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VI.3 May/June 1999
Page: 59
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Jennifer Bruer

back to top  The Usability Engineering Lifecycle

Deborah J. Mayhew

Morgan Kaufmann Publishers
ISBN 1-55860-561-4

A commitment to usability in user interface design and development offers enormous benefits, including greater user productivity, more competitive products, lower support costs, and a more efficient development process. But what does it mean to be committed to usability? In this book, a twenty-year expert answers this question in full, presenting the techniques of Usability Engineering as a series of product lifecycle tasks that result directly in easier-to-learn, easier-to-use software. You'll learn to perform a complete requirements analysis and then incorporate the resulting goals and constraints in a highly structured, iterative design and development process. This process doesn't end with installation but instead begins anew with the collection of user feedback that will guide further development. Also covered are organizational issues related to the implementation of Usability Engineering, including cost justification, project planning, and organizational structures.

bullet.gif Features

  • Unites all current UE techniques in a single, authoritative resource, presenting a coherent lifecycle process in which each clearly defined task leads directly the next.
  • Teaches concrete, immediately usable skills to practitioners in all kinds of product development organizations-from internal departments to commercial developers to consultants.
  • Contains examples of actual software development projects and the ways in which they have benefited from Usability Engineering.
  • Deals in specifics, not generalities-provides detailed templates and instructions for every phase of the Usability Engineering lifecycle.
  • Pays special attention to Web site development and explains how Usability Engineering principles can be applied to the development of any interactive product.

bullet.gif About the Author:

Dr. Deborah J. Mayhew is owner and principal of Deborah J. Mayhew & Associates, a Massachusetts consulting firm that offers courses and consulting on all aspects of Usability Engineering and user interface design. Clients include American Airlines, AT&T, Ford, Harvard University, and NASA. Dr. Mayhew received her Ph.D. in Experimental Cognitive Psychology from Tufts University. She is the author of Principles and Guidelines in Software User Interface Design, a co-editor of Cost-Justifying Usability, and a contributor to Human Factors and Web Development.

bullet.gif Table of Contents:

  • Preface
  • Chapter 1: Introduction
  • Requirements Analysis
  • Chapter 2: User Profiles
  • Chapter 3: Contextual Task Analysis
  • Chapter 4: Usability Goal Setting
  • Chapter 5: Platform Capabilities and Constraints
  • Chapter 6: General Design Principles
  • Design/Testing/Development
  • Design Level 1
  • Chapter 7: Work Reengineering
  • Chapter 8: Conceptual Model Design
  • Chapter 9: Conceptual Model Mockups
  • Chapter 10: Iterative Conceptual Model Evaluation
  • Design Level 2
  • Chapter 11: Screen Design Standards
  • Chapter 12: Screen Design Standards Prototyping
  • Chapter 13: Iterative Screen Design Standards Evaluation
  • Chapter 14: Style Guide Development
  • Design Level 3
  • Chapter 15: Detailed User Interface Design
  • Chapter 16: Iterative Detailed User Interface Design Evaluation
  • Installation
  • Chapter 17: User Feedback
  • Organizational Issues
  • Chapter 18: Promoting and Implementing The Usability Engineering Lifecycle
  • Chapter 19: Usability Project Planning
  • Chapter 20: Cost-Justification
  • Chapter 21: Organizational Roles and Structures

back to top  The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence

Ray Kurzweil

ISBN 0-670-88217-8

Imagine a world where the difference between man and machine blurs, where the line between humanity and technology fades, and where the soul and the silicon chip unite. This is not science fiction. This is the twenty-first century according to Ray Kurzweil, the "restless genius" (Wall Street Journal) and inventor of the most innovative and compelling technology of our era. In The Age of Spiritual Machines, the brains behind the Kurzweil Reading Machine, the Kurzweil synthesizer, advanced speech recognition, and other technologies devises a framework for envisioning the next century. In his inspired hands, life in the new millennium no longer seems daunting. Instead, Kurzweil's twenty-first century promises to be an age in which the marriage of human sensitivity and artificial intelligence fundamentally alters and improves the way we live.

The Age of Spiritual Machines is no mere list of predictions but a prophetic blueprint for the future. Kurzweil guides us through the inexorable advances that will result in computers exceeding the memory capacity and computational ability of the human brain. According to Kurzweil, machines will achieve all this by 2020, with human attributes not far behind. We will begin to have relationships with automated personalities and use them as teachers, companions, and lovers. A mere ten years later, information will be fed straight into our brains along direct neural pathways; computers, for their part, will have read all the world's literature. The distinction between us and computers will have become sufficiently blurred that when the machines claim to be conscious, we will believe them.

In The Age of Spiritual Machines, the "ultimate thinking machine" (Forbes) forges the ultimate road to the next century.

bullet.gif Table of Contents

Part One: Probing The Past

  • 1. The Law of Time and Chaos
  • 2. The Intelligence of Evolution
  • 3. Of Mind and Machines
  • 4. A New Form of Intelligence on Earth
  • 5. Context and Knowledge

Part Two: Preparing the Present

  • 6. Building New Brains...
  • 7. ...And Bodies
  • 8. 1999

Part Three: To Face the Future

  • 9. 2009
  • 10. 2019
  • 11. 2029
  • 12. 2099

back to top  Book Listing

Web Development with Tcl/TK 8.1
Steve Holzner
Wiley Computer Publishing, 1999
ISBN 0-471-32752-2

The Digital Dialectic: New Essays on New Media
Peter Lunenfeld, editor
The MIT Press, April 1999
ISBN 0-262-12213-8

Philip & Alex's Guide to Web Publishing
Philip Greenspun
Morgan Kauffman, April 1999
ISBN 1-55860-534-7

Computer Speech Technology
Robert D. Rodman
Artech House Publishers, 1999
ISBN 0-89006-297-8

Java I/O
Elliotte Rusty Harold
O'Reilly & Associates, 1999
ISBN 1-56592-485-1

Musical Networks: Parallel Distributed Perception and Performance
Niall Griffith and Peter M. Todd, editors
The MIT Press, 1999
ISBN 0-262-07181-9

Information Ecologies: Using Technology with Heart
Bonnie A. Nardi and Vicki L. O'Day
The MIT Press, 1999
ISBN 0-262-14066-7

Java Power Reference: A Complete Searchable Resource on CD-ROM
David Flanagan
O'Reilly & Associates, 1999
ISBN 1-56592-589-0

The History of Human Factors and Ergonomics
David Meister
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc, May 1999
ISBN 0-8058-2768-4

back to top 

©1999 ACM  1072-5220/99/0500  $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 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 © 1999 ACM, Inc.

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