Proceedings: GI + CHI 1987

The interface is often not the problem

Bengt Goransson, Mats Lind, Else Pettersson, Bengt Sandblad, Patrik Schwalbe

Proceedings of the SIGCHI/GI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems and Graphics Interface: Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 5 - 9 April 1987, 133-136

DOI 10.1145/29933.30872

  • BibTex

    author = {Goransson, Bengt and Lind, Mats and Pettersson, Else and Sandblad, Bengt and Schwalbe, Patrik},
    title = {The interface is often not the problem},
    booktitle = {Proceedings of the SIGCHI/GI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems and Graphics Interface},
    series = {GI + CHI 1987},
    year = {1987},
    issn = {0713-5425},
    isbn = {0-89791-213-6},
    location = {Toronto, Ontario, Canada},
    pages = {133--136},
    numpages = {4},
    doi = {10.1145/29933.30872},
    acmdoi = {10.1145/29933.30872},
    publisher = {Association for Computing Machinery},
    address = {New York, NY, USA},


Computer systems in the form of tools for specific functions within a work environment are becoming increasingly common. Because the users are not computer experts, and because the introduction of the new tools can dramatically change their tasks, problems arise. It is argued that even if the proper design of the MMI is very important, this will not solve all the problems. More basic problems concern what functions should be included in the system and how the users can understand what the system can do in different work situations and how the response should be evaluated in the context of the work situations. This is demonstrated by experiences from application projects. It is concluded that more research must be devoted to these problem areas. Another important result is the fact that the possibilities to develop more generally applicable computer based tools are limited. Adaption to local circumstances and needs is usually a necessity.