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European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics         8th ERCIM Working Group "User Interfaces for All"

Interface Design Strategies to Promote Learnability for All

Ben Shneiderman

Department of Computer Science
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742

Increased interest in "universal usability" and "user interfaces for all" is encouraging researchers to study advanced interface designs that are marked by a high degree of plasticity. Such designs could help users with a wide range of platforms, displays, network capacities, and computer speeds. However, advanced interfaces are still needed to accommodate diverse skill levels. Such interfaces would enable first-time and novice users to begin with a limited set of features and then move up to higher layers when needed or when they have time to learn further features. Training and online help methods could become easier to design and use when multi-layer interfaces are used. Successful designs demonstrate the potential for dramatic improvements in many products and services that would benefit many users.


BEN SHNEIDERMAN is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science Founding Director (1983-2000) of the Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory, and Member of the Institutes for Advanced Computer Studies & for Systems Research, all at the University of Maryland at College Park. He was elected as a Fellow of the Association for Computing (ACM ) in 1997 and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 2001. He received the ACM SIGCHI Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001. His latest book is "Designing the User Interface: Strategies for Effective Human-Computer Interaction: 4th edition" (2004).


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