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Touch Research 1: Inspiration and History [Handouts]

Mar 31, 2016



Seven Master of Arts students from Constance at the University of Applied Sciences Communication Design faculty will be working on design research concerning multi-touch interfaces during summer term 2008. Faces and history.

  • Touch Research

    A project for Communication Design M1 HTWG Constance Summer Term 2008

    Part 1: Inspiration and History

  • A collection of faces/ context on a timeline

  • 1934 1968

    1934 Paul Otlet 1945 Vannevar Bush 1960 J.C.R. Licklider 1965 Ted Nelson 1968 Doug Engelbart

  • Paul Otlet

    Information science, 1934

    Wrote numerous essays on how to collect and organize the worlds knowledge.

    Founding father of documentation, the field of study now more commonly referred to as information science.

    His vision of a great network of knowledge was centered on documents and included the notions of hyperlinks, search engines, remote access, and social networks.

  • Vannevar Bush

    Links and web, 1945

    Bush proposed the notion of blocks of text joined by links and he also introduced the terms links, linkages, trails and web to describe his conception of textuality.

    A single author connects documents that are associated by some common theme, annotated with commentary and available for others to read long after the original associations are made.

    Bush goes on to describe the sharing of trails between people and the creation of a new profession of trail blazers, those who find delight in the task of establishing useful trails through the enormous mass of common record.

  • Vannevar Bush

    [Differential Analyzer, 1931

    The differential analyser was a mechanical analog computer designed to solve differential equations by integration, using wheel-and-disc mechanisms to perform the integration. It was one of the first advanced computing devices to be used operationally.

    The analyser was invented in 1876 by James Thomson, brother of Lord Kelvin. Lord Kelvin advised Arthur Pollen to use an analyser for Pollen's fire-control system developed to control naval gunnery. This electrically driven analogue computer was ready by about 1912. Mechanical integrators for differential equations were also designed by the Italian mathematician Ernesto Pascal in 1913.

    A practical version of Thomson's differential analyzer was first constructed by H. W. Nieman and Vannevar Bush starting in 1927 at MIT. They published a report on the device during 1931.]

  • Vannevar Bush

    Memex Machine, 1930s

    Bush introduced the concept of what he called the memex (possibly derived from "memory extension") during the 1930s, which is a microfilm-based "device in which an individual stores all his books, records, and communications, and which is mechanized so that it may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility. It is an enlarged intimate supplement to his memory."

    He wanted the memex to behave like the "intricate web of trails carried by the cells of the brain"; essentially, causing the proposed device to be similar to the functions of a human brain. It was also important that it could be easily accessible '"a future device for individual use... a sort of mechanized private file and library" in the shape of a desk'.

    The important feature of the memex is that it ties two pieces together. Any item can lead to another immediately.

  • Vannevar Bush

    As We May Think, 1945

    In the article, Bush predicted that "Wholly new forms of encyclopedias will appear, ready made with a mesh of associative trails running through them, ready to be dropped into the memex and there amplified."

    Bush explains how the human mind works differently that traditional storage paradigms. For example oftentimes data is stored alphabetically, and to retrieve it one must trace it down, from subclass to subclass.

    The brain rather, Bush explains, works by association, rather than index, and with the brain being one of the "awe-inspiring" phenomenon in nature one should learn from it.

  • J.C.R. Licklider

    Networked computers with easy user interfaces, GUIs, 1960

    Computers should be developed with the goal to enable men and computers to cooperate in making decisions and controlling complex situations without inflexible dependence on predetermined programs.

    He foresaw the need for networked computers with easy user interfaces.

    His ideas foretold of graphical computing, point-and -click interfaces, digital libraries, e-commerce, online banking, and software that would exist on a network and migrate to wherever it was needed.

  • Ted Nelson

    Project Xanadu, 1965

    He coined the terms "hypertext" and "hypermedia" in 1963 and published it in 1965.

    However, Nelson says he dislikes the World Wide Web, XML and all embedded markup, and regards Berners-Lee's work as a gross over-simplification of his own work:

    HTML is precisely what we were trying to prevent ever-breaking links, links going outward only, quotes you can't follow to their origins, no version management, no rights management.

  • Douglas C. Engelbart

    First hypertext system, 1960s

    NLS = oN-Line System

    A revolutionary computer collaboration system designed by Douglas Engelbart and the researchers at the Augmentation Research Center (ARC) at the Stanford Research Institute (SRI).

    The first system to employ the practical use of hypertext links, the mouse (co-invented by Engelbart and colleague Bill English), raster-scan video monitors, information organized by relevance, screen windowing, presentation programs, and other modern computing concepts.

    Features: The mouse, 2-dimensional display editing, in-file object addressing, linking, hypermedia, outline processing, flexible view control, multiple windows, cross-file editing, integrated hypermedia email, hypermedia publishing, document version control, shared-screen teleconferencing, computer-aided meetings, formatting directives, context-sensitive help, distributed client-server architecture, uniform command syntax, universal "user interface" front-end module, multi-tool integration, grammar-driven command language interpreter, protocols for virtual terminals, remote procedure call protocols, compilable "Command Meta Language"

  • Douglas C. Engelbart

    The mother of all demos at the Fall Joint Computer Conference in San Francisco, December 9, 1968

    The demo featured the first computer mouse the public had ever seen, as well as introducing interactive text, video conferencing, teleconferencing, email, hypertext and a collaborative real-time editor.

    Engelbart, with the help of his geographically distributed team, demonstrated the workings of the NLS (which stood for oNLine System) to the 1,000 computer professionals in attendance.

  • Douglas C. Engelbart

    Magnification of the first computer mouse, 1963, co-invented with Bill English

    Engelbart never received any royalties for it, as his patent ran out before it became widely used in personal computers.

  • State of the Internet

    The ARPANET, 1969 1971

    Initially, on October 29, 1969, the ARPANET consisted of four nodes (IMPs, interface message processors)

    1.SDS Sigma 7 at UCLA 2.SDS 940 running NLS at Stanford 3.IBM 360/75 running OS/MVT at UCSB 4.DEC PDP-10 running TENEX at Utah

    The first message transmitted over the ARPANET was sent by UCLA student programmer Charley Kline, at 10:30 p.m, on October 29, 1969. The message text was the word "login"; the "l" and the "o" letters were transmitted, but the system then crashed. Hence, the literal first message over the ARPANET was "lo". About an hour later, having recovered from the crash, the SDS Sigma 7 computer effected a full "login".

    The contents of the first e-mail transmission in 1971 have been forgotten; in the Frequently Asked Questions section of his Web site, the sender, Ray Tomlinson, who sent the message between two computers sitting side-by-side, claims that the contents were "entirely forgettable, and I have, therefore, forgotten them", and speculates that the message likely was "QWERTYUIOP" or some such.

  • 1976 1991

    1976 Richard Saul Wurman 1981 Don Norman 1987 Bill Atkinson 1991 Tim Berners-Lee

  • Richard Saul Wurman

    Information architecture, 1976

    I thought the explosion of data needed an architecture, needed a series of systems, needed systemic design, a series of performance criteria to measure it.

    [TED Talks, 1984

    I did the TED conferences out of my own boredom, and the only ones that seemed interested were those in the technology business, entertainment industry and design profession. What astonished me is that they didn't realize they were all in one business.]

  • State of the Internet

    The ARPANET, 1977

  • Don Norman

    The trouble with UNIX, 1981

    He is an expert of cognitive science and is widely considered to be the first to apply advanced human factors to design via cognitive design.

  • Don Norman

    User centered design, 1986

    The Psychology (Design) of Everyday Things.

    User-centered design can be characterized as a multi-stage problem solving process that not only requires designers to analyze and foresee how users are likely to use an interface, but also to test the validity of their assumptions with regards to user behavior in real world tests with actual users. Such testing is necessary as it is often very difficult for the designers of an interface to understand intuitively what a first-time user of their design experiences, and what each user's learning curve may look like.

    The chief difference from other interface design philosophies is that user-centered design tries to optimize the user interface around how people can, want, or need to work, rather than forcing the users to change how they work to accommodate the software developers' approach.