Customer Review

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Singular reflections on the state and future of interaction, 17 Mar 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Humane Interface: New Directions for Designing Interactive Systems (Paperback)
This book is both intriguing and arresting along a number of different dimensions. From the outset it is presented as one man's views, some idiosyncratic, of where things have gone wrong, and how things can be put right, in principle. It attempts to develop and assess a methodology (more of a series of heuristics)for human computer interaction by grounding the fundamental principles in aspects of cognitive theory, philosophy and even aesthetics. While many other texts recount the mechanics of HCI very directly, Raskin's reflections approach the various issues indirectly. Given the author's experience one would expect it to be a very competent text, but it goes beyond that and becomes a critical text with its own internal dialectic. And this is its major interest and significance - at times it reads as if assembled by a contintental philosopher of textual analysis. Raskin's central tenet is that interaction is more subtle than we have allowed for, and he sets off producing several singular examples of very poor design to illustrate the point. Peculiarly for a book that is clearly ergonomic in orientation and emphasis, it really only focuses on the GOMS model as the main method for pyschometric assessment of an interface. Also the book does not lay out a stall of the various task analysis methodologies that have evolved over the past twenty years. The book is not a 'how to' manual rather it is is an attempt at a 'philosophy of how to'. At this juncture, with increasing emphasis on multimodal interfaces,Raskin's book may be that bit more useful in the long run than the many alternatives.
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3.7 out of 5 stars (3 customer reviews)
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