Below are the publications and other articles that are available on this web site. For a list of all of Elizabeth's publications, see Elizabeth's résumé.

What's in a Word: The Semantics of Usability

(with Bruce Allen)

When you say something is intuitive, do you mean that absolutely everybody understands it right away? If you say a program is logical, what help is that to a user? Does user-friendly mean anything these days? (Did it ever?)

We create meaning by placing words in a context where they absorb their surroundings like herring in a sherry marinade. Use a word in a context that supports clear understanding of the intended meaning, and you make the word richer and stronger for yourself and for the time when someone else takes their turn at using it. Overlook your intended meaning, and you defocus the image — scatter the energy — of the word.

Read "What's in a Word: The Semantics of Usability"

HCI Standards: A Mixed Blessing

So you're on a new software project and it's your job to design the user interface. Ah well, you'll just get the Windows Style Guide and take it from there.

Not so fast. There's a lot more than that to using standards and guidelines for human-computer interaction (HCI) design. These guides are a mixed blessing, and could even be a mixed curse. Here are a few things it might help you to know.

Read "HCI Standards: A Mixed Blessing"

Integrating HCI Engineering with Software Engineering: A Call to a Larger Vision

(with Antonio Vallone)

Interaction with human beings is increasingly recognized and promoted as an important aspect of software systems and products. More and more professionals in the computing industry (e.g., Curtis and Hefley, 1994; Kapor, 1996) call for integrating human-computer interaction (HCI) engineering with software engineering. A seminar and panel discussion at the 1994 Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (Hefley, et al., 1994) explored some ideas on integration. Some proposed solutions would integrate HCI engineering into software engineering; others would have HCI as the dominant player.

But just what is the relationship between HCI and software? How do they interact as fields of endeavor? As players in development? Recent conferences and publications indicate that this is a major issue for the HCI community.

Read "Integrating HCI Engineering with Software Engineering: A Call to a Larger Vision"

Chromostereopsis in User Experience Design

You may have noticed some websites that use color in ways that make your eyes hurt or create weird 3D effects. You may have seen some presentations that emphasize some words or phrases in ways that make the differently colored words actually less prominent, as if they were fading into the background. These effects are probably due to a phenomenon called chromostereopsis.

Read "Chromostereopsis in User Experience Design"

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