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Glossary » Acronyms

acronym expansion

when a user enters a relevant acronym (or other abbreviation), acronym expansion automatically spells out the entire phrase represented. While this feature can help in any text entry with commonly repeated phrases, it is especially useful to those who have…

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Attention, Interest, Desire, Action. This classic advertising model says that an advertisement (and by extension, many effective user interfaces) ought to function by getting people’s attention, stimulating their interest, generating a desire, and then finishing with a call to action.…

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ALV architecture

abstraction-link-view architecture. A technique for building software by developing the application as a user interface (the View), the abstract data and semantics (the Abstraction), and a set of relationships between these parts (the Links).

This technique makes it easy to…

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artificial intelligence

“AI”; a field of study which examines how to perform high-level thinking on computers. Artificial intelligence research is typically associated with domains such as speech synthesis and recognition, language translation, image recognition, and strategy and planning. AI research is also…

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assistive technology

AT or enabling technology; technology used by those with disabilities or other special needs to help them fully participate in their work and everyday life.

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augmentative and alternative communication

AAC; technologies that enable those with limited speech to communicate.

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Abstract Windows Toolkit; a Java library for development of user interfaces, including standard widgets and layout tools.

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Baker’s equation

BBEE; Baker’s basic ergonomic equation; an expression describing the factors driving the success of a particular assistive technology:

Likelihood of success (S) = M/(P+C+L+T)

M = a user’s motivation to complete a task
P = the physical effort…

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business process reengineering, the analysis of how work is done within a business and how it can be restructured for greater efficiency and profitability, especially by examining the workflow within the organization.

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computer-aided instruction; the use of computers in training and education. Traditional techniques of computer-aided instruction included drill-and-practice programs and approaches inspired by artificial intelligence research which used models of learning to model errors learners were making to customize lessons to…

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carpal tunnel syndrome

(CTS) a problem with swelling or inflammation around the median nerve in the wrist, causing pain or numbness. Poor wrist support and posture during extensive typing is considered a contributing factor. Some ways to prevent it include improved posture, wrist…

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cascading stylesheets

CSS; a method for specifying the look of a web page independent of the markup of the structure of that page.

The original intent in HTML markup was to specify the structure of a page and allow the individual user…

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computer-aided software engineering, a field that examines how computer tools can be used to support programmers. Examples include tools for visualizing software code, tracking bugs, and organizing software projects.

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computer-aided usability engineering; tools to automate usability, such as screen layout tools, design checkers, event logging, automated usability testing, diagramming tools, task analysis tools, & tools for software localization.

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computer-human interaction, pronounced “KIE” (hard k, long i). HCI is the most common term for the field, but CHI is the term used (probably because it’s easier to pronounce) for the annual CHI conference sponsored by ACM SIGCHI (special interest…

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Card, Moran, and Newell GOMS. CMN-GOMS adds hierarchical structure to the Keystroke Level Model (KLM) version of GOMS. Tasks are organized as a series of goals and subgoals and operators are organized into subroutines called methods. CMN-GOMS can provide task…

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cyan-magenta-yellow-black; a color model that specifies any given color as the combination of 4 base colors, commonly used in printers. While the RGB model is based on combining projected colors (an additive system), the CMYK model is based on using…

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Common User Access

CUA; a set of user interface standards established for IBM platforms in 1987.

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Cognitive Perceptual Motor GOMS. CPM-GOMS is a cognitive modeling technique based on CMN-GOMS with an emphasis on parallel activities. Where other GOMS techniques assume that humans do one thing at a time, CPM-GOMS assumes as many operations as possible will…

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computer-based patient record, a computer system for clinical use to record and retrieve patient information and patient care, and to provide a wide variety of other tools to both clinical and non-clinical staff, possibly in almost any clinical setting, from…

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contrast-repetition-alignment-proximity; a mnemonic for remembering 4 important principles of visual layout. These are closely related to the gestalt principles of similarity, good continuation, and proximity.

The term comes from Robin Williams’ “The Non-Designer’s Design Book”.

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create-report-update-delete; a mnemonic for remembering the 4 basic operations in administering a database.

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computer-supported collaborative learning, the use of groupware tools in collaborative learning situations.

Tools might include email, videoconferencing, or any other tool that people might use to work together or for collaborative problem-solving, such as collaborative writing systems and scientific collaboration…

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computer-supported cooperative work. The field of study that examines how technology affects group interaction, and how technology can best be designed and built to facilitate group work.

Despite the name, this field of study doesn’t restrict itself to issues of…

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computer-supported meeting environments.

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