Jonathan Arnowitz, Elizabeth Dykstra-Erickson
This issue marks a new year for <interactions> and our third year as editors-in-chief for the magazine. Are we serving your needs and interests? Do you find something valuable in each issue? Perhaps something controversial? Are there areas you would like us to explore? Are there topics you'd like to guest edit? Our vision for the magazine is to continually improve it to make it as applied and practical as possible. That happens with your helpwhich happens to be the subject of this issue's special section. Pushing the Envelope columnist Fred Sampson took on the additional role of guest editor this issue; he assembled an outstanding collection of articles on user assistance. We are pleased to provide these collected works on the current usage and future directions of "Help." To quote Fred from his introductory article:
"Help systems have come a long way since the days of Microsoft Windows Help 1.0. The capabilities of user-assistance technologies continue to grow and develop. More and more help is finding its way into the user interface through popups, tooltips, mouseovers, and better labels and hints right where users need it."
We hope this issue marks the start of many more contributions to the magazine from information developers and technical writers.
Also in this issue, Don Norman wonders whether technology is out of control, posing challenges and opportunities to the designer. Chauncey Wilson challenges readers to assess user tasks in software design. And Jerrod Larsen poses a tough question: "What can HCI learn from game interaction?" Also, did you know Unix makes bicycles? Well, maybe in Africaread Gary Marsden's Under Development column to learn more.
Enjoy the issueand write to us! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and send us your comments, critiques, and perhaps you can offer us your Help!
Jonathan Arnowitz and Elizabeth Dykstra-Erickson
CORRECTION: There were two errors in the special-section article authored by James R. Lewis in the last issue ("Sample Sizes for Usability Test: Mostly Math, Not Magic," Volume XIII.6). The first appearance of the formula 1-(1-p)n did not include the superscript and an extra symbol (>) appeared in Mr. Lewis' formula on page 31; it should have read:
padj = 1/2 [(pest - 1/n)(1 - 1/n)] + 1/2 [ pest /(1+GTadj)]
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