User interface design and HCI: identifying the training needs of practitioners

Author(s): Steve Howard
Venue: ACM SIGCHI Bulletin, Volume 27 , Issue 3
Date: July 1995

Sample Size: 6
Data Collection Method: Survey


Pages: 17 - 22
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The author of this paper attempts to map HCI curriculum with the actual needs of user interface designers by conducting interviews with a number of practising user interface designers. A list of "things user interface designers need to know" was compiled into a checklist for a pool of HCI published research. This checklist was used as the basis for the structured interviews. The author finds that practising interface designers sometimes require other components than is listed in the current body of HCI.

The author identifies the HCI curriculum mapping with what UI designers say they need, what they actually need, and what current HCI curriculum provides. Since what UI designers actually need is mostly speculative, the mapping mostly compares what UI designers say they need and the HCI curriculum. For the experiment, interviewees from industry were asked questions in an interview and asked to complete a survey. The interviewees consisted of three interface designers, two software engineers, and one user representative. In the survey, the categories of HCI knowledge were rated as high, moderate, or low level of knowledge required. Interviewees often rated highly the areas in which they had more experience. Additionally, a large list of requested curriculum was complied from the interviewees requests. The study was purposely informal and meant to help sketch the domain for future research.