Representations in Human-Computer Systems development.

Benyon, David (2002) Representations in Human-Computer Systems development. Cognition Technology & Work, 4 (3). 180 - 196. ISSN 1435-5558

Full text not available from this repository. (Request a copy)


When system developers design a computer system (or other information artefact), they must inevitably make judgements as to how to abstract the domain and how to represent this abstraction in their designs. Over the years human–computer interaction, or more generally information systems design, has had a history of developing competing methods and models for both the process and products of its development. Various paradigms have been suggested, often trying to keep pace with the changing nature of the design problem; from batch processing to interactive systems to work situations and
most recently to designing for household environments. It appears timely, then, to review the nature of the design problem that faces the developers of human–computer systems and to consider some of the impact that different representations and different conceptualisations may have on their activities. Green (1998) has suggested that a single model of developing human–computer systems is not desirable, instead arguing for a number of limited theories
each of which provides a useful perspective. The aim of this paper is to place competing methods side by side in order to see their strengths and weaknesses more clearly. The central tenet of the paper is that different views of both the human–computer system design process and the different abstractions, or models, that are produced during the design process have varying degrees of utility for designers. It is unlikely that any single method or modelling approach will be optimal in all circumstances. Designers need to be aware of the range of views that exist and of the impact that taking a particular approach may have on the design solution.

Item Type: Article
Print ISSN: 1435-5558
Electronic ISSN: 1435-5566
Related URLs:
Uncontrolled Keywords: Human-Computer Interaction; Information Systems Design; Computing; Review; Design approaches; Evaluation;
University Divisions/Research Centres: Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Creative Industries > School of Computing
Dewey Decimal Subjects: 100 Philosophy & psychology > 150 Psychology > 158 Applied psychology
000 Computer science, information & general works > 000 Computer science, knowledge & systems > 004 Data processing & computer science
Library of Congress Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Item ID: 1776
Depositing User: RAE Import
Date Deposited: 08 Apr 2008 14:37
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2013 10:29

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Edinburgh Napier University is a registered Scottish charity. Registration number SC018373