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State University of New York Press

User-Centered Technology: A Rhetorical Theory for Computers and Other Mundane Artifacts

User-Centered Technology: A Rhetorical Theory for Computers and Other Mundane Artifacts

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Winner of the 1999 Best Book presented by the National Council of Teachers of English NCTE Awards for Excellence in Technical and Scientific Communication

User-Centered Technology presents a theoretical model for examining technology through a user perspective. Johnson begins with a historical overview of the problem of technological use from the ancient Greeks to the present day--a problem seen most clearly in historical discussions of rhetoric theory. The central portion of the book elaborates on user-centered theory by defining three focal issues of the theory: user knowledge, human-technology interaction, and technological determinism. Working from an interdisciplinary perspective, Johnson uses rhetoric theory to present a definition of user knowledge; human factors engineering to illuminate the ideological presuppositions built into technology design; and history, philosophy, and sociology to explain technological determinism, possibly the greatest impediment to user-centered technology development in modern times. The latter part of the book applies user-centered theory in two contexts: the nonacademic sphere, where the writing and design of computer user documentation is discussed, and the academic sphere, through a discussion of how user-centered concepts might drive university technical communication and composition curricula.

Author: Robert R. Johnson
Publisher: State University of New York Press
Published: 10/29/1998
Pages: 195
Binding Type: Paperback
Weight: 0.62lbs
Size: 8.85h x 5.83w x 0.47d
ISBN: 9780791439326

About the Author
Robert R. Johnson is Associate Professor of English and Director of the Master's Program in Technical and Scientific Communication at Miami University.

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