A look in my HCI bookshelf


Please note that this list was last updated in March 1997. There are some more recent recommendations in the field of interaction design in the interaction design bookshelf.

This list contains 61 books, some periodicals and one suggested launch pad for electronic resources in HCI.

Web resources





Adler, P., Winograd, T. (eds, 1992) Usability: Turning technologies into tools. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

This book, which came out of a 1990 seminar on the effects of technology on future work, contains seven chapters on usability from a work perspective. The presentation is broader than the traditional HCI notion of usability in that it entails the development of whole systems, including their effects on work and the changing work conditions. The book is very useful as an illustration of what the field of information systems development can contribute to HCI.

Baecker, R., Buxton, W. (eds, 1987) Readings in human-computer interaction: A multidisciplinary approach. Los Altos: Morgan Kaufmann.

A collection of the most important scientific papers within HCI up to 1987. By illustrating the scope and coverage of HCI research, it is a useful introduction to HCI as a scientific field.

Baecker, R., Grudin, J., Buxton, W., Greenberg, S. (eds, 1995) Readings in human-computer interaction: Toward the year 2000. Second edition. San Francisco: Morgan Kaufmann.

An excellent collection of scientific HCI papers that, at the time of writing (March -96), feels current and relevant. The coverage of the field is very good; I particularly like that there are some hints on the relations between HCI and systems development. The editorial introductions to every part provide very useful overviews and many references beyond the readings in the book. The main drawback is that most papers are reprinted from the original sources, sometimes with fairly low print quality, which makes some of the pictures less valuable.

Barfield, L. (1993) The user interface: Concepts and design. Wokingham, UK: Addison-Wesley.

This book is aimed at interaction designers to be, and intends to offer a suitable set of tools for thought: concepts, notations and some basic values. The structure is unusual in the sense that it starts with general design and gradually focuses on interactive computer systems, but it covers much of the contents found in conventional HCI books. The author is very good at finding examples for his ideas and writes in a readable and accessible way. I think the book would work very well in an introductory course if empirically oriented methods and exercises are addressed on the side.

Bias, R., Mayhew, D. (eds, 1994) Cost-justifying usability. Boston: Academic Press.

Financial justification for usability work is the topic of this collection. Several examples of cost-benefit analyses are presented, where the authors demonstrate numerous ways of calculating the costs and revenues of usability activities in systems development. There are also chapters on the economy of reuse, suggested designs for tools supporting financial analysis, and discussions of how usability work can be introduced into a development organization. The quality of the contributions is variable, but the book can nevertheless be recommended to anybody looking for arguments in favor of usability work.

Booth, P. (1989) An introduction to human-computer interaction. London: Lawrence Erlbaum.

A introductory textbook covering interaction principles and techniques as well as cognitive models, usability and usability-oriented development approaches. The level of description is fairly superficial, which means that the book serves as a useful introduction but hardly as a resource for deeper studies.

Borenstein, N. (1991) Programming as if people mattered. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

This book was written by a programmer who has learnt about user interface design by making all the mistakes. It contains many amusing stories about failed designs, and there is also an excellent discussion of the conceptual differences between user-oriented design and software engineering.

Card, S., Moran, T., Newell, A. (1983) The psychology of human-computer interaction. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

This is a milestone in psychology-based HCI. It describes a cognitive model of human expert interaction with computers and illustrates how it can be used to explain and predict behavior. Household concepts like GOMS and the keystroke level model all have their origins here.

Casey, S. (1993) Set phasers on stun --- And other true tales of design, technology and human error. Santa Barbara: Aegean Publishing Company.

The author, an experienced human factors consultant, has collected 18 true stories about the sometimes horrible effects of human-technology misfit. Some of the stories are about computer systems, whereas others address aircraft, buildings and medical technology. The stories are written in a readable, journalistic style and make very good material for anybody who wants to make the case that HCI is important.

Collins, D. (1995) Designing object-oriented user interfaces. Redwood City, CA: Benjamin Cummings.

There is currently a lot of talk about the need to integrate HCI with systems development and software engineering, but this is one of the first books to give it an honest try. The author rightly points out that object-oriented development models are very suitable for the analysis and construction of object-oriented user interfaces. He covers basic HCI knowledge, some systems analysis and a fair amount of user interface programming (in Smalltalk and C++). The listing and discussion of different classes of metaphors for object-oriented user interface is a particularly interesting feature. To be useful in teaching and practice, this book should be complemented with some literature on usability-oriented methods, and specifically usability evaluation.

Cooper, A. (1995) About face: The essentials of user interface design. Foster City, CA: IDG Books Worldwide.

This is an exhaustive discussion of graphical user-interface design, particularly oriented towards Windows. The author starts from a work-oriented perspective on computer use and demonstrates how a graphical user-interface can be designed to support productivity and learning on different levels. Interaction techniques and widgets are dealt with in detail and the vocabulary introduced by the author should be very useful. There are also some significant ideas of wider scope, such as re-designing file systems, using animation in the interface, and endowing programs with memory. The writing style is easy-going and sometimes a bit colloquial, but the book is very accessible and generously illustrated. The author consistently writes as a designer rather than a usability expert, something that is sorely needed in the HCI field. On the whole, the book should be very valuable for interaction designers who need to build up their graphical user-interface repertoire.

Cox, K., Walker, D. (1993) User-interface design. Second edition. New York: Prentice Hall.

This is an introductory textbook for practically oriented HCI courses. It is firmly based in a systems development perspective and covers topics such as usability testing, dialogue design and user documentation. Each chapter has a rich set of exercises, some of which are very good.

Diaper, D. (1990) Task analysis for human-computer interaction. Chichester: Ellis Horwood.

This is a good example of the formal task analysis tradition within HCI. The techniques presented in the book are accessible and presumably useful, if they are combined with a more comprehensive systems development model.

Dix, A., Finlay, J., Abowd, G., Beale, R. (1993) Human-computer interaction. New York: Prentice Hall.

An ambitious attempt to write a comprehensive textbook, starting with discussions of humans, computers and interaction from an HCI perspective. It moves on to nine chapters on different aspects of the usability-oriented development process and closes with a number of advanced topics (multimedia, CSCW, etc). On the whole a useful book, but I find it incoherent in places. Also, I personally think that the authors overestimate the role and value of formal methods.

Downton, A. (ed, 1991) Engineering the human-computer interface. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill.

Being a collection of chapters written by British HCI experts, it obviously lacks the coherence of a regular textbook. On the other hand, the scope and coverage is considerable. For example, there are chapters of applied psychological research and knowledge analysis that would not be expected in a textbook. The core areas of HCI are also covered decently. Appended are two very detailed case studies of usability evaluations, something that an interested student may find very useful.

Dumas, J., Redish, J. (1993) A practical guide to usability testing. Norwood, NJ: Ablex.

You wouldn't believe that there is so much to know about usability testing. The authors use 24 chapters and close to 400 pages to discuss what usability is, how to plan and perform an evaluation and how to use the results most efficiently. The book is full of practical hints and the authors share generously of their experience in the field. I think that the book will be extremely useful to the reader who has understood the purpose and ideas of usability work and is about to get started. However, it is hardly usable as a standalone textbook since it does not cover the alternatives to usability testing.

Gardiner, M., Christie, B. (eds, 1987) Applying cognitive psychology to user-interface design. Chichester: John Wiley.

There are numerous books on psychology and other behavioral and social sciences of relevance for HCI. When this one was written, it was distinctive in that the authors tried to focus on the relations between psychology and user interface design. The result is a survey of relevant psychological knowledge and a set of design guidelines derived from that knowledge. In that respect, it is similar to Mayhew (1992).

Greenbaum, J., Kyng, M. (eds, 1991) Design at work: Cooperative design of computer systems. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

This is an excellent collection of practical techniques and methods within the systems development philosophy known as participatory design. Considering the increasing interest in socially oriented development approaches within HCI, this book can be recommended as a resource for the practically oriented. Schuler and Namioka (1993) offers a more extensive treatment of the philosophy of participatory design and other broader issues.

Helander, M. (ed, 1988) Handbook of human-computer interaction. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

This is a voluminous collection of articles addressing various aspects of HCI. It contains a total of 52 chapters, written by renowned experts in the respective fields and covering everything from input/output devices to psychosocial and work-related issues. The book is a very useful reference source but probably not something that you would read from front to back.

Hix, D., Hartson, H. (1993) Developing user interfaces. Ensuring usability through product and process. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Most textbooks in the field are focused either on design guidelines or on development processes. The authors of this book attempt to cover both. The first part is a good summary of design primitives on different levels, together with rules for their use. The second part covers a usability engineering approach. A common example is used throughout the second part, and practical notations for design and evaluation are introduced. In my opinion, the book as a whole is useful for teaching and for practical use.

Jirotka, M., Goguen, P. (eds, 1994) Requirements engineering --- Social and technical issues. London: Academic Press.

Understanding user requirements is obviously a crucial prerequisite for building the right system, and not merely building the system right. That is why requirements engineering is important for HCI. This book contains articles on social as well as technical aspects of requirements work which makes it a valuable addition to the literature within software engineering, where social issues are sometimes overlooked. The book plays an important part in the increasing integration between technologists and social scientists.

Landauer, T. (1995) The trouble with computers: Usefulness, usability and productivity. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

The first part of the book describes the productivity paradox of IT, i.e., the disturbing observation that the use of computers does not boost industrial productivity to the levels one might have expected. The author's suggested cure is user-centered systems development, aiming at achieving usefulness and usability. The logic is obviously not conclusive but the book can still be seen as a very well-written motivation for HCI and usability-oriented work. The author's descriptions of development methods and approaches are very good, particularly the pieces that address how to deal with different kinds of evaluation data.

Lansdale, M., Ormerod, T. (1994) Understanding interfaces: A handbook of human-computer dialogue. London: Academic Press.

As the title suggests, the authors work from the perspective of human-computer interaction as dialogue. They address what human capabilities are needed and used in the dialogue with the computer, what properties the computer must have, different dialogue styles etc. The whole book is based in psychology and demonstrates in a useful way what applied psychology in HCI can be about. Unfortunately, the concluding part of the book addresses design and evaluation in a superficial and not very convincing way. The most obvious problems are that the discussion is limited to the user interface and not relevant for practical and professional contexts.

Laurel, B. (ed, 1990) The art of human-computer interface design. Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley.

A collection of articles by different authors that makes up one of the first examples of a design perspective on HCI. The book has recommendations and reflections on how to deal with the design process, along with visionary statements and many examples of interaction design that was pretty innovative when the book came out. Generally stimulating reading, and a valuable complement to the more analytical and evaluation-oriented HCI literature.

Laurel, B. (1993) Computers as theatre. Wokingham, UK: Addison-Wesley.

The basic assumption of this book is that the notions of user interface and computers-as-tools is unnecessarily limiting. Instead, we should think of computers as arenas for human activity. Based on dramatic theory, the author develops a number of design principles that mainly address communication, agents and use experience. The book is highly relevant for readers who want to think about virtual realities and other new directions in human-computer interaction. However, it is obviously hard to apply the new ideas to contemporary (tool-oriented) computing: the examples presented by the author mainly address computer games and some information presentation.

Lewis, C., Rieman, J. (1993) Task-centered user interface design --- A practical introduction. Shareware book, available by anonymous ftp from ftp.cs.colorado.edu.

A very useful and readable introductory text which covers many important topics within the framework of practically applicable design techniques. The treatment of theory-based evaluation, for instance, is very good and hard to find in other books. There is also an interesting discussion of US copyright legislation and its implications for user interface design.

Lindgaard, G. (1994) Usability testing and system evaluation. London: Chapman & Hall.

In spite of the title, this book offers a fairly broad presentation of empirical data collection and analysis in general. Most of the techniques are focused on usability data, but there are also discussions of interviews and questionnaires to use in early phases of systems development. It may be interesting for HCI people with a technical background that the author describes formal (psychological) experimental methods in an accessible and useful way. On the whole, the book feels more like a reference than a textbook, even though it appears to have been written with a pedagogical intention.

Löwgren, J. (1993) Human-computer interaction --- What every system developer should know. Lund: Studentlitteratur.

This is a superficial introduction to HCI from a development process perspective. A basic discussion of individual and organizational user traits is followed by chapters on usability specification and evaluation, design, prototyping and implementation. The book is written as a dialogue between a teacher and a student, a style that some readers appreciate and others find irritating.

Marcus, A. (1992) Graphic design for electronic documents and user interfaces. New York: ACM Press.

With the growth of graphical user interfaces, graphic design has become increasingly important in HCI. This book covers basic principles and techniques for graphic design in the context of user interfaces, including topics such as layout, typography, symbols and color. There is also a comparative analysis of five of the most popular graphical user interface environments.

Mayhew, D. (1992) Principles and guidelines in software user interface design. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

The author does a very good job of demonstrating the relations between psychological HCI research and practical design guidelines. The research survey has an impressive coverage and the presentation works well. The reader can choose to trust the guidelines and apply them directly, or easily find the background and rationale for specific design rules. In that sense, the book is similar to Gardiner and Christie (1987) but it is much more current in its coverage of modern interaction techniques such as direct manipulation. The contents are organized around different interaction techniques and facilitates informed design choices based on an understanding of the users and their work. To me, the closing chapter on development methodology feels regrettably superficial and out of place, but I guess it may provide some context for the design guidelines that form the main part of the book.

Monk, A., Wright, P., Haber, J., Davenport, L. (1993) Improving your human-computer interface: A practical technique. Hemel Hempstead: Prentice Hall.

This short and concise book describes a usability evaluation method called Cooperative Evaluation: basically an empirical test with representative users doing representative tasks. The data collected concern unexpected user behavior, mistakes and comments. The method is aimed at identifying major usability problems in prototypes in a cost-efficient way. The book combines rationale for the method with useful how-to information in a very good way, and also covers experimental validations of the method. All in all, I think the book should be very useful for professionals as well as for educational use.

Moran, T., Carroll, J. (eds, 1996) Design rationale: Concepts, techniques and use. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

The notion of structuring and capturing design processes is attractive for many reasons, and quite a few notations and methods have been proposed. Unfortunately, it turns out that they may be hard to apply in practice, for technical as well as organizational reasons. This book provides a good overview of the most prominent approaches in the field of design rationale, how they are used and how they work individually and organizationally. About half of the chapters are written for the book and the rest are reprints of "classic" articles.

Mullet, K., Sano, D. (1995) Designing visual interfaces: Communication oriented techniques. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

This is an excellent and very useful presentation of graphic design aspects of the user interface. The authors are firmly based in a view of visual design as effective communication, which means that they can easily relate the concepts and techniques they discuss to a common purpose. The book is more substantial, and possibly also more difficult, that Marcus (1992), but also much more rewarding.

Nardi, B. (ed, 1996) Context and consciousness: Activity theory and human-computer interaction. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

The search for alternatives to the traditional information processing paradigm is becoming more and more apparent within the behavioral science parts of HCI. One such alternative is activity theory, a developmental framework that has been explored and refined for a long time in the former Soviet Union. This book provides a good introduction to activity theory, presents a number of case studies to illustrate how the theory may be used to study human-computer interaction in practice, and finally outlines a number of promising directions. The book as a whole is readable and quite accessible, but not superficial. Particularly interesting to me is the focus on real use situations that activity theory implies.

Newman, W., Lamming, M. (1995) Interactive system design. Harlow, England: Addison-Wesley.

Thanks to the choice of contemporary examples, this textbook for academic HCI courses has an up-to-date feel to it. It applies solid psychological theory to the context of developing interactive systems in a very good way. The presentation is coherent and there are several strong points, for instance the discussion of use-oriented requirement formulation, verification and validation in the context of specification-driven processes. Moreover, I found the chapters on designing conceptual models very clear and useful. The book covers many of the established methods and notations in usability-oriented systems development but perhaps not always to the level of detail needed for standalone use.

Nielsen, J. (1993) Usability engineering. San Diego: Academic Press.

The author of this book has become known for his work on discount usability techniques. Here, he describes usability evaluation methods and some design trends with a view towards professional software production. The opening chapter, where usability work is motivated in a most convincing way, and the rich bibliography are among the most valuable parts of the book.

Nielsen, J., Mack, R. (eds, 1994) Usability inspection methods. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Inspection methods refer to techniques whereby the usability of a system can be assessed without employing the future users. The best known inspection method is probably heuristic evaluation, but as this book shows, there is a wide variety of alternatives: reviews, psychological models, and so on. In addition to introducing different methods, the bok offers comparative discussions of their merits and shortcomings and relations to empirical (user-based) methods.

Norman, D. (1988) The psychology of everyday things. New York: Basic Books.

This is a charming book that is extremely popular among HCI teachers and students even though it does not address computers at all. Norman pulls his examples from our everyday use of technical artifacts, using phones and light switches to illustrate psychological theories of action, errors and memory. After reading the book, you typically realize that you have learnt a lot about design and users without noticing.

Norman, D. (1992) Turn signals are the facial expressions of automobiles. Reading, Mass: Addison-Wesley.

In the same spirit as The psychology of everyday things, Norman continues his discussion of everyday artifacts and problems in their use. Some of the chapters are more like standalone essays, for instance an interesting piece on the similarities between writing and design.

Norman, D. (1993) Things that make us smart. Reading: Addison-Wesley.

This is a very suitable followup on the two earlier books, which were mainly critiques of inadequate design of everyday things, in that it addresses more general issues in a more profound way. Different modes of thinking, the importance of representations, the possible neutrality of technology and possible future scenarios are some of the topics covered. Even though the contents are more demanding than in the previous books, the writing style is still very accessible and enjoyable.

Norman, D., Draper, S. (eds, 1986) User centered system design. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

In this collection, many established HCI researchers contribute their views. Even though it is starting to feel old, there is still a lot to be learnt. The scope of the book is considerable, with chapters covering users and their understandings of the interaction, information flow, the role of HCI in systems development and much more.

Olsen, D. (1992) User interface management systems: Models and algorithms. San Mateo: Morgan Kaufmann.

This is the first textbook solely devoted to support systems for user interface development, a field known as user interface management systems (UIMS). The author covers the classical techniques and the development of the field towards more modern ideas, such as model-based UIMS, in a very good way.

Ottersten, I., Göranson, H. (1993) Objektorienterad systemutveckling med COOL-metoden [Object-oriented systems development using the COOL method]. Lund: Studentlitteratur. In Swedish.

This is not really a proper HCI book, but I include it anyway because it illustrates a modern systems development method with a strong focus on usability and user needs. It is particularly interesting to note how usability issues shape the method in terms of relations between work design and user interface design, and in the project management model that tries to deal with fluctuating user requirements. The user interface design part of the method is sloppy in some minor respects, but the book still has something valuable to say about the intersection between HCI and systems development (compare Collins, 1995). Apologies to non-Swedish readers.

Preece, J., Keller, L. (eds, 1990) Human-computer interaction: Selected readings. Hemel Hempstead: Prentice Hall.

A collection of scientific HCI articles that has been used in HCI courses at the Open University. The selection is generally good and covers individual psychology-based HCI very well. However, organizational aspects of HCI are generally lacking and some of the articles could have been replaced with more recent material.

Preece, J., Rogers, Y., Sharp, H., Benyon, D., Holland, S., Carey, T. (1994) Human-computer interaction. Wokingham: Addison-Wesley.

This is probably the most ambitious and exhaustive HCI textbook available today. It contains more or less everything considered to belong to HCI, presented in a pedagogical format with many exercises, questions and discussion topics. I particularly like the decision by the authors to integrate computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW), multimedia and similar techniques with general HCI contexts throughout the book rather than presenting them in separate chapters. The short interviews with celebrities in the field of HCI is an amusing detail that adds a more personal feeling to the material. A downside is that the ambition to cover everything has made the authors mention a few topics without discussing them to any significant depth.

Redmond-Pyle, D., Moore, A. (1995) Graphical user interface design and evaluation: A practical process. London: Prentice Hall.

The author presents a development process, Guide, intended for professional development of graphical user interfaces. Guide is based on established techniques for user and task analysis, usability specification, design, prototyping and evaluation. The nice thing about it is that the techniques are carefully integrated into a coherent usability engineering method, well tested and presented skillfully. The Guide method on the whole appears credible and accessible to me. Some additional advantages of the book are that it emphasizes the importance of object-centered design and of putting usability work into the bigger picture of systems development.

Schuler, D., Namioka, A. (eds, 1993) Participatory design: Principles and practices. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

This is a survey of philosophies, techniques and case studies that illustrate and, to some extent, explain the growing interest in participatory design within HCI. The contributors are basically uncritical to the approach, except for the issue of how generally applicable participatory design can be said to be. Several chapters discuss the Scandinavian origins of the approach and the differences compared to the US, for instance in terms of different views on working life and co-determination.

Shneiderman, B. (1992) Designing the user interface. Second edition. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.

This book is fairly ambitious in its approach and covers large parts of the HCI area. The main emphasis, however, is on interaction principles and techniques, and on a development perspective on user interfaces. The second edition features computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW) and information retrieval, and a few good closing remarks on the social and individual implications of information technology.

Smith, S., Mosier, J. (1986) Guidelines for designing user interface software. Report ESD-TR-86-278, Mitre Corp., Bedford, Mass.

Guidelines for user interface design are probably not the first choice for leisure reading, but it can nevertheless be important to know what has been done. Smith and Mosier is the standard reference, compiling knowledge from hundreds of sources into 944 design rules. It is starting to suffer from its age, however: much of the material is old and modern interaction techniques such as direct manipulation are only addressed briefly.

Thimbleby, H. (1990) User interface design. New York: ACM Press.

This is a strange mixture of design issues, formal methods, problems in computer science, interaction models and mathematics, well stirred and served with a side order of HCI. The author moves between topics that you would expect to be very far apart and shows that they are all in some way related to the interaction between human and computer.

Thomas, P. (ed, 1995) The social and interaction dimensions of human-computer interfaces. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

There is a clear trend within HCI from classical, psychological perspectives, focusing on the interaction between one user and one computer, towards larger social and organizational contexts. This collection illustrates the trend quite well. Most of the contributions are on sociology and its possible roles within HCI: some present sociologically oriented design methods (typically based on ethnography), others are more argumentative pieces that discuss the social dimensions of HCI on the abstract level. The scope of the collection is wide, and it may seem unstructured at times, but the odds are that most readers find something of interest.

Tognazzini, B. (1992) Tog on interface. Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley.

This book was written by one of the leading architects behind Apple's user interface design, that was popularized with the Macintosh. Tognazzini has answered reader questions for several years in Apple Direct, a magazine for developers on Apple platforms. This book is a collection of the most interesting questions and answers, together with some new material. It is a lot of fun to read, and you also learn quite a bit about user interface design.

Tognazzini, B. (1996) Tog on software design. Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley.

This one is mostly about the Sun Starfire project (an envisionment of computer use in the year 2004), how it was developed and what we can learn from it. It also discusses users and usability, the role of the designer in systems development, and more. I find the parts about future computing very good: inspiring, credible and full of good values that other designers and aspiring designers can learn a lot from. It would perhaps have been better if the book had been a bit more focused, since I find some of the parts on users and use contexts to be rather sweeping and sometimes oversimplified. The style of the book is very informal and entertaining, on occasion too informal: the message disappears behind the author's presence.

Treu, S. (1994) User interface design --- A structured approach. New York: Plenum.

This is certainly a structured approach. The author dsecribes design as a decision function with a number of variables (knowledge of users, classes of applications, etc) that generates design solutions. Each of the parts of the function are described in detail, with lots of models, tables and causal relations. Design of adaptive systems and other interaction paradigms is covered fairly exhaustively. However, the approach is not related at all to systems development or software engineering. Even though the structured approach may be a good way to cover and tie together large quantities of relevant knowledge, it is not much fun to read.

Treu, S. (1994) User interface evaluation --- A structured approach. New York: Plenum.

This is the companion to the above book, and it is just as structured. Evaluation is seen as a scientific or engineering activity, aimed at assessing the efficiency of the interaction and the fit between human and computer. Numerous models and tables are presented in order to cover as much relevant knowledge as possible. The main drawbacks to me are that the author only addresses evaluation of implemented systems, and that the relations to systems development are missing here as well.

Waern, Y. (1989) Cognitive aspects of computer supported tasks. Chichester: John Wiley.

The book is based on cognitive psychology and the first part can be read as a primer on human cognitive and perceptive abilities. This basis is then used to discuss HCI from an outside perspective, which means that the book has a certain persistent value. Even though text editors (the white rats of HCI research!) are not very exciting in terms of interaction techniques, they give rise to pedagogically useful discussions if the intention is to illustrate the underlying theory.

Wagner, E. (1994) System interface design --- A broader perspective. Lund: Studentlitteratur.

This is a very ambitious book that covers a bit of everything from anthropometry and the physical function of the eye all the way up to organizational impact. The best part in my opinion is the thorough treatment of display design. Unfortunately, the title is misleading (it should rather be "Process control system interface design") and the book is full of typos and sloppy layout which can become distractive at times.

Wiklund, M. (ed, 1994) Usability in practice. New York: AP Professional.

A very valuable collection: eighteen case studies of usability work in professional practice. The settings are primarily consumer product development, software development and service delivery. All the studies are, understandably but regrettably from a knowledge transfer perspective, success stories. Some lack descriptions of preconditions, analyses of the results and the general grasp of qualitative study methodology. In spite of these shortcomings, the book should be required reading for anybody interested in professional HCI practice today.

Winograd, T. (ed, 1996) Bringing design to software. Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley.

In recent years (1995-6), there has been a markedly growing interest in design within the HCI community. This entails looking into the design professions such as graphic and media design as well as the notion of usability-oriented systems development as a design discipline. This book contains contributions from several of the pioneers within the design school of thought. As in all collections, the quality and contents are variable but some of the chapters strike me as very valuable. I personally appreciate the short profiles that present influential designs (The Xerox Star, KidPix, the spreadsheet, etc); paradigmatic exemplars ought to be just as important for us as they are in other design disciplines.

Wixon, D., Ramey, J. (eds, 1996) Field methods casebook for software design. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

The field of HCI has increasingly focused on the developers' understanding the whole situation where the system will be used. Such understanding requires field study. This book is about field study methods, and particulary qualitative methods using observation and semi-structured interviews. The book is a collection of chapters based on a CHI '95 workshop, where practitioners from different fields describe their experiences from field studies in usability-oriented systems development. Most of the chapters address contextual inquiry or some flavor of ethnographically inspired interviews. There is a lot of useful hands-on information and methodological inspiration. Some of the chapters are, of course, less valuable than others, but on the whole I think the book would be of interest for those who want to develop their field study skills.

Zetie, C. (1995) Practical user interface design: Making GUIs work. London: McGraw-Hill.

Already in the preface, the author explains that the book is intended for professional system developers without previous HCI knowledge but with an urge to build "extraordinary" systems. The contents are well suited for such an audience and very well presented, with many examples and practical hints. The book starts with a brief overview of psychological foundations, and then moves into metaphors and conceptual models, taskflow, dialog design, detailed user interface design and error and help messages. It is limited to business-oriented standard GUI, which means lots of forms and dialog boxes and very little true direct manipulation. This is not necessarily bad, given the intended audience. However, what I do think is bad is the absence of usability testing. A good idea might be to read Dumas and Redish (1993) as a complement.





ACM Transactions on human-computer interaction. New York: ACM Press, 1994-.

This is a fairly recently started journal, intended to be the main source of archival scientific publication in HCI. Most of the contributions will probably be fairly traditional and uncontroversial, which may be good or bad. The TOCHI, as it is called, is certainly an excellent resource for keeping up with mainstream HCI research.

Human-computer interaction. Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlbaum, ISSN 9737-0024, 1985-.

A well established HCI journal with high scientific standards, focusing on behavioral science. Technical contributions are quite unusual.

Interacting with computers. Guildford: Butterworths, ISSN 0953-5438, 1989-.

This is the journal of the British Computer Society Special Interest Group for HCI. The editorial policy is to encourage interdisciplinary and applied work. Many interesting articles are published here, but the scientific standards are variable.

interactions. New York: ACM Press, 1994-.

A recent magazine from ACM, similar to Byte and other more practically oriented publications but focused on HCI. The typography is quite up to date, compared to traditional scientific journals, and the contents are oriented towards user interface design and HCI in practice.

International journal of human-computer studies. London: Academic Press, ISSN 0020-7373, 1975-.

IJHCS is an old journal that started in human factors and man-machine interaction but gradually moved into HCI and knowledge-based systems. It was previously called the International Journal of Man-Machine Studies, but changed its name in 1994 to reflect the new orientation. The scientific standards are quite high.

SIGCHI Bulletin. New York: ACM Press, ISSN 0736-6906.

This is the newsletter of the ACM Special Interest Group for HCI, containing a pleasant mix of HCI news, conference information, and research papers. Submissions are reviewed editorially but there is no formal peer review, which means that the scientific standards of the publications are variable.

Sometimes, you can also find HCI-related articles in more general journals, such as ACM Transactions on information systems, Behaviour & information technology, Communications of the ACM, IEEE Computer and IEEE Software.




CHI: Human factors in computing systems (CHI proceedings). New York: ACM Press, 1982-.

CHI is the biggest and most important conference within HCI. It is held in late April or early May every year in the US (except for 1993, when it was held in Amsterdam) and has consistently attracted over 2 000 delegates in the recent years. It covers all aspects of HCI, from the softest user study to the hardest technology.

HCI International: International conference on human-computer interaction. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 1988-.

HCI International is also very big but is considered inferior to CHI in terms of quality. There are more papers in human factors and ergonomics here than at CHI.

INTERACT: Proceedings of the IFIP TC 13 international conference on human-computer interaction. Amsterdam: North-Holland, 1984-.

INTERACT is the largest European HCI conference. It has been held triannually and recently biannually (1984, 87, 90, 93, 95) in different European cities and publishes contributions within the whole HCI field. The quality of the contributions may be slightly variable at times, but is generally considered as quite good.

UIST: Proceedings of the ACM SIGGRAPH symposium on user interface software and technology. New York: ACM Press, 1988-.

UIST is a fairly small symposium focused on technology for user interfaces. It is held in October or November in the US and usually attracts 2-300 delegates. The quality of the contributions was variable in the first years, but now UIST is considered a first-rate forum for technically oriented HCI research.

In addition to these four, there are several smaller HCI conferences, such as the Symposium on Human Interface in Japan, HCI in England and the ergonomically oriented Work With Display Units (WWDU). Moreover, there are sometimes HCI sessions in other conferences: OOPSLA (object-oriented programming systems, languages and applications), SIGGRAPH (computer graphics), CSCW (computer supported cooperative work), PDC (participatory design) and Office information systems typically all contain something of interest for the student of HCI.


Web resources


It is, of course, impossible to provide an annotated bibliography of HCI resources on the Web. Nevertheless, some people try. One of the most comprehensive collections to date is HCI Resources on the Net, maintained by Mikael Ericsson at Linköping University. It offers links to people, organizations and companies in HCI, collections of documents and other material, hot topics such as HCI theses in progress and job offers, and much more. There are also links to other, similar resource collections. Basically, it is a good starting point for exploring HCI-related material on the Web.