The role of cognitive modeling for user interface design representations: An epistemological analysis of knowledge engineering in the context of human-computer interaction [Book Review]

Minds and Machines 8 (2):203-236 (1998)
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Abstract

In this paper we review some problems with traditional approaches for acquiring and representing knowledge in the context of developing user interfaces. Methodological implications for knowledge engineering and for human-computer interaction are studied. It turns out that in order to achieve the goal of developing human-oriented (in contrast to technology-oriented) human-computer interfaces developers have to develop sound knowledge of the structure and the representational dynamics of the cognitive system which is interacting with the computer.We show that in a first step it is necessary to study and investigate the different levels and forms of representation that are involved in the interaction processes between computers and human cognitive systems. Only if designers have achieved some understanding about these representational mechanisms, user interfaces enabling individual experiences and skill development can be designed. In this paper we review mechanisms and processes for knowledge representation on a conceptual, epistemological, and methodologieal level, and sketch some ways out of the identified dilemmas for cognitive modeling in the domain of human-computer interaction.

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Markus F. Peschl
University of Vienna

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