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Complexity and Usability 2012


2012-05-10, Dept. of Computer Science, University of Hamburg

Complexity and Usability 2012

There was a time when software couldn't do much and was easily understood in full. What has changed and what has stayed the same? Software is supposed to accomplish more and be easier to use at the same time – is that an irreconcilable contradiction? Is there a "new simplicity", or does the path lead into a jungle of complexity?

From the UNIX philosophy, the personal computer revolution and the Web 2.0 up to recent smartphone apps, I examined the overall development of the interface complexity of software. Especially, I scrutinized the concept of "simplicity" critically. On the basis of these observations and incorporating theoretical knowledge from interaction- as well as game design, recent examples and models for constructively dealing with functional complexity were explained.

This talk took place in the HCI research colloquium.



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