A Semiotic Framing for End-User Development
One approach to designing usable and enjoyable computer applications is to say that designers need better methods and tools to understand users and their contexts, and to encode this understanding into closed computer systems. Another is to acknowledge that there will always be unattended user needs, and that the way to increase users’ satisfaction is to help them modify systems in order to meet constantly changing requirements. Different techniques are proposed in one approach usually without reference to the other. We present an overarching perspective of human–computer interactionwhere both meet, and provide a semiotic characterization of designers’ and users’ activities that clarifies the tradeoffs involved in designing and choosing techniques in either approach. Central to this characterization is the role of intentions in what users mean to say and do when using computers. Our characterization is in line with a broader concept of usability, in which systems must support users’ improvisation and creativity.
KeywordsLexical Item Computer Language Text Editor Grammatical Structure Semiotic Theory
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