While computer software has become an intrinsic part of our everyday lives, it all too often fails to meet our true needs, or is difficult to use.
Accordingly, terms like 'usability' and 'interface design' - the art of ensuring a smooth interaction between human and artifact - have become the new buzzwords of the software industry. But what does this focus on user-centered design by web agencies and software companies actually entail? Is user-centered software design characterized by unity and homogeneity, for example, or by diversity and heterogeneity? Which remedies are available to us for redressing usability problems with software?
These are the kinds of questions asked and answered in this book, in the course of six talks conducted by the author with seven distinguished software professionals. The wide-ranging conversations demonstrate how the issue of usability goes far beyond merely designing an appropriate user interface, and that it involves not only organizational and strategic considerations, but also our overall approach to technology and society.
'Software Design & Usability' is not primarily a theoretical book. The author's as well as the participants' engagement and practical experience ensure a lively debate, informing practitioners and researchers alike. The book is mainly aimed at students and practitioners involved in the fast-growing fields of user-centered software design and human-computer interaction, but it will also be relevant to anyone involved in related disciplines such as the philosophy of technology, computer science and psychology. [via]