HCIL-90-07

Shneiderman, B.
Sept. 1990
Keynote address for the ACM SIGCAS 90 Conference: Computers and the Quality of Life. Also in the ACM SIGCHI Bulletin (Jan. 1991). Also Sparks of Innovation in Human-Computer Interaction, Shneiderman, B., Ed., Ablex (June 1993) 337-343.
HCIL-90-07
"We must learn to balance the material wonders of technology with the spiritual demands of our human nature." John Naisbitt (1982). We can make a difference in shaping the future by ensuring that computers "serve human needs (Mumford, 1934)." By making explicit the enduring values that we hold dear we can guide computer system designers and developers for the next decade, century, a nd thereafter. After setting our high-level goals we can pursue the components and seek the participatory process for fulfilling them. High-level goals might include peace, excellent health care, adequate nutrition, accessible education, communication, freedom of expression, support for creative exploration, safety, and socially constructive entertainment. Computer technology can help attain these high-level goals if we clearly state measurable objectives, obtain participation of professionals, and design effective human-computer interfaces. Design considerations include adequate attention to individual differences among users, suppor t of social and organizational structures, design for reliability and safety, provision of access by the elderly, handicapped, or illiterate, and appropriate user controlled adaptation. With suitable theories and empirical research we can achieve ease of learning, rapid performance, low error rates, and good retention overtime, while preserving high subjective satisfaction.
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