User-Centered Technology: A Rhetorical Theory for Computers and Other Mundane Artifacts / Edition 1

User-Centered Technology: A Rhetorical Theory for Computers and Other Mundane Artifacts / Edition 1

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by Robert R. Johnson, James P. Zappen
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0791439321

ISBN-13: 9780791439326

Pub. Date: 10/29/1998

Publisher: State University of New York Press

Presents a theoretical model for examining technology through a user perspective.

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

Overview

Presents a theoretical model for examining technology through a user perspective.

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780791439326
Publisher:
State University of New York Press
Publication date:
10/29/1998
Series:
SUNY series, Studies in Scientific and Technical Communication Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
195
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.49(d)

Table of Contents

List of Figures

Foreword

Preface

Acknowledgments

Part I. Situating Technology

1. Users, Technology, and the Complex(ity) of the Mundane: Some "Out of the Ordinary" Thoughts

2. Refiguring the End of Technology: Rhetoric and the Complex of Use

Part II. Complicating Technology

3. Not Just for Idiots Anymore: Practice, Production, and Users' Ways of Knowing

4. Human Factors and the Tech(no)logical: Putting User-Centered Design into Perspective

5. Sociology, History, and Philosophy: Technological Determinism Along the Disciplinary Divides

Part III. Communicating Technology

6. When All Else Fails, Use the Instructions: Local Knowledge, Negotiation, and the Construction of User-Centered Computer Documentation

7. Technical Communication, Ethics, Curricula: User-Centered Studies and the Technical Rhetorician

References

Index

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