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Chapter Two. Cognetics and the Locus of Attention

Chapter Two. Cognetics and the Locus of Attention

He wept and was nothing content, but it booted not.

Dominic Mancini, speaking not of a dead computer but of Edward V of England. Occupatione Regni Anglie per Riccardum Tercium (1483). Quoted in Alison Weir, The Princes in the Tower (1992).

As complicated as computers and other products of our technology may be, it is easier to understand the machine side of the human-machine interface than to come to grips with the far more complex and variable human side. Even so, many—perhaps surprisingly many—human performance factors are independent of a user's age, gender, cultural background, or level of expertise. These properties of human learning and performance are directly applicable to the foundations of any interface design. In particular, that we have one locus of attention affects many aspects of the design of human-machine interfaces.


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