The investigation of social structure, social relationships, and individual social action through an emphasis on culture—originally “other cultures” but increasingly the emphasis is on “home” cultures.
considering machines (especially computers) as if they have human capabilities or responsibilities
A computational architecture using resource scheduling and reactive planning (techniques from artificial intelligence). More information can be found in Freed (1998). It has been used as a GOMS modeling tool (John, 2002; Remington, et al., 2002).
A diverse class of human-created systems, applications, tools, and conventions, including language and mathematics, that mediate human activity. Artifacts are the products of prior human activity; they both enable and constrain current human activity, and their use helps to orient the design of future artifacts. An information artifact (as used in the cognitive-dimensions framework) is an artifact designed to store, create, present, or manipulate information, whether noninteractive (e.g., a book or a map) or interactive (e.g., a spreadsheet or a heating controller).
automatic cognitive processes
Processes that are relatively quick and effortless, requiring little attention or monitoring. Well-practiced skills, like walking and driving, or signing one’s name, are examples of automatic cognitive processes. See also controlled cognitive processes.
an icon or other visual depiction used to represent the user in an information display
The idea, from Herbert Simon (e.g., Simon, 1982), that human agents are rational in that they act so as to meet their goals according to their knowledge; they are only boundedly rational, however, in that they cannot necessarily compute ideal, optimal decisions. Instead, their decisions are bounded by environmental constraints on their performance (such as the need to act quickly), interacting with limits on access to knowledge and limits on the ability to process relevant information.
See cognitive complexity theory.
a structured collection of information that acts as a single unit with respect to storage and information processing capacity
An analytic evaluation method involving the identification of scenario features that have significant positive and negative usability consequences.