1980s

Metaphor and the Cognitive Representation of Computing Systems

Posted in 1980s, Articles, Cogniton on October 28th, 2012 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Carroll, John M. and Thomas, John C., “Metaphor and the Cognitive Representation of Computing Systems”, 1980.

Our starting point is the simple observation (dating at least to the time of William James, 1890) that people tend to try to learn about new things by making use of their past learning. New concepts are typically thought of in terms of old concepts-at least initially. We focus on a specific variety of this, the metaphorical extension from one structured domain into another. In particular we consider the role that metaphorical learning plays in the mastery of computing systems at various levels of “competence.” Professional programmers might learn a new system X by metaphorizing at least initially from what they already know about system Y. More casual or naive end-users might rely on metaphors drawn from more distant knowledge domains, e.g.. on what they have already learned about electric typewriters.

Doing With Images Makes Symbols

Posted in 1980s, History, Interface Design, Videos on April 23rd, 2011 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Alan Kay lecture at Apple, 1987.

Designing for Usability: Key Principles and What Designers Think

Posted in 1980s, Process, Usability on March 30th, 2011 by Dan – Be the first to comment

John D. Gould and Clayton Lewis, “Designing for Usability: Key Principles and What Designers Think” (pdf) (1985)

We recommend three principles of design.

Early Focus on Users and Tasks
First, designers must understand who the users will be. This understanding is arrived at in part by directly studying their cognitive, behavioral, anthropometric, and attitudinal characteristics, and in part by studying the nature of the work expected to be accomplished.

Empirical Measurement
Second, early in the development process, intended users should actually use simulations and prototypes to carry out real work, and their performance and reactions should be observed, recorded, and analyzed.

Iterative Design
Third, when problems are found in user testing, as they will be, they must be fixed. This means design must be iterative: There must be a cycle of design, test and measure, and redesign, repeated as often as necessary.

In the Age of the Smart Machine

Posted in 1980s, Non-Fiction Books on October 7th, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Shoshana Zuboff, In The Age Of The Smart Machine: The Future Of Work And Power (1989)

Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution

Posted in 1980s, History, Non-Fiction Books on October 5th, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Steven Levy, Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution (1984)

Neuromancer

Posted in 1980s, Fiction, Inspirational on October 5th, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

William Gibson, Neuromancer (1984)

The Design of Everyday Things

Posted in 1980s, Basics, Cogniton, Non-Fiction Books on October 5th, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things (1988)

Predicting the Future

Posted in 1980s, Articles, Inspirational on October 4th, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Alan Kay, “Predicting the Future” (1989)

“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”

Affordances and Design

Posted in 1980s, Articles, Basics, Interface Design on October 2nd, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Don Norman, “Affordances and Design” (1988)

Introduces the concept of affordances into the design arena.

Designing the Star User Interface

Posted in 1980s, Articles, History, Interface Design on October 2nd, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Bill Verplank, et al, “Designing the Star User Interface” (1982)

Design decisions around the influential Star computer.