In this issue

XIII.6 November + December 2006
Page: 4
Digital Citation

In this issue

Jonathan Arnowitz, Elizabeth Dykstra-Erickson

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Welcome to Waits and Measures, in which guest editor Jeff Sauro plumbs the depths of the mysteries of usability ROI, interpreting usability data, and guidelines for measuring usability. We think these articles will make an excellent desk reference; they are as elegant and concise an explanation of this art as one can find today.

For an interesting slant on usability topics, see Jan Chipchase's Under Development article, edited by Gary Marsden. How does one manage contacts on a cell phone if one can neither read nor write letters or numbers? This should make us all take note of the interactions we take for granted on cell phones and elsewhere. And to stir up trouble, see William Newman's call to arms to reject the advance of gadgets in this issue's Connections column, edited by Manfred Tscheligi.

Don Norman elucidates the activity model as the modern evolution of the application model with implications for design. We enjoyed reading this and hope that the concept can be employed in many more contexts than handhelds and gadgets. If you've seen or worked on systems that operate this way, the difference is considerable. And we can think of no better companion piece to this than Austin Henderson's review of Klaus Krippendorff's new book, The Semantic Turn: A New Foundation for Design. We await the day that the design of software experiences truly focuses on meaning, and the user can express their intent flexibly.

In his The Well-Tempered Practitioner column, Chauncey Wilson discusses Triangulation as a way we can use usability and other research findings to make a more holistic case for usability and design.

We invite you to spend some quality time with this issue, and let us know if it puts things in a different light for you. And, as always, send your comments and critiques to us at

Jonathan Arnowitz and Elizabeth Dykstra-Erickson

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©2006 ACM  1072-5220/06/1100  $5.00

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