Representations in development of usable computer-based systems : A phenomenologically inspired investigation into the limits of standard cognitive science, with some consequences for development of usable computer-based systems : Contains a suggestion for a user-involved methodology for
The inability of standard cognitive science, the information-processing approach, to provide theoretical underpinnings for designing usable computer-based systems has already been noted in the literature. It has further been noted, with varying degrees of clarity, that the breakdown of standard cognitive science in this respect is not an independent event, but that it rather is coupled with the spreading of computer use, that is, the appearance of personal computers, which brought into plain view the incommensurability of humans and present-day computers, and the difficulty in "interfacing" them to each other. In this work, the insufficiency of standard cognitive science is investigated towards demonstrating that it lies in the fallacious assumption and reliance on mental representations as formally defined physical entities on which mental operations are performed. It is further argued that, if the formal approach within cognitive science is seriously taken, then cognitive science cannot account for some important cognitive processes, namely abstraction and interpretation.In its empirical part, this study is related to a concrete development project. With respect to a possible application within it, some newer cognitive theories are reviewed and discussed, namely those that take into account environment, society, situation, and artefacts. Based on these considerations and the theoretical findings regarding standard cognitive science, a method for designing user interface is proposed and applied. Inspired by phenomenology and bearing similarities with nondirective counselling, it is referred to as "user-directed" method. Possible approaches to assessment of its validity are discussed.
School:Högskolan i Skövde
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:ognitive science the information processing approach phenomenology user interface design
Date of Publication:01/11/2008