Authors: Preece, Rogers & Sharp
Case Studies
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2 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Chapter Index
Understanding Users

Chapter Introduction | Web Resources | Assignment Comments | Teaching Materials

Below is additional material associated with the topics covered in chapter 3.

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Cognitive Psychology and Design

A good article written by Jason Withrow on the contribution cognitive psychology, especially visual perception, can make to interaction design (particularly interface design) can be found at:

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Histroy of Graphic Design

A paper by Patrick J. Lynch, entitled, "Visual design for the user interface" provides a history of graphical design and some psychological theories that have shaped it. Can be found at
Published originally in 1994, Journal of Biocommunications, 21(1):22-30

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You can download the paper by George Miller, called "The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two: Some Limits on Our Capacity for Processing Information" at
Originally published in The Psychological Review, 1956, vol. 63, pp. 81-97.

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Cognitive Theories and HCI

An extensive critique of the role of cognitive theory in HCI is:
Rogers, Y. (2004) New Theoretical approaches for Human-Computer Interaction. Annual Review of Information, Science and Technology, 38, 87-143.
It can be found at the ARIST publisher’s website and also at Yvonne Rogers website.

An extensive set of introductory papers covering a diversity of theoretical approaches (including Activity Theory, Distributed Cognition, External Cognition, Cognitive Ergonomics, Ethnomethodology, Coordination Theory, Organisational Theory and Computer Science theories) can also be found at

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To find out more about GOMS and the MHP visit the Usability First page at
Also google David Kieras's and Bonnie John’s home pages which detail their latest research using newer variants of GOMS.

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Mental Models

There is lots of material on mental models on the web. A good introduction by Ruth Byrne (a cognitive psychologist) can be found at

An article by Scott McDaniel “Whats your idea of a mental model?” can be found at:

A podcast of a talk by Stephen Payne given in 2006 on mental models can be found at

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Distributed Cognition

Start by having a look at the introduction to distributed cognition by Yvonne Rogers (2005) that can be downloaded from her publications homepage.

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Cognitive Disabilities

We cover mainly cognitive abilities in the textbook. For more on cognitive disabilities see
Heather Mariger writes about the problems and challenges facing millions of web users who suffer from various cognitive impairments, such as Alzheimers, and provides a set of design recommendations for web design.