Humane Interface, The: New Directions for Designing Interactive Systems

Book description

"Deep thinking is rare in this field where most companies are glad to copy designs that were great back in the 1970s. The Humane Interface is a gourmet dish from a master chef. Five mice!"
--Jakob Nielsen, Nielsen Norman Group
Author of Designing Web Usability: The Practice of Simplicity

This unique guide to interactive system design reflects the experience and vision of Jef Raskin, the creator of the Apple Macintosh. Other books may show how to use today's widgets and interface ideas effectively. Raskin, however, demonstrates that many current interface paradigms are dead ends, and that to make computers significantly easier to use requires new approaches. He explains how to effect desperately needed changes, offering a wealth of innovative and specific interface ideas for software designers, developers, and product managers.

The Apple Macintosh helped to introduce a previous revolution in computer interface design, drawing on the best available technology to establish many of the interface techniques and methods now universal in the computer industry. With this book, Raskin proves again both his farsightedness and his practicality. He also demonstrates how design ideas must be built on a scientific basis, presenting just enough cognitive psychology to link the interface of the future to the experimental evidence and to show why that interface will work.

Raskin observes that our honeymoon with digital technology is over: We are tired of having to learn huge, arcane programs to do even the simplest of tasks; we have had our fill of crashing computers; and we are fatigued by the continual pressure to upgrade. The Humane Interface delivers a way for computers, information appliances, and other technology-driven products to continue to advance in power and expand their range of applicability, while becoming free of the hassles and obscurities that plague present products.


Table of contents

  1. Copyright
  2. Preface
  3. Acknowledgments
  4. The Importance of Fundamentals
  5. Background
    1. Interface Definition
    2. Keep the Simple Simple
    3. Human-Centered Design and User-Centered Design
    4. Tools That Do Not Facilitate Design Innovation
    5. Interface Design in the Design Cycle
    6. Definition of a Humane Interface
  6. Cognetics and the Locus of Attention
    1. Ergonomics and Cognetics: What We Can and Cannot Do
    2. Cognitive Conscious and Cognitive Unconscious
    3. Locus of Attention
  7. Meanings, Modes, Monotony, and Myths
    1. Nomenclature and Notations
    2. Modes
    3. Noun-Verb versus Verb-Noun Constructions
    4. Visibility and Affordances
    5. Monotony
    6. Myth of the Beginner-Expert Dichotomy
  8. Quantification
    1. Quantitative Analyses of Interfaces
    2. GOMS Keystroke-Level Model
    3. Measurement of Interface Efficiency
    4. Fitts' Law and Hick's Law
  9. Unification
    1. Uniformity and Elementary Actions
    2. Elementary Actions Cataloged
    3. File Names and Structures
    4. String Searches and Find Mechanisms
    5. Cursor Design and a Strategy for Making Selections
    6. Cursor Position and LEAP
    7. Applications Abolished
    8. Commands and Transformers
  10. Navigation and Other Aspects of Humane Interfaces
    1. Intuitive and Natural Interfaces
    2. Better Navigation: ZoomWorld
    3. Icons
    4. Techniques and Help Facilities in Humane Interfaces
    5. Letter from a User
  11. Interface Issues Outside the User Interface
    1. More Humane Programming Language Environments
    2. Modes and Cables
    3. Ethics and Management of Interface Design
  12. Conclusion
  13. The One-Button Mouse: History and Future
  14. SwyftCard Interface Theory of Operation
  15. References
  16. Colophon

Product information

  • Title: Humane Interface, The: New Directions for Designing Interactive Systems
  • Author(s): Jef Raskin
  • Release date: March 2000
  • Publisher(s): Addison-Wesley Professional
  • ISBN: 0201379376