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Topic: Human Computer Interaction

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  • Security & Human Factors

    November 26, 2000

    A big lie of computer security is that security improves as password complexity increases. In reality, users simply write down difficult passwords, leaving the system vulnerable. Security is better increased by designing for how people actually behave.

    Why Doc Searls Doesn't Sell Any Books

    August 6, 2000

    Changing to a new fulfillment provider caused a website to lose all sales. Reason: lower usability. In the future, reputation managers and web wallets will even the playing field and remove Amazon's temporary advantage as the fulfillment provider of choice.

    2D is Better Than 3D

    November 15, 1998

    People are not frogs, making it difficult to navigate 3D computer spaces: stick to 2D for most navigation designs. Shun virtual reality gimmicks that distract from users' goals

    Does Internet = Web ?

    September 20, 1998

    Advanced functionality requires Internet-enabled client-server software with optimized user interfaces that cannot be delivered in a Web browser. Reserve the Web for hypertext and content features.

    The Java Ring: A Wearable Computer

    March 1, 1998

    The Java Ring, a piece of jewelry with 6 kilobytes of RAM, represented an early step towards computers that integrate into our physical environment.

    The Need for Speed

    March 1, 1997

    All usability studies show that fast response times are essential for Web usability: let's believe the data for once! Advice for speeding up sites despite the fact that bandwidth is going down, not up.

    TV Meets the Web

    February 15, 1997

    Comparing the nature of the Web as a medium when accessed through television sets and when accessed through computers, concluding that the level of user engagement is a main differentiator

    WebTV Usability Review

    February 1, 1997

    Analysis of the usability of WebTV, including user interface guidelines for designing cross-platform Web pages that are considerate of WebTV users

    The Anti-Mac Interface

    August 1, 1996

    We reverse all of the core design principles behind the Macintosh human interface guidelines to arrive at the characteristics of the Internet desktop.

    The Death of File Systems

    February 1, 1996

    The file system has been a trusted part of most computers for many years, and will likely continue as such in operating systems for many more. However, several emerging trends in user interfaces indicate that the basic file-system model is inadequate to fully satisfy the needs of new users, despite the flexibility of the underlying code and data structures. Originally published as: 145. Nielsen, J. (1996). The impending demise of file systems. IEEE Software 13, 2 (March).

    Guidelines for Multimedia on the Web

    December 1, 1995

    Multimedia is gaining popularity on the Web with several technologies to support use of animation, video, and audio to supplement the traditional media of text and images. These new media provide more design options but also require design discipline. Unconstrained use of multimedia results in user interfaces that confuse users and make it harder for them to understand the information. Not every webpage needs to bombard the user with the equivalent of Times Square in impressions and movement.

    How Much Bandwidth is Enough? A Tbps!

    November 1, 1995

    In the long term we will need about a million times more bandwidth than a T1, as shown by the following list of requirements for the perfect user interface.

    History has a Lesson for HotJava

    June 1, 1995

    Many users of the World Wide Web are unaware of the rich history of the hypertext field, and those who do not understand history are often doomed to repeat it. Case in point, the release of the Java language and the HotJava browser will probably mimic the events that followed the introduction of Hypercard in 1987.

    Coping with Information Overload

    February 1, 1995

    Chapter 8 from Jakob Nielsen's book, Multimedia and Hypertext: The Internet and Beyond, explores a variety of information retrieval strategies for dealing with the ever-increasing volume of information on the internet.

    The History of Hypertext

    February 1, 1995

    Chapter 3 from Jakob Nielsen's book, Multimedia and Hypertext, describes the major milestones for hypertext, the internet, and the world wide web, including Vannevar Bush's Memex and Doug Engelbart's landmark demo of the online system (NLS.)

    Summary of Usability Inspection Methods

    January 1, 1995

    Usability inspection is the generic name for a set of methods that are all based on having evaluators inspect a user interface. Typically, usability inspection is aimed at finding usability problems in the design, though some methods also address issues like the severity of the usability problems and the overall usability of an entire system.

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