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Naming the thing & Task Model

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  • Martha Lindeman
    Hi All, I had gone back to lurking, but these two posts brought me out again. Martha Lindeman, Ph.D. President, Agile Interactions, Inc., Columbus, Ohio, USA
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 26, 2005
      Hi All,

      I had gone back to lurking, but these two posts brought me out again.

      Martha Lindeman, Ph.D.
      President, Agile Interactions, Inc., Columbus, Ohio, USA

      >Message: 8
      > Date: Fri, 25 Feb 2005 11:19:46 -0500
      > From: "Larry Constantine" <lconstantine@...>
      >Subject: RE: Naming the thing (was "user centered design overlaps with traditional analysis?)
      >...
      >
      >I am increasingly convinced that mainstream user-centered design has drifted
      >off target, although I get brickbats every time I dare to suggest this in
      >public. I did stick my neck out recently in the Cutter IT Journal in a
      >provocative article called "Beyond User-Centered Design"
      >(http://www.cutter.com/offers/userdesign.html).
      >
      >--Larry Constantine, IDSA
      > Chief Scientist | Constantine & Lockwood Ltd | www.foruse.com
      >
      Thanks for speaking out! I thought the same thing years ago when I read
      an article in one of the first few issues of /Interactions/, which is
      why I started a separate path by creating the GAINS^sm design process. I
      prefer to not be the target of those throwing "brickbats," so I have
      been choosing to quietly go my own way.

      For anyone who is interested, I did a talk at the XPColumbus (as in
      eXtreme Programming) group this week, and they asked to post both my
      talk and the architectural design document I just finished for the
      OpenOffice bibliographic project. They do not have a direct link -- the
      documents are under "Meetings" and then "February 23, 2005" at
      http://www.cardinalsolutions.com/XP/. For those of you on this list who
      suggested that I write a book on UI design, these two documents are the
      beginning. One reason I volunteered as the GUI architect on OOoBib was
      to create a set of real-project examples that could be published (i.e.,
      not covered by non-disclosure agreements). Thanks much for encouraging me!

      >Message: 1
      > Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2005 15:14:18 -0500
      > From: "Larry Constantine" <lconstantine@...>
      >Subject: RE: Re: Re: Task model => User Interface ... Through task (esential use) cases?
      >
      >Agustin,
      >
      >Of course, there is no simple algorithmic test, but here is how I view it.
      >An essential use case is "ready" when four things are true.
      >
      >(1) It is expressed at an approprate level of abstraction. It is abstract
      >and generalized but still specific to the particular task case and the
      >application being designed. In other words, it is not "unsuitably vague."
      >("Expressing needs" as a user intention is unsuitably vague; "specifying
      >kinds of entertainment is of interest" is not.)
      >
      >(2) It is technology- and implementation-independent. It has been purged of
      >all technological or implementation terms and of all references, explicit or
      >implicit, to specific solutions. This includes hidden assumptions in such
      >technology-oriented words as "list" (implies a list of items). Seemingly
      >innocent common words like "search" often carry implied baggage. (A user may
      >intend to "find" or "get" or "identify" something, but "search" is a
      >specific technology solution, not a user intention. The moment you use the
      >word, it becomes all but impossible not to visualize a search box with a
      >"go" button.)
      >
      >
      "Search" is a user intention in the context of the three levels of
      specificity for 'finding' or 'getting' something. From specific to
      general, a user may intend to "obtain" a specific item, "search" for a
      limited set of items within the available set, or "browse" the entire
      available set. Differentiating among these three types of user
      intentions has been very useful since the 1980's when I started
      designing user interactions.
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