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The original version of GOMS created by Card, Moran, and Newell (1980a). The “CMN” was added before “GOMS” when other versions of GOMS began to appear (e.g., CPM-GOMS and NGOMSL), to differentiate the specific representation used by Card, Moran, and Newell from the concepts in GOMS.

claims feature

An element of a situation or an interactive system that has positive or negative consequences for people in this or similar situations.

claims analysis

An analytic evaluation method involving the identification of scenario features that have significant positive and negative usability consequences.


See cognitive complexity theory.

bounded rationality

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.

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.


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).


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).


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.

analog representations

Representations that share the structure of the things they represent. For example, a picture is an analog representation. See also propositional representations.

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