1990s

How smart does your bed have to be before you are afraid to go to sleep at night?

Posted in 1990s, Theory, Ubicomp and Internet of Things, Visionary on November 7th, 2014 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Rich Gold, “How smart does your bed have to be, before you are afraid to go to sleep at night?” Ars Electronica, 1994

Can a house built with modern computer technology still be expected to work ten years from now? Do you currently have any ten-year-old computers in your house? Do you expect your children to live in your house? Your children’s children? Your children’s children’s children? Will your smart house still be smart then?

Do you consider living in an intelligent, fully computerized house to be work? Will there be computerized forms you have to regularly fill out to keep it working? Will you have to perform regular maintenance on it? How does this differ from work? Do you take vacations now from your house, say to simple cabins in the woods? Will you take vacations from your smart house to, say suburban houses?

If a smart house decides that it doesn’t like you, can it leave and find another employer?

Cheap Speech and What It Will Do

Posted in 1990s, Visionary on June 27th, 2014 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Volokh, Eugene, “Cheap Speech and What It Will Do,” (1995)

A database of, say, all apartments for rent in the city would be much easier to search through than a newspaper classified section: From a public access terminal, the renter could ask for an instant list of all the one bedroom apartments renting for less than $850 per month within three miles of UCLA, perhaps plus apartments that are a bit cheaper but a bit further, or more expensive but closer. The list should be more complete, because the information will be easier and cheaper to post. And the list should be timelier-the information will become available as soon as the landlord posts it, and can be removed as soon as the apartment is rented. Electronic classifieds are better on all counts than paper ones, and newspapers will have to adjust to a huge revenue loss when the paper classifieds stop coming in. The loss of classified revenues, coupled with the cost savings and opportunities for extra profits from electronic distribution, should help push newspaper publishers into going electronic.

Magic and Software Design

Posted in 1990s, Articles, Inspirational on October 29th, 2012 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Tognazzini, Bruce, “Magic and Software Design,” 1993.

Perhaps no field other than magic is tied so closely to the field of graphical interface design: The people working at Xerox PARC in the 1960’s and early 1970’s were aware of the principles of theatrical magic when creating the first graphical interfaces, to the extent that David Smith named the interface itself the “user illusion” (Kay). We are designing interfaces for an interface system based on magic, yet there is almost nothing written about it in our literature. (An exception is a single page by Heckel.) Magicians have been struggling with the principles, techniques, and ethics of illusion for at least 5000 years (Burger). There’s a lot we can learn from them.

Mental Models and Usability

Posted in 1990s, Articles, Basics, Cogniton, Usability on October 21st, 2012 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Davidson, Mary Jo, Dove, Laura, and Weltz, Julie, “Mental Models and Usability,” 1999

An inaccurate mental model of what is happening in a system leads to errors. Many systems place too many demands on the humans that use them. Users are often required to adjust the way they work to accommodate the computer. Sometimes the result is a minor frustration or inconvenience, such as changes not being saved to a file. Inaccurate mental models of more complex systems, such as an airplane or nuclear reactor, can lead to disastrous accidents.

The Elements of Friendly Software Design

Posted in 1990s, Basics, Non-Fiction Books on January 12th, 2011 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Paul Heckel, The Elements of Friendly Software Design (1991)

Apparent Usability vs. Inherent Usability: Experimental analysis on the determinants of the apparent usability

Posted in 1990s, Articles, Interface Design on December 2nd, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Masaaki Kurosu and Kaori Kashimura, “Apparent Usability vs. Inherent Usability: Experimental analysis on the determinants of the apparent usability” (1995)

Interface Culture

Posted in 1990s, Non-Fiction Books on October 7th, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Steven Johnson, Interface Culture (1997)

Places to Intervene in a System

Posted in 1990s, Articles, Inspirational, Theory on October 7th, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Donella H. Meadows, “Places to Intervene in a System” (1997)

Regarding “leverage points” in a system.

The User Illusion

Posted in 1990s, Cogniton, Non-Fiction Books on October 5th, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Tor Norretranders, The User Illusion: Cutting Consciousness Down to Size (1999)

Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins Of The Internet

Posted in 1990s, History, Non-Fiction Books on October 5th, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Katie Hafner, Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins Of The Internet (1998)

The Inmates are Running The Asylum

Posted in 1990s, Inspirational, Non-Fiction Books on October 5th, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Alan Cooper, The Inmates Are Running the Asylum: Why High Tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity (1998)

The Revenge of the Intuitive

Posted in 1990s, Articles, Inspirational on October 5th, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Brian Eno, “The Revenge of the Intuitive” (1999)

Bridging Conceptual Gaps

Posted in 1990s, Articles, Cogniton on October 5th, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Jared Spool, “Bridging Conceptual Gaps” (1996)

Activity Theory and Human-Computer Interaction

Posted in 1990s, Articles, Theory on October 5th, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Bonnie Nardi, “Activity Theory and Human-Computer Interaction” (pdf) (1996)

The Anti-Mac User Interface

Posted in 1990s, Articles, Interface Design, Theory on October 5th, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Don Gentner and Jakob Nielsen, “The Anti-Mac User Interface” (1996)

At the Heart of Interaction Design

Posted in 1990s, Articles, Basics, Inspirational on October 5th, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Lauralee Alben, “At the Heart of Interaction Design” (pdf) (1996)

Managing Complex Design Projects

Posted in 1990s, Articles, Process, Project Management on October 5th, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Hugh Dubberly, “Managing Complex Design Projects” (pdf) (1995)

Mental Models, Deductive Reasoning, and The Brain

Posted in 1990s, Articles, Cogniton on October 5th, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Philip Johnson-Laird, “Mental Models, Deductive Reasoning, and The Brain” (pdf) (1995)

Making Work Visible

Posted in 1990s, Articles, Design Research on October 5th, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Lucy Suchman, “Making Work Visible” (pdf) (1995)

Designing Calm Technology

Posted in 1990s, Articles, Ubicomp and Internet of Things, Visionary on October 5th, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Mark Weiser and John Seely Brown, “Designing Calm Technology” (1995)

“That which informs but doesn’t demand our focus or attention.”