Getting Ready for Sessions #23 & 24 (December 2 & 4, 1996)
At least implicit and sometimes explicit in our consideration of orienting perspectives, representation, and classification has been a concern with display. For instance, knowing something about the human information processing system gives us some hints about display principles. Knowing something about user requirements and task/situational requirements may help us in identifying requirements and constraints. Representation is important because if "it" isn't there in an appropriate format, "it" can't be displayed. Classification or establishing authority through conceptual structure (e.g., hierarchy, facets, relationships), and the specification of descriptors (vocabulary control) potentially provides a device for bridging the gap between objects of various sorts and the people who wish to use those objects or their surrogates.
In the little bit of time we have to explicitly devote to what I consider to be a fascinating issue, I hope to whet your interest and stimulate your appetite. Other courses, especially User Interface Design, further consider display principles and issues.
Norman, D.A. (1993). Things that make us smart : defending human attributes in the age of the machine. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley. [T14 .N67 1993] Fitting the representation to the person (pp. 102-113), stamp machine (pp. 237-239), and rabbit (pp. 241-242)
I think these are just fun. They also raise some important display issues.