Study of Technocultural Transformations,” Ph.D. dissertation,
Simon Fraser University, and http://thinkubator.ccsp.sfu.ca/
Dynabook/, which provides many links to relevant sources.
A good single source on the Xerox Star is Johnson, J.,
Roberts, T.L., Verplank, W., Smith, D.C., Irby, C.H., Beard, M.,
and Mackey, K. (1989), IEEE Computer 22( 9). Case Study D in
Baecker and Buxton (1987) lists almost 40 other sources.
A good journalistic account of the development of the Apple
Macintosh is Levy, S. (1994), Insanely Great: The Life and
Times of Macintosh, the Computer that Changed Everything,
Penguin Books. 118 stories about the development of the
Macintosh and the people who created it are at http://www.
PART FIVE: GRAPHIC DESIGN AND
INDUSTRIAL DESIGN IN INTERACTION DESIGN
To my knowledge, Aaron Marcus is the first graphic designer to
commit himself to a career in interaction design. A pioneering
early article applying graphic design expertise to the design
of a page layout system is Marcus, A. (1971), “A Prototype
Computerized Page-Design System,” Visible Language V( 3),
Summer 1971. Aaron began teaching tutorials on the subject
in 1980 and established the design firm Aaron Marcus and
Associates in 1982. Good interviews with Aaron are found at
php and http://www.amanda.com/resources/webword/
An excellent history of Apple covering the development of the
Apple II is Malone, M.S. (1999), Infinite Loop: How Apple, the
World’s Most Insanely Great Computer Company, Went Insane,
Currency Doubleday. Pages 122-123 discuss the roles of
industrial designer Jerry Manock in developing the case for the
Apple II and art director Rob Janov in developing a new Apple
logo. See also http://apple2history.org/.
Levy (1984), Chapter 6, discusses the roles of Manock
and graphic designer Susan Hare in developing the
Macintosh. Interesting debates involving Steve Jobs and key
designers and developers about whether the Mac should
be more like a Beetle, a Ferrari, a Porsche, or a Cuisinart
are documented in http://www.folklore.org/StoryView.
Beginning with work on statistical graphics in the mid-’70s,
Edward Tufte has emerged as the preeminent information
designer, setting standards for elegant design tailored to
cognitive tasks such as understanding causality, comparison,
and the effects of multiple variables on complex phenomena. A
thoughtful and comprehensive interview with Tufte is Zachary,
M. and Thrall, C. (2004), “An Interview with Edward Tufte,”
Technical Communication 13( 4). See http://www.edwardtufte.
com/tufte/ for information about his four beautiful books,
including the particularly influential first book, The Visual
Display of Quantitative Information, 1983, 2001, Graphics Press.
Arguably the most influential industrial research group to
develop principles of user-centered, iterative design was
IBM Yorktown Heights. Lessons learned were summarized in
Gould, J. and Lewis, C. (1985), “Designing for Usability: Design
Principles and What Designers Think,” Communications of the
ACM 28( 3). See also Gould, J. (1988), “How to Design Usable
Systems,” Chapter 35 of Helander, M. (Ed.), Handbook of
Human-Computer Interaction, North-Holland.
Another important group was at DEC, see for example
Whiteside, J., Bennett, J., and Holtzblatt, K. (1988), “Usability
Engineering: Our Experience and Evolution,” Chapter 36 of
Helander. An excellent overview of the history and practice
of usability engineering is Butler, K.A. (1996), “Usability
Engineering Turns 10,” interactions, Jan. 1996.
A seminal vision of an applied information-processing
psychology of human-computer interfaces that could reduce
the need for usability testing is Card., S.K., Moran, T.P., and
Newell, A. (1983), The Psychology of Human-Computer
PART SEVEN: UNDERSTANDING
An excellent review of sociotechnical design, including its
origins at the Tavistock Institute founded in London in 1946 and
its interactions with developments in Scandinavia, is Mumford,
E. (2006), “The Story of Socio-technical Design: Reflections
on its Successes, Failures, and Potential,” Information Systems
Journal 16. The Scandinavian approach to the design of
computer-based systems is treated in depth in Floyd, C., Mehl,
W.-M., Reisin, F.-M., Schmidt, G., and Wolf, G. (1989). “Out
of Scandinavia: Alternative Approaches to Software Design
and System Development,” Human-Computer Interaction 4( 4).
See also Ehn, P. (1988), Work-oriented Design of Computer
Artifacts, Lawrence Erlbaum, esp. Chapter 11.
Hiltzig (1999), Chapter 14, describes how designers of the
Gypsy word processor grounded their work in interviews with
editors at the Ginn publishing subsidiary of Xerox. Chapter 21
discusses how the Xerox Systems Science Lab based new
office system designs on an understanding of how people do
their work. A landmark achievement was the Ph.D. dissertation
Suchman, L. (1987), Plans and Situated Actions: The Problem
of Human-Machine Communication, Cambridge University
Press, which applied ethnomethodological methods to the
analysis of an expert help system.
PART SIX: USABILITY TESTING
The extensive usability testing in Star development is
described in Bewley, W., Roberts, T., Schroit, D., and
Verplank, W. (1983), “Human Factors Testing in the
Design of Xerox’s 8010 ‘Star’ Office Workstation,” Proc.
CHI ’83, 72-77. User testing of the Lisa conducted
by Larry Tesler is described in Levy (1994) Chapter
4, and also in http://www.folklore.org/StoryView.
PART EIGHT: TOWARDS A RICHER
UNDERSTANDING OF THE HISTORY OF HCI
For the Welcome Trust, see http://www.ucl.ac.uk/histmed/.
The Computer History Museum’s website may be found at
http://www.digibarn.com/. Most interesting is the Digibarn
Computer Museum, with a website at http://www.digibarn.
com/, that describes its “nonmuseum approach” to creating
“a kind of ‘memory palace’ for the nerd-inclined [to] help …
piece together the amazing story of the invention of personal
computing and Cyberspace.”
March + April 2008