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Early Visions of HCI. CS 160, Spring 2002 Professor James Landay February 6, 2002 *based on slides by Jason Hong. Hall of Fame or Shame?. PointCast “Personalize Channels” dialog. Hall of Shame, but why??. What do “move up” & “move down” do? better affordance if you arrange vertically

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Early visions of hci

Early Visions of HCI

CS 160, Spring 2002

Professor James Landay

February 6, 2002

*based on slides by Jason Hong

Hall of fame or shame
Hall of Fame or Shame?

  • PointCast “Personalize Channels” dialog

Hall of shame but why
Hall of Shame, but why??

  • What do “move up” & “move down” do?

    • better affordance if you arrange vertically

  • Description of “DLJdirect” not helpful

  • Help inconsistently displayed for buttons

Early visions of hci1

Early Visions of HCI

CS 160, Spring 2002

Professor James Landay

February 6, 2002

*based on slides by Jason Hong


  • Review

  • Computing in 1945

  • Vannevar Bush & As We May Think

  • Administrivia

  • Computing in the 1960s

  • Doug Engelbart & Augmenting Intellect


  • Conceptual models?

    • mental representation of how the object works & how interface controls effect it

  • Design Model should equal Customer Model?

    • mismatches lead to errors

    • know the customer’s likely conceptual model

  • Design guides?

    • make things visible

    • map interface controls to customer’s model

    • provide feedback

Context computing in 1945
Context - Computing in 1945

  • Harvard Mark I

    • Picture from http://piano.dsi.uminho.pt/museuv/indexmark.htm

  • 55 feet long, 8 feet high, 5 tons

Context computing in 19451
Context - Computing in 1945

  • Ballistics calculations

  • Physical switches (before microprocessor)

  • Paper tape

  • Simple arithmetic & fixed calculations (before programs)

  • 3 seconds to multiply

Picture from http://www.gmcc.ab.ca/~supy/

Context computing in 19452
Context - Computing in 1945

  • First computer bug (Harvard Mark II)

  • Adm. Grace Murray Hopper

A little about vannevar bush
A Little About Vannevar Bush

  • Name rhymes with "Beaver"

  • Faculty member MIT

  • Coordinated WWII effort with 6000 US scientists

  • Social contract for science

    • federal government funds universities

    • universities do basic research

    • research helps economy & national defense

As we may think
As We May Think

  • Published in the Atlantic Monthly in 1945!

  • Futuristic inventions / trends

    • Wearable cameras for photographic records

    • Encyclopedia Brittanica for a nickel

    • Automatic transcripts of speech

    • Memex

    • Trails of discovery

    • Direct capture of nerve impulses

  • Which was your favorite?

  • Which do you want (or don't want)?

As we may think1
As We May Think

Picture from http://www.dynamicdiagrams.com/design/memex/model.htm#download

As we may think2
As We May Think

  • Very optimistic about future

    • Technology could help society

    • Technology could manage flood of info

  • He was one of the most informed people of his time

    • Look at trends, guess where we're going

    • What was he right about? Wrong about?

As we may think3
As We May Think

  • Have come true

    • Increased specialization

    • Flood of information

    • Faster / Cheaper / Smaller / More reliable

  • He missed or we are still waiting

    • Microphotography?

    • Digital technologies?

    • Non-science / Non-office apps?

    • Memex?

As we may think4
As We May Think

  • Not so much predicting future as "inventing it" by publishing article

    • hypertext

    • wearable memory aid

  • Use technology to augment human intellectual abilities

  • New kinds of technology lead to new kinds of human/machine & human/human interaction

  • Be aware that science/engineering can impact society

As we may think5
As We May Think

  • Computers weren't always like this…

  • Computers don't have to be like this!


  • Two people have been added to the course – make sure you know your team

  • Should be active on assignment #2 now!

    • Questions?

  • Webcasting next week

Context computing in 1960s
Context - Computing in 1960s

  • Transistor (1948)

  • ARPA (1958)

  • Timesharing (1950s)

  • Terminals and keyboards

  • Computers still primarily for scientists and engineers

Vacuum Tube

About doug engelbart
About Doug Engelbart

  • Graduate of Berkeley (EE '55)

    • "bi-stable gaseous plasma digital devices"

  • Stanford Research Institute (SRI)

    • Augmentation Research Center

  • 1962 Paper "Conceptual Model for Augmenting Human Intellect"

    • Complexity of problems increasing

    • Need better ways of solving problems

Picture of Engelbart from bootstrap.org

Augmenting human intellect
Augmenting Human Intellect

  • 1968 Fall Joint Computer Conference (SF)

  • Video of NLS (oNLine System)

  • All this took place before

    • Unix and C (1970s)

    • ARPAnet (1969) & later Internet


Augmenting human intellect1
Augmenting Human Intellect

  • Advantages of chorded keyboards?

  • Disadvantages?

Augmenting human intellect2
Augmenting Human Intellect

At SRI in the 1960s we did some experimenting with a foot mouse. I found that it was workable, but my control wasn't very fine and my leg tended to cramp from the unusual posture and task.

Tangent noun verb vs verb noun
Tangent: Noun-Verb vs Verb-Noun

  • Alan Kay said that Noun-Verb is empirically better

  • Example of Noun-Verb

    • select text with mouse and then bold

  • Example of Verb-Noun

    • select bold and then select text

  • Ideas as to why Noun-Verb is better?

Tangent noun verb vs verb noun1
Tangent: Noun-Verb vs Verb-Noun

  • Verb-Noun sets up modes

    • example of mode is drive / reverse in cars

    • requires an escape from mode if you change your mind

    • easy to make an error if you forget mode

Augmenting human intellect4
Augmenting Human Intellect

  • So what did we just see?

    • In terms of devices, interactions, and apps

Augmenting human intellect5
Augmenting Human Intellect

  • First mouse

  • First hypertext

  • First word processing

  • First 2D editing and windows

  • First document version control

  • First groupware (shared screen teleconferencing)

  • First context-sensitive help

  • First distributed client-server

  • Many, many more!

Augmentation not automation
Augmentation not Automation

"I tell people: look, you can spend all you want on building smart agents and smart tools…"

"I'd bet that if you then give those to twenty people with no special training, and if you let me take twenty people and really condition and train them especially to learn how to harness the tools…"

"The people with the training will always outdo the people for whom the computers were supposed to do the work."

Augmenting human intellect6
Augmenting Human Intellect

  • Example: Roman Numerals vs Arabic

  • What is XCI + III?

  • Now what is XCI x III?

  • What is 91 * 3?

  • New kinds of artifacts, languages, methodologies, and training can enable us to do things we couldn't before or simplify what we already do

Tricycles bicycles specialized tools
Tricycles & Bicycles: Specialized Tools

Tricycles Versus Bicycles

Where is engelbart now
Where is Engelbart now?

  • Bootstrap.org

    • Office in a Logitech building

  • "[B]oosting any organization's ability to successfully address problems that are complex and urgent"

  • "[I]mproving society's collective IQ"

  • Bootstrapping society to improve how we improve


  • Computers do not need to be the way we see them today

  • Predict the future by inventing it

  • Don’t only concentrate on novices

Next time
Next Time

  • Human Abilities

    • Reading will be on web site today