Human Computer Interface

One of the people who helped get me into computers (although he thought I was helping him write a thesis on Human-Computer Interaction) was Siôn J Lewis, and I still owe him a big thank-you, as those few months of discussion and research led me to the aspect of library work that I became a semi-specialist in…

 

Communicating with technophobes

I work quite hard at achieving clarity in emails, briefing sheets, and training notes (as I work with quite a few technophobes, who would love it if the libraries still worked with little brown cards in envelopes, rather than computers) – without talking down to people (as quite a few other staff love the computer age).

At the same time, even with screen grabs and not too many words, many people find it hard to transfer learning from paper to screen. 

Right now I intend to take a training to learn remote tutoring – Net Trainers – so it seems relevant to reconsider how material gets delivered over the net.

Cardiff Council have started offering training supplements through the Learning Pool – and some of the things they link to are FREE external sites that anyone can use.

These ‘In Pictures’ tutorials seem particularly impressive for their clarity and ‘friendliness, and they are FREE! (really)  They cover Office software, Dreamweaver, etc.

The technical aspect of webpage building interests me a little, but people do not need to know a lot of that stuff to get up a basic page.  With WYSIWIG systems like Blogger you don’t need geek know-how to make a presentable page. 

At this point, the way the content is laid out, and highlighted, indeed the way it is written, even, becomes more important. Especially if one considers accessibility issues for people with disabilities, or who don’t have English as a first language, or are simply in a hurry!

 

Clear and simple design and content

  •  Web Writing that Works – in contrast to paper-based writing.  
  • Web Page Usability – as opposed to designers’ fantasies  (Steve Krug also writes books, like “Don’t Make Me Think”)  
  • Why Things don’t Work  – A very humorous site about the serious matter of the design of everyday objects – ‘user error’ is often better described as ‘designer error’.   (Donald Norman also writes amusing books): The Design of Everyday Objects

  • The Invisible Computer
    Why Good Products Can Fail, the Personal Computer Is So Complex,

    and Information Appliances Are the Solution

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