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<p>Computer-human interfaces are a Rorschach test for their designers-their inner views and biases are unconsciously reflected in the types of user interfaces they construct. There is no "best" way to design a user interface. Interface designers must be aware that a user interface can be based on any of several models, that each model has its advantages, and that their job is to choose the approach most suitable for the project at hand. Two principal approaches are the engineering model and the user-task model. In general, an interface based on the engineering model allows full access to the system's capabilities, whereas an interface based on the user-task model is easier to learn and use but provides access to only a subset of the system capabilities. This article examines the models underlying computer-human interface designs by considering a wide variety of systems, including many from areas outside of computing. These noncomputer examples can be instructive because they are simpler and thus clearer. They also provide some helpful detachment and perspective for those of us who are immersed in computers. </p>
Jonathan Grudin, Donald R. Gentner, "Design Models for Computer-Human Interfaces", Computer, vol. 29, no. , pp. 28-35, June 1996, doi:10.1109/2.507629
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