Sunday, August 10, 2014

Book Review: Ewolucja Form Sprzetow Do Siedzenia (Evolution of Sitting Furniture Forms From Prehistory to the Machine Age) In Polish

In this amazing book on the history of chairs, Jerzy Charytonowicz provides us with an extraordinary voyage through time with this common object, one that we use every day and sits center stage in the field of ergonomics. If you want to create an expose or lecture on chairs, this book is a must.

While the book is in Polish, a language not accessible to most readers including myself, there is an in-depth English summary included at the end. The book itself includes an immense number of museum pictures and drawings that will enable you to see how “from the very beginning, furniture for sitting has comprised constructions whose dimensions and forms were determined by the shape and size of the human body. That kind of furniture, thus, frequently became ‘prints’ of the human body (according to this principle ergonomic constructions for sitting were shaped), and remained without a user it was designated for, the furniture became a symbol always associated with a man and was referred to as ‘empty chair’ - left by someone or waiting for someone. Chairs sculptured, adorned with intarsia, painted or decorated with various materials always exhibited a level of craftsmanship specific to a certain historical period, types of available materials, tools and a level of manufacture technology as well as social needs, artistic ideas, becoming a source of information about the time they originated in. As one of the most formally varied type of furniture, always being in the direct contact with man, chairs have always intrigued artists and architects becoming an object of various creative experiments. Designing furniture for sitting gave artists an opportunity to integrate their technical and anthropological knowledge, knowledge about the surrounding world and people's needs, and it also provided a chance to apply new materials and professional experience. Therefore, as history shows, the most frequently designed furniture for sitting was of concern to architects treating it as an integral part of designed buildings and manifestation of their artistic ideas.”
I found the reading and viewing of the pictures to be an enjoyable experience, one that can be undoubtedly shared by others.


Ewolucja Form Sprzetow Do Siedzenia (Evolution of Sitting Furniture Forms From Prehistory to the Machine Age) by Jerzy Charytonowicz, Edition WROCLSW, 20017. ISBN 978-83-7493-328-5- In Polish

Published in AHFE International News, August, 2014

Friday, July 18, 2014

HCII 2014 is over

We thank all participants of the HCII 2014 Conference, held in Crete, Greece, 22-27 June and look forward to welcoming you all again in Los Angeles, CA, USA for HCII 2015. 

The HCII 2014 conference was held under the auspices of 14 international boards comprising 342 members from 38 countries.

Close to 2.000 people from 73 countries attended this year’s conference.  In 244 sessions, 1476 papers were presented and 225 posters were displayed. 

This year’s keynote speaker was Dr. James R. (Jim) Lewis (IBM, USA). His speech, entitled "Usability: Lessons Learned ... and Yet to Be Learned", reviewed five of the persistent controversies in the field of usability, providing a historical perspective and a pragmatic assessment of their current status.  A companion article in the International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction is available at no charge for a limited period of time at:

One of the most outstanding features of the HCI International conferences is the variety of cultures and institutions that are represented by the contributing participants. With hundreds of papers and sessions to consider, it is truly challenging to choose an area that stood out in popularity and interest. Yet, there was a multitude of research on gestures and haptic interfaces, cognitive modeling, virtual reality and healthcare. This was the content of just some of the many well-attended sessions.

During the opening session of HCII 2014 sixteen awards were conferred. Fourteen awards were conferred to the best papers in each Affiliated Conference / Thematic Area. Among these fourteen best papers, one paper was selected as Best HCI International 2014 Conference paper. Finally, the Best Poster also received an award. For more information, please visit the conference website at:

Looking forward to seeing everyone at Los Angeles in 2015.


Published in: HCI International NEWS - July 2014 - Number 66

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Book Review: Designing with the Mind in Mind

In the 14 chapters of this book the authors provide an excellent selection of topics and examples that constitutes necessary knowledge for everyone involved in designing user interfaces, and perhaps even all software engineers. 

The book starts by reviewing human perception (Chapter 1), followed by vision and visual perception, visual structure (chapter 2 and 3), color blindness (chapter 4), and peripheral vision (chapter 5).
Reading, attention, learning, decision making and aim movement are covered by focusing on areas that are really relevant to HCI and user interface design.
The book is easy to read for novice audiences, students and particularly practitioners. It is well illustrated with plenty of examples.
One missing topic might be a chapter on movement and touch, necessary for interaction design for touch screens.

Designing with the Mind in Mind: Simple Guide to Understanding User Interface Design Guidelines, by Jeff Johnson
Second Edition, Morgan Kaufmann is an imprint of Elsevier, Press, 2014, ISBN: 978-0-12-407914-4 

HCI International NEWS - May 2014 - Number 65