Information Users and Usability in the Digital Age

Macgregor, George (2012) Information Users and Usability in the Digital Age. [Review] (

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It is no accident that interest in human‐computer interaction (HCI) over recent decades has coincided with the proliferation of ICT, such that it has grown into a fully‐fledged sub‐discipline of the computer and information sciences and the behavioural sciences. The evolution of HCI reflects our need to better understand how humans and technology can interact in order to improve technological support for human activities. Perhaps the most active sub‐branch of HCI is usability; and it is this topic which forms the broad focus of Information Users and Usability in the Digital Age. The body of literature concerning usability is crowded, encompassing practitioner guides, student textbooks and research papers. Most usability principles and issues are admirably addressed by Shneiderman et al. (2009) or by Nielsen and Loranger (2006), the latter of whom was recently described by Businessweek as one of the world's most “influential designers” (Walters, 2010). Even older texts that communicate general usability principles, such as Nielsen's Usability Engineering (Nielsen, 1994), remain indispensable, seminal contributions to the usability canon. It is therefore apposite to ask oneself whether another book on usability is actually required.


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