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X.4 July + August 2003
Page: 57
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Authors:
Marisa Campbell

Designing Collaborative Systems: A Practical Guide to Ethnography

Andy Crabtree

Springer Verlag, 2003
ISBN: 1852337184 $64.95

Designing Collaborative Systems: A Practical Guide to Ethnography introduces a new "ethnographic" approach that will enable designers to create collaborative and interactive systems, which are employed successfully in real-world settings. This new approach, adapted from the field of social research, considers both the social circumstances and the level and type of human interaction involved, thereby ensuring that future ethnographic systems are as user-friendly and as effective as possible.

This book provides the practitioner with an invaluable introduction to this approach, and presents a set of practical strategies for incorporating it into the design process. Divided into four distinct sections with practical examples throughout, the book covers:

  • the requirements problem
  • ethnographic practices for describing and analyzing cooperative work
  • the design process
  • the role of ethnography when evaluating systems supporting cooperative work.

"Not only is the book a must for those interested in bringing a social dimension to the system design process, it also makes a significant contribution to ethnomethodology." —Professor John A. Hughes Lancaster University, UK

"Of the various perspectives that jostle together under the rubric of ethnography, ethnomethodology has often held the most appeal for designers. Yet, surprisingly, there has not been a systematic explication of ethnography and ethnomethodology for the purposes of system design. Andy Crabtree puts this to rights in a comprehensive, informative, and accessible practical guide which will be of great value to not only designers but also the ethnographers who work with them."—Graham Button Lab. Director, Xerox Research Centre Europe

Interaction Design for Complex Problem Solving: Developing Useful and Usable Software

Barbara Mirel

Morgan Kaufmann, 2003
ISBN: 1558608311 $44.95

This book presents a groundbreaking approach to software design for complex problem solving. Software for complex problem solving requires much more than a series of automated tasks. This type of software is used in many diverse situations such as patient care decision making and retail marketing analysis. The author uses her vast field experience to present a new way of looking at the whole problem solving process treating complex problem solving as a distinct class of software with its own set of usefulness demands. This approach highlights integrated interactions rather than discrete actions and clearly defines what makes problem solving complex.

The book focuses on the question: What does it take to design applications that are truly useful for the complex problem solving that domain specialists do in the course of their daily work? Answers to this question must start with interaction designers, usability specialists, and other software team members treating applications for complex problem solving as a distinct class of software with its own brand of usefulness demands.

Key Features

  • An award-winning author presents a ground breaking interaction design approach for this class of products.
  • Covers subject matter not found in any other book, unique and vital knowledge for designers of today’s increasingly complex analysis software.
  • Full color screenshots of problem solving software and process diagrams are presented throughout the book.

Table of Contents
Preface
Introduction
Part One: Understanding the Work
Chapter 1: What Makes Complex Problem Solving Complex?
Chapter 2: Usefulness: Focusing on Inquiry Patterns, Task Landscapes, and Core Activities
Chapter 3: Filling in the Gaps: Integrating Usefulness Into User-Centered Design
Part Two: Solving Problems in Technical, Social, and Co-emergent Systems
Chapter 4: Keeping the System Up and Running
Chapter 5: Getting IT Right
Chapter 6: Criteria, Constraints, and Choices for Optimizing the Mix
Chapter 7: Examining Design Strategies and Choices for Optimizing the Mix
Chapter 8: Decision-Making in Complex Socio-Technical Systems of Patient Care
Chapter 9: Designing for Usefulness Across Cases
Part Three: Thinking Strategically
Chapter 10: Next Steps: Politics and Positioning of Usefulness

Cg The Cg Tutorial: The Definitive Guide to Programmable Real-Time Graphics

Randima Fernando and Mark J. Kilgard

Addison-Wesley, 2003
ISBN: 0321194969 $44.99

The Cg Tutorial explains how to implement both basic and advanced techniques for today’s programmable GPU architectures. Cg is an exciting new graphics language, based on C, developed by NVIDIA and Microsoft. CG allows the 3-D effects seen in advanced graphics systems to be developed much more easily by intermediate-level programmers. It will open the world of cutting-edge graphics programming to a much broader range of developers. Cg programs can be built on either OpenGL or DirectX platforms, effectively making them available on all platforms on all machines. Cg is already being supported by most major players in the field, including Industrial Light and Magic, Alias/Wavefront, Sony, Softimage, and Sega. This book introduces the features and benefits of the Cg language and methodically shows how to use it for a variety of applications. The instruction is progressive, starting with simple examples and building up to more advanced techniques. The explanations are illustrated and includes 16 pages of four-color plates, and an accompanying CD includes all the programs in the book.

Major topics covered include:

  • 3-D transformations
  • Per-vertex and per-pixel lighting
  • Skinning and key-frame interpolation
  • Environment mapping
  • Bump-mapping
  • Fog
  • Performance optimization
  • Projective texturing
  • Cartoon shading
  • Compositing

"Cg is the key to unlocking the power of a new generation of programmable graphics hardware. This book is the definitive introduction to Cg, and will be essential for anyone programming high-quality real-time graphics. The Cg Tutorial will teach you to use Cg to create effects never before available for real-time applications." —Larry Gritz Author of Advanced RenderMan

"An important and timely book: Pixel-level procedural textures—animated clouds, fire, water, the whole bag of procedural tricks—finally go from the movie screen to the desktop. Access to computation of this power through a C-like language will usher in an exciting new era for the graphics community." —Ken Perlin, Professor, New York University

Sidebar: Book Listings

Accessibility for Everybody: Understanding the Section 508 Accessibility Requirements
John Mueller
Apress, 2003
ISBN: 1590590864 $59.99

Designing Usable Electronic Text, 2nd Ed.
Andrew Dillon
Routledge, 2003
ISBN: 041524059X $100.00

Funology: From Usability to Enjoyment (Human Computer Interactions Series, 3)
Mark Blythe
Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2003
ISBN: 1402012527 $117.00

Human-Centered E-Business
Rajiv Khosla, Ernesto Damiani, and William I. Grosky
Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2003
ISBN: 1402074425 $135.00

Interactivity By Design
Ray Kristof & Amy Satran
Adobe Press, 2003
ISBN: 0201799308 $40.00

A Pattern Language for Web Usability
Ian Graham
Addison-Wesley, 2003
ISBN: 0201788888 $39.99

Natural-Born Cyborgs: Why Minds and Technologies are Made to Merge
Andy Clark
Oxford University Press, 2003
ISBN: 0195148665 $26.00

Virtual Reality Technology, 2nd Ed.
Grigore C. Burdea and Philippe Coiffert
John Wiley & Sons, 2003
ISBN: 0471360899 $115.00

©2003 ACM  1072-5220/03/0700  $5.00

Permission to make digital or hard copies of all or part of this work for personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided that copies are not made or distributed for profit or commercial advantage and that copies bear this notice and the full citation on the first page. To copy otherwise, to republish, to post on servers or to redistribute to lists, requires prior specific permission and/or a fee.

The Digital Library is published by the Association for Computing Machinery. Copyright © 2003 ACM, Inc.

 

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