User-Centered Technology: A Rhetorical Theory for Computers and Other Mundane Artifacts
User-Centered Technology presents a theoretical model for examining technology through a user perspective. Johnson begins with a historical overview of the problem of technological use from the ancient Greeks to the present day--a problem seen most clearly in historical discussions of rhetoric theory. The central portion of the book elaborates on user-centered theory by defining three focal issues of the theory: user knowledge, human-technology interaction, and technological determinism. Working from an interdisciplinary perspective, Johnson uses rhetoric theory to present a definition of user knowledge; human factors engineering to illuminate the ideological presuppositions built into technology design; and history, philosophy, and sociology to explain technological determinism, possibly the greatest impediment to user-centered technology development in modern times. The latter part of the book applies user-centered theory in two contexts: the nonacademic sphere, where the writing and design of computer user documentation is discussed, and the academic sphere, through a discussion of how user-centered concepts might drive university technical communication and composition curricula.
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actions activity ancient Greeks argue audience Bijker and Pinch Carl Mitcham chapter classroom computer documentation computer systems concerning context create culture define described disciplines discussion epistemology ethical everyday example expert focus genres historians history of technology human factors research human-computer interaction HyperCard instance instructional interface designers involved issues Langdon Winner Layout learning machine means ment metis modern mundane Newell and Card nology on-line pedagogy perspective philosophy philosophy of technology political practice problem production programs refiguring rhetorical complex rhetoricians role scenario scientific social system-centered view task analysis tech techne technical communication techniques technol technological artifact technological determinism technological development theoretical tion tool triangle tutorial U.S. Steel understanding UNIX Manual usability user documentation user knowledge user-centered approach user-centered design User-Centered Model user-centered rhetoric user-centered theory user-centered view user's situation users of technology workplace writers
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