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Glossary » Miscellaneous

safety-critical system

any system whose reliable performance is important for ensuring the health and safety of users and the public, including for instance, power plants, clinical systems, emergency response systems (police, fire), hazardous chemicals systems, and many military systems.

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special interest group on computer-human interaction. A professional organization that operates as part of the ACM (association of computing machinery) that brings together academics, students, and practitioners to study HCI (human-computer interaction). SIGCHI sponsors the annual CHI conference.

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user interface software and technology (pronounced “WIST”); the name of an annual conference sponsored by ACM SIGCHI that takes a computer science and software development point of view on how to build user interface software.

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Usability Professional’s Association, a professional organization for practitioners in the field of usability and human-computer interaction.

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usability advocate

or user advocate; a person who takes the role in an organization of ensuring that products are designed with the end-user’s needs in mind.

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user interface

UI; the parts of a computer system that a person uses to communicate with the computer. This includes the way the computer conveys messages to the person (output devices), the way the person talks to the computer (input devices), and…

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vigilance task

a type of task where a user must maintain attention on the task while waiting for an uncommon, unpredictable event, such as monitoring security cameras or a radar display.

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Xerox Star

the first commercial computer with a graphical user interface, the Xerox Star was a high-end workstation designed for document processing. It failed to be a major market success, but heavily influenced machines made afterwards, such as the Macintosh.

Initial research…

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“yoozability” is not the correct spelling of “usability”. 

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