Table of Contents

VOLUME XIII.1 January + February 2006

  • In this issue
    • In this issue

      Jonathan Arnowitz, Elizabeth Dykstra-Erickson

      In this issue we present you with a special section on the practice of prototyping. We are pleased to have Michael Arent, director of user experience standards and guidelines for SAP as the special guest editor. This section features some interesting perspectives on prototyping case studies and prototyping tools.…

  • Fresh: rant
    • Loser-centered design

      Jonathan Arnowitz, Elizabeth Dykstra-Erickson

      All too often, terms are misappropriated, if not outright hijacked, and their meaning becomes either obfuscated or totally changed. Have you noticed that user-centered design is quickly becoming such a victim? We feel the only way to protect this saintly term is to fight fire with fire and provide…

  • Fresh: ok/cancel
    • Prototyper archetypes

      Tom Chi, Kevin Cheng

      ©2006 ACM1072-5220/06/0100$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…

  • Fresh: ask Doctor Usability
    • Prototyping and plagiarism

      Dr. Usability

      Dear Dr. Usability, I am searching for the right tool to use to prototype mockups. I have been toughing it out with our homemade prototyping tool called Dino-builder and it is really not user-friendly at all. In fact how well you can prototype is based on how well you…

  • Fresh: pushing the envelope
    • A penny for your thoughts, a latte for your password

      Fred Sampson

      We probably all know people who juggle 30 or more user ID/password combinations, one set for each application or server to which they need access. Some they use everyday; some they use only occasionally. Some get changed more often than they get used. Some people keep their passwords in…

  • Fresh: mailbag
    • Letters to the editor

      Jonathan Arnowitz, Elizabeth Dykstra-Erickson

      Taking UX Offshore Fred Sampson wrote about offshoring in his column ("Pushing the Envelope," November-December 2005). He began by posing the question "How could any of our organizations oppose offshoring... and justify our existence to Asia-Pacific members at the same time?" He immediately answered his question: We could not.…

  • The art of prototyping
    • A UI prototyping sampler

      Michael Arent

      This special <interactions> issue on prototyping was inspired by a variety of activities that Jonathan Arnowitz, Nevin Berger, and I have been engaged in with others over the past several years. These activities were primarily focused on one aspect of prototyping, effective software prototyping, and included authoring an upcoming…

    • The Excel Story

      Nevin Berger

      It is not very often that we are introduced to a new tool to use in prototyping that does not involve having to purchase or learn a new application but merely relearn one we already know. However I was introduced to such a tool for which I was able…

    • Presumptive design, or cutting the looking-glass cake

      Leo Frishberg

      In the generally accepted approach to User Centered Design (UCD), the designer/investigator researches the needs of the target population, analyzes and transforms the raw data, and then synthesizes a solution ultimately reviewed by users who determine its fitness. Reducing the "gap" between the analysis and synthesis steps is key…

    • Prototyping with junk

      Nancy Frishberg

      Interaction designers typically work with digital prototyping tools that have 2D (or at best 2.5D) visualization capability, e.g. Photoshop, Illustrator, Visio and even Powerpoint. Carolyn Synder's book Paper Prototyping encourages interaction designers, irrespective of artistic training or confidence in sketching, to use paper and markers to mock up screens…

    • Developing the drift table

      Andrew Boucher, William Gaver

      The Drift Table was developed as part of an ongoing project on domestic technologies in which we are particularly interested in promoting non-utilitarian, "ludic" values in the home [1, 2]. The project started with a Cultural Probes study of London households [3], followed by development of a workbook of…

    • Interface in form

      Bruce Hanington

      Sketching and modeling are integral features of the design process, critical for both the generation of ideas, and the communication of concepts to others for discussion and evaluation, particularly in the context of human-centered design. While these methods are a natural component of the designer's education and professional tool…

    • Revisiting tangible speculation

      Daniel Rosenberg

      Over 20 years ago Dr. James Wilson and I drafted "Rapid Prototyping for User Interface Design," one of many landmark chapters in the first Handbook of Human Computer Interaction [1]. Our approach was based on pioneering work taking place at the human factors laboratory of Eastman Kodak, where we…

  • Practice: connections
    • Pack wisely and remember the local voltage

      Laura Erickson

      In the age of globalization, the ease of access to information and instant communication have connected people from all over the earth in a way unimaginable to previous generations. Now business and communications are conducted across borders and time zones with ease—at least technologically speaking, that is. When it…

  • Practice: whiteboard
    • The next frontier of users’ preferences

      Fabio Vitali

      I have two kinds of bookmarks in my browser. Some give me quick access to pages I visit so often that I could type their URLs in my sleep; the rest sit there forgotten, having been declared interesting on one visit some time ago—and I no longer have any…

  • Practice: business
    • To consolidate or distribute?

      Linn Johnk, Meera Manahan, Tom Graefe

      Every customer-centered design (CCD) organization has at one time or another asked itself some version of this question: "How should we be organized so we can be the most effective customer advocates in our organization?" The CCD community at HP is actively wrestling with this issue. One specific element…

  • People: the way I see it
    • Interaction design is still an art form.

      Donald Norman

      The practice of HCI is mainly still an art form. The practice of Ergonomics is a rigorous engineering field. Okay, so I oversimplified in order to get your attention, but listen up: There is a lot of truth in that simplification. The discipline that calls itself "Human-Computer Interaction," or…

  • People: fast forward
    • Dashboards in your future

      Aaron Marcus

      Introduction In the 1980s and '90s, it was fashionable to speak of executive information systems (EIS) as a wave of the future. There were specific conferences on EIS applications. IBM, as well as smaller software companies, offered products to business markets that needed this information outside the military, which…

  • People: Here's entertainment!
    • Are we having fun yet?

      Dennis Wixon

      This new column focuses on using computing power for entertainment. Interestingly, using computers and "computer-like" devices for entertainment is positively ancient. It can be traced back to 1931 when D. Gottlieb created a game called "baffle ball" in which players used a plunger to propel small metallic balls up…

  • Books
    • Review of “Access by Design by Sarah Horton”, New Riders, 2005, ISBN: 032131140X, $24.99

      Robert Douglass

      Sensitivity to accessibility issues is a key issue for many of us in the interface design field. There is growing demand from government and corporate clients to design accessible sites not just to comply with the law, but for the specific purpose of marketing products and services directly to…

    • New & upcoming titles

      Gerard Torenvliet

      Creative 3-D Display and Interaction Interfaces: A Trans-Disciplinary Approach Barry G. Blundell, Adam J. Schwarz Wiley-Interscience, December 2005 ISBN: 0471482714 $94.95 Mind Technologies: Humanities Computing and the Canadian Academic Community Raymond Siemens (editor) University of Calgary Press, December 2005 ISBN: 1552381722 $44.95 End-User Development (Human-Computer…

  • Rewind
    • Is HCI homeless?

      Jonathan Grudin

      Depending on how you look at it, human-computer interaction has either no home or many homes. We're multidisciplinary without having become particularly interdisciplinary. The first HCI papers were Human Factors & Ergonomics, which is often located in Industrial Engineering departments. Business and Management schools then initiated relevant Information Systems…

  • Event planner
    • Event planner

      interactions Staff

      January 5-7 TableTop2006 The 1st IEEE International Workshop on Horizontal Interactive Human-Computer System Adelaide, South Australia January 16-19 AUIC 2006 The 7th Australasian User Interface Conference Hobart, Tasmania, Australia January 23-25 WBE 2006 The Fifth IASTED International Conference on Web-based Education Puerto Vallarta, Mexico…

  • People: on the edge
    • Sketching in hardware

      Lars Holmquist

      Sketching is an essential part of any design process. Whereas the graphic designer can sketch on paper, and the product designer can make mock-ups in wood or clay, a sketch of an interactive product has to express not only the static look of an interface, but also its dynamic…

  • Rave
    • It’s all about the user… isn’t it?

      Jonathan Arnowitz, Elizabeth Dykstra-Erickson

      User-centered design (UCD) is the "be all, end all" of design. Cater to the user and you will win. That is what we all believe, right? End- user research is the way to a successful product, right? Then why is it that design schools all over the world, business…

  • Postcards from the future
    • Doomsday

      Atticus Wolrab

      ©2006 ACM1072-5220/06/0100$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…

  • Bridging the gap
    • Building a bridge between research and practice

      Carolyn Gale

      Sometimes, ranting at a rant can get you in trouble. I was surprised and saddened about the public argument that occurred between industry sponsors and academic researchers at CHI 2005 (Rant, May-June 2005 <interactions>). One of the reasons I enjoy working with SIGCHI is that the membership varies wildly…