HOME - HCI Forum - Designing Interaction 2005Mailing address:
Iowa State University
Human Computer Interaction Program
Howe Hall, Room 1620
Ames, IA 50011
USAPhone: 515.294.3093  /  515.294.5530(fax)

HCI Forum – Designing Interaction 2005: Keynote

Speaker: Ben Shneiderman
Department of Computer Science, Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory,
Institute for Advanced Computer Studies & Institute for Systems Research University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742

Leonardo’s Laptop: Human Needs & the New Computing Technologies.”
(last update: 2/25/2005)


The old computing was about what computers could do; the new computing is about what people can do.

To accelerate the shift from the old to the new computing designers need to:

1) reduce computer user frustration. Recent studies show 46% of time is lost to crashes, confusing instructions, navigation problems, etc. Public pressure for change could promote design improvements and increase reliability, thereby dramatically enhancing user experiences.

2) promote universal usability. Interfaces must be tailorable to a wide range of hardware, software, and networks, and users. When broad services such as voting, healthcare, and education are envisioned, the challenge to designers is substantial.

3) envision a future in which human needs more directly shape technology evolution. Four circles of human relationships and four human activities map out the human needs for mobility, ubiquity, creativity, and community. The World Wide Med and million-person communities will be accessible through desktop, palmtop and fingertip devices to support e-learning, e-business, e-healthcare, and e-government.

Leonardo da Vinci could help as an inspirational muse for the new computing. His example could push designers to improve quality through scientific study and more elegant visual design. Leonardo’s example can guide us to the new computing, which emphasizes empowerment, creativity, and collaboration. Information visualization and personal photo interfaces will be shown: PhotoMesa (www.cs.umd.edu/hcil/photomesa) and PhotoFinder (www.cs.umd.edu/hcil/photolib).

Winner of IEEE book award for “Distinguished Literary Contribution
furthering Public Understanding of the Profession”

Leonardo's Laptop cover image
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BEN SHNEIDERMAN is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science Founding Director (1983-2000) of the Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory (http://www.cs.umd.edu/hcil/), and Member of the Institutes for Advanced Computer Studies & for Systems Research, all at the University of Maryland at College Park. He was elected as a Fellow of the Association for Computing (ACM ) in 1997 and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 2001. He received the ACM SIGCHI Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001.

Ben is the author of “Software Psychology: Human Factors in Computer and Information Systems” (1980) and “Designing the User Interface: Strategies for Effective Human-Computer Interaction” (4th ed. 2004) http://www.awl.com/DTUI/ . He pioneered the highlighted textual link in 1983, and it became part of Hyperties, a precursor to the web. His move into information visualization helped spawn the successful company Spotfire http://www.spotfire.com/ . With S Card and J. Mackinlay, he co-authored “Readings in Information Visualization: Using Vision to Think” (1999). “Leonardo’s Laptop” (MIT Press) appeared in October 2002, and his new book with B. Bederson, “The Craft of Information Visualization” was published in April 2003.