Articles by Douglas J. Gillan

Dr. Gillan is a Distinguished Professor in the Psychology Department at North Carolina State University. His training in Psychology focused on biopsychology and cognition. He has worked both in industry and academia on information visualization and human-technology interaction. He is a Fellow of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.

Invited Essay: Usability Issues in Human-Robot Interaction

What We Mean When We Talk About Robots The term “robot” comes to us from the Czech artist Josef Capek and his playwright brother, Karel, who wrote R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots; 1921). They coined the term “robot” from the Czech word robota, which denotes labor by servants. The play, R.U.R., was about a world in […] [Read More]

Exploring the Boundary Conditions of the Effect of Aesthetics on Perceived Usability

Abstract A growing body of usability research suggests that the aesthetics of a system affects users’ perceptions of the usability of that system. But the causal relationship between aesthetics and usability and the direction of that relation have not been firmly established because of a shortage of experiments that have manipulated aesthetics and usability as […] [Read More]

Introduction to the Special Student Issue

The lifeblood of any discipline is its students. Because they are acquiring the knowledge of the discipline for the first time, they add new perspectives and provide their own contexts. They also bring a sense of enthusiasm and even joy to their work. Because our field focuses on the nexus between humans and technology, and […] [Read More]

The Tortoise and the (Soft)ware: Moore’s Law, Amdahl’s Law, and Performance Trends for Human-Machine Systems

Abstract Human interaction with computing and communication systems involves a mix of parallel and serial processing by the human-computer system. Moore’s Law provides an illustration of the fact that the performance of the digital components of any human-computer system has improved rapidly. But what of the performance of those human components? While we humans are […] [Read More]