It is gratifying to see this book go into a second edition because of the endorsement that implies for maturing the field of human–computer interaction beyond pure empirical methods.

Human–computer interaction (HCI) as a topic is basically simple. There is a person of some sort who wants to do some task like write an essay or pilot an airplane. What makes the activity HCI is inserting a mediating computer. In principle, our person could have done the task without the computer. She could have used a quill pen and ink, for example, or flown an airplane that uses hydraulic tubes to work the controls. These are not quite HCI. They do use intermediary tools or machines, and the process of their design and the facts of their use bear resemblance ...

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