Table of Contents

VOLUME XIII.3 May + June 2006

  • In this issue
    • In this issue

      Jonathan Arnowitz, Elizabeth Dykstra-Erickson

      In this issue we look at the complex and fascinating subject of security as it relates to HCI. In the words of special section guest editor Ryan West, "Security is as ubiquitous as it is nebulous" and, he asks, "given the expanding definition of security and intricacy of details,…

  • Fresh: rant
    • Do you believe?

      Jonathan Arnowitz, Elizabeth Dykstra-Erickson

      Do you believe in what you do? We mean, really believe. What is there to believe in and what amount of faith do you have? I believe I'm competent at my work. They're going to get you there. Everyone is a designer. Everyone who puts one foot in front…

  • Fresh: ok/cancel
    • Safe and secure

      Tom Chi, Kevin Cheng

      ©2006 ACM1072-5220/06/0500$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
    • Lost in the localization forest

      Dr. Usability

      Dear Dr. Usability, I have been working on a Web project for the past six months. The design is almost complete, but my manager has just added a requirement that our site be accessible to a culturally diverse audience. I am wondering whether that is really necessary. He argues…

  • Fresh: pushing the envelope
    • I give that web site an 11

      Fred Sampson

      I have always been skeptical of statistics. Maybe it's just fear of the unknown—my brain is demonstrably not wired for math. But everyone knows that statistics can be made to lie, and can be tweaked and manipulated and interpreted to mean nearly anything, to support or justify nearly any…

  • Fresh: postcards from the future
    • Postcards from the future

      Atticus Wolrab

      Dear Dr. Usability, I have been working on a Web project for the past six months. The design is almost complete, but my manager has just added a requirement that our site be accessible to a culturally diverse audience. I am wondering whether that is really necessary. He argues…

  • Forum: connections
    • HCI and cognitive disabilities

      Clayton Lewis

      More and more HCI professionals are working on increasing access to computing systems for people with disabilities, as can be attested by participation in the lively ASSETS conferences of ACM's SIGACCESS (Special Interest Group on Accessible Computing). Technology for people with cognitive disabilities—from mental retardation and developmental disabilities, brain…

  • Forum: open for business
    • The science of segmentation

      Brian Frank

      When you think of designing a product "for" someone, you generally have the characteristics of that target person or persons in mind. They may be male, over 35, making $65,000-plus a year, etc. You might even extend your picture further and say they drive midsize cars, have 2.3 children,…

  • Forum: under development
    • Voices across the digital divide

      Matt Jones

      How do you dissolve the global digital divide? How do you overcome the disparities between those of us who have lives driven and enhanced by a cornucopia of digital gadgets and resources, and those communities where the cattle moves faster than the data and children share a computer with…

  • HCI and security
    • Introduction

      Ryan West

      In the 1983 movie WarGames, teen hacker Matthew Broderick accessed NORAD headquarters through dial-up, guessed the password to the W.O.P.R. supercomputer, and nearly destroyed the world in a game of thermonuclear war. Armageddon in three steps? Now that's ease of use! Not very secure, though. Between Windows XP SP2,…

    • IT security

      David Siegel, Bill Reid, Susan Dray

      IT Security as an Organizational Function It is a mantra of our profession that any search for strictly technical solutions that do not take the human and organizational elements into account is doomed to failure. This becomes especially interesting when it is borne out in an inherently technical realm,…

    • Designing an evaluation method for security user interfaces

      Cynthia Kuo, Adrian Perrig, Jesse Walker

      Ten or 20 years ago, evaluating security products was not as much of a problem as it is today. Systems were managed by people able—and willing—to master the complexities. However, with the proliferation of personal computing devices and network connectivity in the home, systems are now regularly managed by…

    • To download or not to download

      Jefferson Hardee, Ryan West, Christopher Mayhorn

      Imagine you are in the middle of studying for tomorrow's test when your antivirus software prompts you with a message indicating new virus definitions are available. Would you update the antivirus software now or later or not at all? Imagine now that you're browsing online and you receive an…

    • Minimal-feedback hints for remembering passwords

      Morten Hertzum

      Passwords are a widely used mechanism for user authentication and are thus critical to the security of many systems. To provide effective security, passwords should be known to the password holder but remain unknown to everybody else. While personal information and real words are relatively easy for a user…

    • Is usable security an oxymoron?

      Alexander DeWitt, Jasna Kuljis

      Security for All Until relatively recently, software security was of little concern to computer users. However, the media coverage of severe security breaches has made even relatively computer-illiterate users aware of possible dangers from malicious attacks and misuse to both their systems and sensitive personal information. There are many…

    • What do they “indicate?”

      Lorrie Cranor

      Security- and privacy-related tools often feature graphical (or in some cases textual or audio) indicators designed to assist users in protecting their security or privacy. But a growing body of literature has found the effectiveness of many of these indicators to be rather disappointing. Security researchers often evaluate the…

    • Firefighters and engineers

      Ka-Ping Yee

      Computer security can be described in two different ways: keeping users away from dangerous things, or enabling users to do useful things safely. The former perspective is attack-oriented; the latter is task-oriented. In the attack-oriented mindset, users trudge along a dark path through the jungle, fraught with perils at…

    • Feeling secure

      Joel Grossman

      What does it mean to provide a secure user experience? The intersection of the two has generally been defined—and explored—in technical terms. Hard-working people in BSD t-shirts have established over time what we, as user-experience professionals, have come to understand as the key considerations when working with security. These…

  • People: the way I see it
    • Emotionally centered design

      Donald Norman

      Web 2.0 is coming. Rich Internet applications (RIA) are here. Hurrah! The Internet has caught up with the desktop, at long last. As a result, some natural experiments in emotionally attractive Web sites are provided, allowing us to contrast the more traditional, static HMTL-page Web sites with these more…

  • People: fast forward
    • CHI at the movies and on tv

      Aaron Marcus

      Can you remember the first science fiction movie you ever saw? What about the first science fiction program you ever saw on television? Can you remember what you thought about the user-interface design or user experience of any computer-based telecommunication system presented in these shows? And what about today?…

  • Bridge the gap
    • The elevator talk

      Carolyn Gale

      This issue has one research-oriented article, "Discovering Modalities for Adaptive Multimodal Interfaces." The article by Prammanee et al. on mobile design begins on page 66 and is another example of publishing research for a practitioner audience. Tips and Strategies for the Elevator Talk My last column gave a…

    • Discovering modalities for adaptive multimodal interfaces

      Srihathai Prammanee, Klaus Moessner, Rahim Tafazolli

      With every new generation of mobile terminals, be it cell phones, PDAs, or gaming consoles, the range of features becomes wider. And the way interactive content is presented becomes increasingly diverse, yet the ways to interact with applications, the user-interface capabilities, remain restricted to a small screen, audio input…

  • Books
  • People: timelines
    • A missing generation

      Jonathan Grudin

      Office Automation or Office Information Systems was a field of HCI research that flourished for a decade and then disappeared. It attracted leading researchers and established valuable new directions, but much of its record is scattered or absent online. This is a brief account of that activity. Hardware…

  • Event planner
    • Event planner

      interactions Staff

      May 7-10 Pervasive 2006 The 4th International Conference on Pervasive Computing Dublin, Ireland May 9-12 COOP '06 7th International Conference on the Design of Cooperative Systems Provence, France May 18-19 Persuasive '06 First International Conference on Persuasive Technology for Human Well-Being Eindhoven, The Netherlands…

  • People: on the edge
    • Welcome to the mobile life!

      Lars Holmquist

      Yesterday the dominating computer interface was the desktop workstation. Today (or, depending on where in the world you live, early tomorrow morning at the latest) the dominating computer interface is the mobile phone. In Japan and other parts of Asia, more people already use their phones to access the…

  • Rave
    • The designer’s hippocratic oath—-a reformulation

      Jonathan Arnowitz, Elizabeth Dykstra-Erickson

      The practitioner is constantly barraged with new guidelines: platform guidelines, guru guidelines, papers and articles on heuristics, case studies and anecdotes that promote practice directives. And then there's the occasional Web forum, workshop, or hallway conversation that suggests there is an overarching method to our madness. We enter the…