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Glossary » Fields of Study

small user interface design

SUI; design for extremely small output devices such as cell phone displays, watches, car radio displays, and other small information appliances.

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social psychology

the study of how people interact in groups, how they think about groups of people, and how other individuals affect a person’s behavior. Social psychology overlaps with other fields in their interest in communication, motivation, and social cognition.

Social psychology…

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system administration

supporting a user community by maintaining their computer environment, by handling such items as system purchasing and installation, software configuration, network configuration, backups, server maintenance, security, troubleshooting, user training, maintaining system stability, and providing technical support for users.

System administrators…

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technical writing

creating text that communicates facts in a simple, direct, and effective manner. Technical writers do not only write ABOUT “technology”. They also write FOR technological systems, such as computer software. They may write instructions, labels, dialogs, warnings, help systems, manuals,…

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the design of letterforms, and the selective use of appropriate type (in appropriate fonts) for the display of text. Typographers often specialize in the design of fonts and of logos, but typography plays a role in any context in which…

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user interface software engineering (pronounced “WISE”). The field that studies how good user interfaces can be effectively built, often focusing on user interface toolkits and support for graphics, layout, and widgets, but also considering support for peripherals, other modalities of…

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usability consulting

offering services, primarily for software development organizations, to help them improve the usability of their products and improve their development processes to achieve more consistently usable results. Usability consultants usually offer such services as usability training, needs analysis, usability evaluation…

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usability engineering

a methodical “engineering” approach to user interface design and evaluation involving practical, systematic approaches to developing requirements, analyzing a usability problem, developing proposed solutions, and testing those solutions.

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user interface design

the overall process of designing how a user will be able to interact with a software application.

User interface design is involved in many stages of product development, including: requirements analysis, information architecture, interaction design, screen design, user testing, documentation,…

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visual interaction design

(VID) design of interactive systems with an emphasis on the visual or graphic elements. Strongly influenced by the graphic design perspective, visual interaction design integrates concerns with how users provide feedback to visual systems and how the flow and interaction…

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