Reader as User: Applying Interface Design Techniques to the Web


When writing is published to the World Wide Web, the reader of the document is also the user of a computer system. To be effective communicators, writers need to think about the user interface to their hypertexts.

The fields of human-computer interaction, cognitive science, and interface design can support writers and designers in creating easily navigable, useful, and effective hypertext interfaces. Writers can also apply their own knowledge about audience analysis and reader-response criticism to the interface as well as the text of their documents.

Whatever the field, the end result is the same. Writers and interface designers all want to support the tasks, goals, and needs of their intended users.

We continue to demonstrate to ourselves-- through both our successes and our failures--that the first and most important question to ask is, what does the user want to do? (Laurel 1990)

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