaches in the
field of design rationale, how they are used and how they work
individually and organizationally. About half of the chapters are
written for the book and the rest are reprints of "classic" articles.
Brad A. Myers. User Interface Software Tools, ACM Transactions on
Computer-Human Interaction. vol. 2, no. 1, March, 1995. pp. 64-103.
** Overview and survey of tools, reprinted in lots of books.
Brad A. Myers. Challenges of HCI Design and Implementation, ACM
Interactions. vol. 1, no. 1. January, 1994. pp. 73-83.
** Why are user interfaces hard to design and implement?
Brad A. Myers. A Quick History of Human Computer Interaction.
To appear: ACM interactors.
Brad A. Myers, Rich McDaniel, Rob Miller, Alan Ferrency, Patrick
Doane, Andrew Faulring, Ellen Borison, Andy Mickish, and Alex
Klimovitski The Amulet Environment: New Models for Effective User
Interface Software Development, To appear: IEEE Transactions on
Brad A. Myers. Creating User Interfaces Using Programming-by-Example,
Visual Programming, and Constraints, ACM Transactions on Programming
Languages and Systems. vol. 12, no. 2, April, 1990. pp. 143-177.
Muller, M.J. (1991) Pictive: An exploration in participatory design.
In Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing
Systems, p225-231, ACM Press.
Mullet, K., Sano, D. (1995) Designing visual interfaces: Communication
oriented techniques. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
This is an excellent and very useful presentation of graphic design
aspects of the user interface. The authors are firmly based in a view
of visual design as effective communication, which means that they can
easily relate the concepts and techniques they discuss to a common
purpose. The book is more substantial, and possibly also more
difficult, that Marcus (1992), but also much more rewarding.
Nardi, B. (ed, 1996) Context and consciousness: Activity theory and
human-computer interaction. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
The search for alternatives to the traditional information processing
paradigm is becoming more and more apparent within the behavioral
science parts of HCI. One such alternative is activity theory, a
developmental framework that has been explored and refined for a long
time in the former Soviet Union. This book provides a good
introduction to activity theory, presents a number of case studies to
illustrate how the theory may be used to study human-computer
interaction in practice, and finally outlines a number of promising
directions. The book as a whole is readable and quite accessible, but
not superficial. Particularly interesting to me is the focus on real
use situations that activity theory implies.
Neal, L. (1989) The use of video in empirical research. SIGCHI
Bulletin, 21(2), p100-101, ACM Press.
Newman, W., Lamming, M. (1995) Interactive system design. Harlow,
Thanks to the choice of contemporary examples, this textbook for
academic HCI courses has an up-to-date feel to it. It applies solid
psychological theory to the context of developing interactive systems
in a very good way. The presentation is coherent and there are several
strong points, for instance the discussion of use-oriented requirement
formulation, verification and validation in the context of
specification-driven processes. Moreover, I found the chapters on
designing conceptual models very clear and useful. The book covers
many of the established methods and notations in usability-oriented
systems development but perhaps not always to the level of detail
needed for standalone use.
Nielsen, J. (1993) Usability engineering. San Diego: Academic Press.
The author of this book has become known for his work on discount
usability techniques. Here, he describes usability evaluation methods
and some design trends with a view towards professional software
production. The opening chapter, where usability work is motivated in
a most convincing way, and the rich bibliography are among the most
valuable parts of the book.
Nielsen, J., Mack, R. (eds, 1994) Usability inspection methods. New
York: John Wiley & Sons.
Inspection methods refer to techniques whereby the usability of a
system can be assessed without employing the future users. The best
known inspection method is probably heuristic evaluation, but as this
book shows, there is a wide variety of alternatives: reviews,
psychological models, and so on. In addition to introducing different
methods, the bok offers comparative discussions of their merits and
shortcomings and relations to empirical (user-based) methods.
Nielsen, J. (1993) Extract-Chapter 6.4: Ethical aspects of tests
with human subjects. In Usability Engineering, p181-185, Academic
Nielsen, J. (1993) Extract-Chapter 6: Usability testing. In Usability
Engineering, p165-205, Academic Press.
Nielsen, J. (1993) Extract-Chapter 5: Usability heuristics. In
Usability Engineering, p115-163, Academic Press.
** Describes the heuristics in detail plus how and why it can be used
to evaluate interfaces.
Nielsen, J. (1994) Enhancing the explanatory power of usability
heuristics. In Proceedings of the CHI'94 Conference on Human Factors
in Computing Systems, p152-158.
** This article takes usability guidelines developed by different
sources and sees which ones conribute most the the explanation of
actual usability problems drawn from a database.
Nielsen, J. (1994) Chapter 2: Heuristic evaluation. In J. Nielsen and
R. Mack (eds) Usability Inspection Methods, p25-62, Wiley and Sons.
** A more in depth discussion of how heuristic evaluation works and
Nielsen, J. (1993) Extract-Chapter 4.8: Prototyping. In Usability
Engineering, p93-101, Academic Press.
** Describes different styles of prototypes and how they can be used
Nielsen, J., & Mack, R. L. (1994). Usability Inspection Methods. New
York: John Wiley & Sons.
Norman, D. A. (1981). The trouble With Unix: the user interface is horrid.
Datamation, November, pp 139-150.
Norman, D. A. (1988). The Psychology of Everyday Things. NY: Basic Books.
Norman, D. A. (1993). Things that Make Us Smart. Reading, Massachussetts:
Norman, D. A., & Draper, S. W. (1986). User-Centered System Design.
Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Norman, D. (1988) The psychology of everyday things. New York: Basic
This is a charming book that is extremely popular among HCI teachers
and students even though it does not address computers at all. Norman
pulls his examples from our everyday use of technical artifacts, using
phones and light switches to illustrate psychological theories of
action, errors and memory. After reading the book, you typically
realize that you have learnt a lot about design and users without
Norman, D. (1992) Turn signals are the facial expressions of
automobiles. Reading, Mass: Addison-Wesley.
In the same spirit as The psychology of everyday things, Norman
continues his discussion of everyday artifacts and problems in their
use. Some of the chapters are more like standalone essays, for
instance an interesting piece on the similarities between writing and
Norman, D. (1993) Things that make us smart. Reading: Addison-Wesley.
This is a very suitable followup on the two earlier books, which were
mainly critiques of inadequate design of everyday things, in that it
addresses more general issues in a more profound way. Different modes
of thinking, the importance of representations, the possible
neutrality of technology and possible future scenarios are some of the
topics covered. Even though the contents are more demanding than in
the previous books, the writing style is still very accessible and
Norman, D., Draper, S. (eds, 1986) User centered system design.
Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
In this collection, many established HCI researchers contribute their
views. Even though it is starting to feel old, there is still a lot to
be learnt. The scope of the book is considerable, with chapters
covering users and their understandings of the interaction,
information flow, the role of HCI in systems development and much
Norman, Donald A., _The Design of Everyday Things_, New York:
Doubleday, 1990, ISBN 0-385-26774-6.
Norman, D. A. (1991). Cognitive Artifacts. In J. M. Carroll (Ed.),
Designing interaction: Psychology at the human-computer interface (pp.
17-38). New York: Cambridge University Press.
Donald Norman and Stephen Draper, eds., User Centered System Design,
Erlbaum, 1986. Chapter 3: Cognitive Engineering (Norman) Chapter 5:
Direct Manipulation Interfaces (Hutchins, Hollan, and Norman) Chapter
12, The structure of users' activities (Cypher) Chapter 20: Designing
for error (Lewis and Norman).
*Olson, J. and Olson, G. (1996) The growth of cognitive modelling in
human-computer interaction since GOMS. In R. Baecker, J. Grudin, W.
Buxton and S. Greenberg (eds) Readings in Human Computer Interaction:
Towards the Year 2000, p603-625, Morgan-Kaufmann.
Olsen, D. (1992) User interface management systems: Models and
algorithms. San Mateo: Morgan Kaufmann.
This is the first textbook solely devoted to support systems for user
interface development, a field known as user interface management
systems (UIMS). The author covers the classical techniques and the
development of the field towards more modern ideas, such as
model-based UIMS, in a very good way.
Olson, J. and Moran, T. (1996) Mapping the method muddle: Guidance in
using methods for user interface design. In M. Rudisill, C. Lewis, P.
Polson and T. McKay (eds) Human-Computer Interface Design: Success
Stories, Emerging Methods, and Real-World Context, p269-300,
** The authors associate a variety of methodological approaches to
specific interface design activities.
O'Malley, C., Draper, S. and Riley, M. (1984) Constructive
interaction: A method for studying user-computer-user interaction.
From Proceedings of Interact '84, p1-5.
Ottersten, I., Goranson, H. (1993) Objektorienterad systemutveckling
med COOL-metoden [Object-oriented systems development using the COOL
method]. Lund: Studentlitteratur. In Swedish.
This is not really a proper HCI book, but I include it anyway because
it illustrates a modern systems development method with a strong focus
on usability and user needs. It is particularly interesting to note
how usability issues shape the method in terms of relations between
work design and user interface design, and in the project management
model that tries to deal with fluctuating user requirements. The user
interface design part of the method is sloppy in some minor respects,
but the book still has something valuable to say about the
intersection between HCI and systems development (compare Collins,
1995). Apologies to non-Swedish readers.
Preece, J., Keller, L. (eds, 1990) Human-computer interaction:
Selected readings. Hemel Hempstead: Prentice Hall.
A collection of scientific HCI articles that has been used in HCI
courses at the Open University. The selection is generally good and
covers individual psychology-based HCI very well. However,
organizational aspects of HCI are generally lacking and some of the
articles could have been replaced with more recent material.
Preece, J., Rogers, Y., Sharp, H., Benyon, D., Holland, S., Carey, T.
(1994) Human-computer interaction. Wokingham: Addison-Wesley.
This is probably the most ambitious and exhaustive HCI textbook
available today. It contains more or less everything considered to
belong to HCI, presented in a pedagogical format with many exercises,
questions and discussion topics. I particularly like the decision by
the authors to integrate computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW),
multimedia and similar techniques with general HCI contexts throughout
the book rather than presenting them in separate chapters. The short
interviews with celebrities in the field of HCI is an amusing detail
that adds a more personal feeling to the material. A downside is that
the ambition to cover everything has made the authors mention a few
topics without discussing them to any significant depth.
Preece, J. et. al., (1994) "Excerpts-Box 33.2: Checklist for doing
a cognitive walkthrough." in Human Computer Interaction, p679-684,
** Includes a form containing cognitive walkthrough instructions.
** Preece, J. et. al., (1994) "Excerpts-Chapter 30.4: Users opinions:
Interviews and questionairres." in Human Computer Interaction,
Preece, J. et. al., (1994) "Excerpts-Chapter 34: Comparing methods."
in Human Computer Interaction, p691-707, Addison-Wesley.
** Provides an overview of previous comparitive studies of evaluation
Preece, J. et. al., (1994) "Excerpts-Chapter 20:Task analysis." in
Human Computer Interaction, p409-413, 417-424, Addison-Wesley.
** Includes a working example of a GOMS analysis.
Jenny Preece, Yvonne Rogers, Helen Sharp, David Benyon, Simon Holland,
and Tom Carey, Human-Computer Interaction, Addison-Wesley 1994.
Preece, J. et. al., (1994) "Excerpts-Chapter 33.4: Modelling: The
keystroke level model." in Human Computer Interaction, p685-687,
** Includes a working example of a GOMS analysis.
Randall, D. (1996) Ethnography and Systems Development: Bounding the
Intersection. Tutorial notes presented at CSCW'96. Excerpts: Sections
Redmond-Pyle, D., Moore, A. (1995) Graphical user interface design and
evaluation: A practical process. London: Prentice Hall.
The author presents a development process, Guide, intended for
professional development of graphical user interfaces. Guide is based
on established techniques for user and task analysis, usability
specification, design, prototyping and evaluation. The nice thing
about it is that the techniques are carefully integrated into a
coherent usability engineering method, well tested and presented
skillfully. The Guide method on the whole appears credible and
accessible to me. Some additional advantages of the book are that it
emphasizes the importance of object-centered design and of putting
usability work into the bigger picture of systems development.
Rettig, M. (1994) Prototyping for tiny fingers. Communications of the
ACM, 37(4), ACM Press.
Rieman, J. and Lewis, C. Getting to Know Users and their Tasks. In R.
Baecker, J. Grudin, W. Buxton and S. Greenberg (eds) Readings in Human
Computer Interaction: Towards the Year 2000, p122-127,
** Describes task-centered system design and how tasks are used to
Rudd, J., Stern, K. and Isensee, S. (1996) Low vs. high fidelity
prototyping debate. Interactions 3(1), p76-85, ACM Press.
Schuler, D., Namioka, A. (eds, 1993) Participatory design: Principles
and practices. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
This is a survey of philosophies, techniques and case studies that
illustrate and, to some extent, explain the growing interest in
participatory design within HCI. The contributors are basically
uncritical to the approach, except for the issue of how generally
applicable participatory design can be said to be. Several chapters
discuss the Scandinavian origins of the approach and the differences
compared to the US, for instance in terms of different views on
working life and co-determination.
Ben Shneiderman, Designing the User Interface, Addison Wesley 1992
Shneiderman, B. (1992) Designing the user interface. Second edition.
Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.
This book is fairly ambitious in its approach and covers large parts
of the HCI area. The main emphasis, however, is on interaction
principles and techniques, and on a development perspective on user
interfaces. The second edition features computer-supported cooperative
work (CSCW) and information retrieval, and a few good closing remarks
on the social and individual implications of information technology.
Smith, S., Mosier, J. (1986) Guidelines for designing user interface
software. Report ESD-TR-86-278, Mitre Corp., Bedford, Mass.
Guidelines for user interface design are probably not the first choice
for leisure reading, but it can nevertheless be important to know what
has been done. Smith and Mosier is the standard reference, compiling
knowledge from hundreds of sources into 944 design rules. It is
starting to suffer from its age, however: much of the material is old
and modern interaction techniques such as direct manipulation are only
Suchman, L. and Trigg, R. (1996) Understanding practice: Video as a
medium for reflection and design. In R. Baecker, J. Grudin, W.
Buxton and S. Greenberg (eds) Readings in Human Computer
Interaction: Towards the Year 2000, p233-240, Morgan-Kaufmann.
** Describes how video records can be used for ethnographic and
Suchman, L. and Trigg, R. (1993). Artificial intelligence as craftwork.
In Chaiklin, S. and Lave, J.(Eds.), Understanding practice: Perspectives on
activity and context. Learning in doing: Social, cognitive, and
computational perspectives, (pp. 144-178). New York, NY: Cambridge
Suchman, L. A. (1987). Plans and situated actions: The problem of
human-machine communication. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Thimbleby, H. (1990) User interface design. New York: ACM Press.
This is a strange mixture of design issues, formal methods, problems
in computer science, interaction models and mathematics, well stirred
and served with a side order of HCI. The author moves between topics
that you would expect to be very far apart and shows that they are all
in some way related to the interaction between human and computer.
Thomas, P. (ed, 1995) The social and interaction dimensions of
human-computer interfaces. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
There is a clear trend within HCI from classical, psychological
perspectives, focusing on the interaction between one user and one
computer, towards larger social and organizational contexts. This
collection illustrates the trend quite well. Most of the contributions
are on sociology and its possible roles within HCI: some present
sociologically oriented design methods (typically based on
ethnography), others are more argumentative pieces that discuss the
social dimensions of HCI on the abstract level. The scope of the
collection is wide, and it may seem unstructured at times, but the
odds are that most readers find something of interest.
Tognazzini, B. (1992) Tog on interface. Reading, Mass.:
This book was written by one of the leading architects behind Apple's
user interface design, that was popularized with the Macintosh.
Tognazzini has answered reader questions for several years in Apple
Direct, a magazine for developers on Apple platforms. This book is a
collection of the most interesting questions and answers, together
with some new material. It is a lot of fun to read, and you also learn
quite a bit about user interface design.
Tognazzini, B. (1996) Tog on software design. Reading, Mass.:
This one is mostly about the Sun Starfire project (an envisionment of
computer use in the year 2004), how it was developed and what we can
learn from it. It also discusses users and usability, the role of the
designer in systems development, and more. I find the parts about
future computing very good: inspiring, credible and full of good
values that other designers and aspiring designers can learn a lot
from. It would perhaps have been better if the book had been a bit
more focused, since I find some of the parts on users and use contexts
to be rather sweeping and sometimes oversimplified. The style of the
book is very informal and entertaining, on occasion too informal: the
message disappears behind the author's presence.
Treu, S. (1994) User interface design --- A structured approach. New
This is certainly a structured approach. The author dsecribes design
as a decision function with a number of variables (knowledge of users,
classes of applications, etc) that generates design solutions. Each of
the parts of the function are described in detail, with lots of
models, tables and causal relations. Design of adaptive systems and
other interaction paradigms is covered fairly exhaustively. However,
the approach is not related at all to systems development or software
engineering. Even though the structured approach may be a good way to
cover and tie together large quantities of relevant knowledge, it is
not much fun to read.
Treu, S. (1994) User interface evaluation --- A structured approach.
New York: Plenum.
This is the companion to the above book, and it is just as structured.
Evaluation is seen as a scientific or engineering activity, aimed at
assessing the efficiency of the interaction and the fit between human
and computer. Numerous models and tables are presented in order to
cover as much relevant knowledge as possible. The main drawbacks to me
are that the author only addresses evaluation of implemented systems,
and that the relations to systems development are missing here as
Waern, Y. (1989) Cognitive aspects of computer supported tasks.
Chichester: John Wiley.
The book is based on cognitive psychology and the first part can be
read as a primer on human cognitive and perceptive abilities. This
basis is then used to discuss HCI from an outside perspective, which
means that the book has a certain persistent value. Even though text
editors (the white rats of HCI research!) are not very exciting in
terms of interaction techniques, they give rise to pedagogically
useful discussions if the intention is to illustrate the underlying
Wagner, E. (1994) System interface design --- A broader perspective.
This is a very ambitious book that covers a bit of everything from
anthropometry and the physical function of the eye all the way up to
organizational impact. The best part in my opinion is the thorough
treatment of display design. Unfortunately, the title is misleading
(it should rather be "Process control system interface design") and
the book is full of typos and sloppy layout which can become
distractive at times.
Wharton, C., Rieman, J., Lewis, C. and Polson, P. (1994) Chapter 5:
The cognitive walkthrough method: A practitioner's guide. In J.
Nielsen and R. Mack (eds) Usability Inspection Methods, p105-140,
Wiley and Sons.
** Describe the steps in the cognitive walkthough process.
Wiklund, M. (ed, 1994) Usability in practice. New York: AP
A very valuable collection: eighteen case studies of usability work in
professional practice. The settings are primarily consumer product
development, software development and service delivery. All the
studies are, understandably but regrettably from a knowledge transfer
perspective, success stories. Some lack descriptions of preconditions,
analyses of the results and the general grasp of qualitative study
methodology. In spite of these shortcomings, the book should be
required reading for anybody interested in professional HCI practice
Winograd, T. (ed, 1996) Bringing design to software. Reading, Mass.:
In recent years (1995-6), there has been a markedly growing interest
in design within the HCI community. This entails looking into the
design professions such as graphic and media design as well as the
notion of usability-oriented systems development as a design
discipline. This book contains contributions from several of the
pioneers within the design school of thought. As in all collections,
the quality and contents are variable but some of the chapters strike
me as very valuable. I personally appreciate the short profiles that
present influential designs (The Xerox Star, KidPix, the spreadsheet,
etc); paradigmatic exemplars ought to be just as important for us as
they are in other design disciplines.
Terry Winograd, with John Bennett, Laura De Young, and Bradley
Hartfield (eds.), Bringing Design to Software, Addison-Wesley, 1996.
Winograd, T. (1995). Hiedegger and the design of computer systems. In
Feenberg, A. and Hannay, A. (Eds.) Technology and the politics of
knowledge, (pp. 108-127). Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.
Winograd, T., & Flores, F. (1986). Understanding Computers and Cognition:
A New Foundation for Design. Norwood, NJ: Ablex.
Wixon, D., Ramey, J. (eds, 1996) Field methods casebook for software
design. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
The field of HCI has increasingly focused on the developers'
understanding the whole situation where the system will be used. Such
understanding requires field study. This book is about field study
methods, and particulary qualitative methods using observation and
semi-structured interviews. The book is a collection of chapters based
on a CHI '95 workshop, where practitioners from different fields
describe their experiences from field studies in usability-oriented
systems development. Most of the chapters address contextual inquiry
or some flavor of ethnographically inspired interviews. There is a lot
of useful hands-on information and methodological inspiration. Some of
the chapters are, of course, less valuable than others, but on the
whole I think the book would be of interest for those who want to
develop their field study skills.
Zetie, C. (1995) Practical user interface design: Making GUIs work.
Already in the preface, the author explains that the book is intended
for professional system developers without previous HCI knowledge but
with an urge to build "extraordinary" systems. The contents are well
suited for such an audience and very well presented, with many
examples and practical hints. The book starts with a brief overview of
psychological foundations, and then moves into metaphors and
conceptual models, taskflow, dialog design, detailed user interface
design and error and help messages. It is limited to business-oriented
standard GUI, which means lots of forms and dialog boxes and very
little true direct manipulation. This is not necessarily bad, given
the intended audience. However, what I do think is bad is the absence
of usability testing. A good idea might be to read Dumas and Redish
(1993) as a complement.
Journals & Conferences
ACM Transactions on human-computer interaction. New York: ACM Press,
This is a fairly recently started journal, intended to be the main
source of archival scientific publication in HCI. Most of the
contributions will probably be fairly traditional and uncontroversial,
which may be good or bad. The TOCHI, as it is called, is certainly an
excellent resource for keeping up with mainstream HCI research.
Human-computer interaction. Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlbaum, ISSN
A well established HCI journal with high scientific standards,
focusing on behavioral science. Technical contributions are quite
Interacting with computers. Guildford: Butterworths, ISSN 0953-5438,
This is the journal of the British Computer Society Special Interest
Group for HCI. The editorial policy is to encourage interdisciplinary
and applied work. Many interesting articles are published here, but
the scientific standards are variable.
interactions. New York: ACM Press, 1994-.
A recent magazine from ACM, similar to Byte and other more practically
oriented publications but focused on HCI. The typography is quite
exciting, compared to traditional scientific journals, and the
contents are oriented towards user interface design and HCI in
International journal of human-computer studies. London: Academic
Press, ISSN 0020-7373, 1975-.
IJHCS is an old journal that started in human factors and man-machine
interaction but gradually moved into HCI and knowledge-based systems.
It was previously called the International Journal of Man-Machine
Studies, but changed its name in 1994 to reflect the new orientation.
The scientific standards are quite high.
SIGCHI Bulletin. New York: ACM Press, ISSN 0736-6906.
This is the newsletter of the ACM Special Interest Group for HCI,
containing a pleasant mix of HCI news, conference information, and
research papers. Submissions are reviewed editorially but there is no
formal peer review, which means that the scientific standards of the
publications are variable.
ACM Transactions on information systems
Behaviour & Information Technology
Communications of the ACM
CHI: Human factors in computing systems (CHI proceedings). New York:
ACM Press, 1982-.
CHI is the biggest and most important conference within HCI. It is
held in late April or early May every year in the US (except for 1993,
when it was held in Amsterdam) and has consistently attracted over
2000 delegates in the recent years. It covers all aspects of HCI, from
the softest user study to the hardest technology.
HCI International: International conference on human-computer
interaction. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 1988-.
HCI International is also very big but is considered inferior to CHI
in terms of quality. There are more papers in human factors and
ergonomics here than at CHI.
INTERACT: Proceedings of the IFIP TC 13 international conference on
human-computer interaction. Amsterdam: North-Holland, 1984-.
INTERACT is the largest European HCI conference. It has been held
triannually and recently biannually (1984, 87, 90, 93, 95) in
different European cities and publishes contributions within the whole
HCI field. The quality of the contributions may be slightly variable
at times, but is generally considered as quite good.
UIST: Proceedings of the ACM SIGGRAPH symposium on user interface
software and technology. New York: ACM Press, 1988-.
UIST is a fairly small symposium focused on technology for user
interfaces. It is held in October or November in the US and usually
attracts 2-300 delegates. The quality of the contributions was
variable in the first years, but now UIST is considered a first-rate
forum for technically oriented HCI research.