Introduction to Volume 7, Issue 1

We are pleased to have an editorial by two of the leaders of the HCI community, Clare-Marie Karat and John Karat. They worked in a research and development group at IBM for many years and have contributed substantially to our literature. They discuss their experiences over the years as the profession and their role in it evolved. Woven into their story about the changes in their professional lives are their observations about their personal lives, and how they dealt with both being married to each other, often working on the same research team.

The first peer-reviewed article is by Jennifer Romano Bergstrom and her colleagues at the US Census Bureau. They report on a project to redesign a website which involved conducting four iterative tests. The concept of iterative testing has been part of user-centered design for more than 20 years. But the literature contains only a few examples of its application. Why? It’s because there are a variety of challenges to managing and conducting iterative testing. Their paper shows how they met those challenges, and we believe that this paper will be a valuable addition to the literature for usability practitioners.

Young Sam Ryu and his colleagues compared performance and satisfaction between a standard mouse and a touch-less mouse, which was manipulated by moving a finger without touching any surface. While performance with the touch-less mouse was inferior to that with the standard mouse, the touch-less mouse shows promise for use in situations in which a standard mouse is not practical.

Risto Toivonen and his colleagues report on their evaluation of a mobile workstation for use by physicians and nurses during hospital rounds. They used an expert review followed by a usability test of a prototype, as physicians and nurses conducted their rounds. With subjective measures and observations, they evaluated both the ergonomic aspects of the design and its operation. The result was a set of requirements that can be used to support the design of any mobile workstation.