Literature Resources to Support the Theory of Human-Computer Interaction

This unit by its very nature encompasses a very broad field of research, covering a huge range of topics. It would be impossible to read both deeply and widely across all the research topics that HCI researchers investigate and so this is not expected. Rather, as taking Theory of Human-Computer Interaction, you should feel free to read as widely or as narrowly as you wish amongst peer-reviewed articles being published in HCI. To assist with this, you will find a wealth of potential resources in this document.


First, you will see a list of the major conferences and journals. You can be confident that any full articles you find in them will have made some kind of contribution to the advancement of the topic they have been investigating.


Second, you will see a list of books that have a strong theoretical orientation towards Human-Computer Interaction. I have deliberately not cited publication dates for these because it would be too easy to assume that old means irrelevant. That’s not how theory works.


Third, you will see a short description of HCI research topics we shall be visiting over the course of the semester. These are where one can see theoretical perspectives in HCI come to the fore. Each topic also links two articles to illustrate how researchers have approached the problem and framed contributions towards advancement of knowledge within that topic area. They are deliberately older because they have been shown to be influential to some degree within the field and also so that the curious student will be encouraged to see which recent papers have cited them, and what advances have taken place since their publication.


Finally, some general HCI textbooks are listed for you who have chosen to take a Theory of HCI unit but who are unsure of their grounding in the basic ideas in the field.


Note: for your coursework, articles must have been published since 2015 and also must be drawn from amongst the HCI Conferences or HCI Journals listed in the next two sections.



1.   HCI Conferences

CHI – ACM Conference on Human Factors In Computing Systems


CSCW – ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work


ECSCW – European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work


INTERACT – International Federation for Information Processing

(IFIP) Conference on Human-Computer Interaction


HCI – BCS Human-Computer Interaction Conference‘v’~3_’id’~”_’isExactMatch’~true_’context’~null_’kind’~77_’order’~3_’orderLowestFirst’~false_’query’~”_’filters’~!(‘kind’~43_’query’~’Human%20Computer%20Interaction’_’exactMatch’~false)_(‘kind’~123_’contentTypes’~!’proceedingsarticle’*)*_’hideOthers’~false)


2.   HCI Journals

Primary journals

Transactions on Computer Human Interaction (ToCHI)

Human-Computer Interaction


International Journal of Human Computer Studies


Secondary journals

Interacting with Computers

Computers and Human Behaviour

Behaviour and Interactive Technology

3.   Theoretical orientations to HCI

The books listed here approach HCI with a clear theoretical agenda, each representing distinct perspectives at different historical points in the development of the field:


Card, S.; Moran, T. & Newell, A.

The Psychology of Human-Computer Interaction,contains,the%20psychology%20of%20human-computer%20interaction&pfilter=pfilter,exact,books&offset=0&pcAvailability=false


Suchman, L.A.

Plans and situated actions: the problem of human-machine communication,contains,Plans%20and%20situated%20action&sortby=rank&pcAvailability=false


Norman, D.

The Design of Everyday Things,contains,the%20design%20of%20everyday%20things&pfilter=pfilter,exact,books&offset=0&pcAvailability=false


Turner, P.

A psychology of user experience: involvement, affect, aesthetics



Michael Filimowicz, M. & Tzankova, V. (eds)

New Directions in Third Wave Human-Computer Interaction: Volume 1 – Technologies,contains,social%20%20psychology%20of%20human-computer%20interaction&offset=0&pcAvailability=false


Rogers, Y. HCI Theory: classical, modern, and contemporary,contains,ethnomethodology%20in%20hci&sortby=date&facet=frbrgroupid,include,978269098&offset=0&pcAvailability=false


The last book (Blandford, Furniss and Makri) is exemplary of a school of thought in HCI, such as the ‘situated action’ perspective set out in Suchman’s book, to privilege the particularities of a situation in developing understanding of a design problem. It is clearly methodological but its significance owes to a sociological understanding of Human-Computer Interaction:


Blandford, A.; Furniss, D. & Makri, S.

Qualitative HCI Research: Going Behind the Scenes,exact,Human-computer%20interaction%20–%20Research&sortby=date&offset=0&pcAvailability=false


4.   TOPICS  (With 2 “starting” references)

Search and Sensemaking

How do people search for information, how does it relate to their current tasks?  The coursework means reviewing the work of Pirolli (he has a book on information foraging!) to assess what the implications are for information searching.  This topic also relates to scent following where users follow trails, breadcrumbs or links between information.


Pirolli, P., & Card, S. (1999). Information foraging. Psychological Review, 106(4), 643.


Russell, D. M., Stefik, M. J., Pirolli, P., & Card, S. K. (1993, May). The cost structure of sensemaking. In Proceedings of the INTERACT’93 and CHI’93 conference on Human factors in computing systems (pp. 269-276). ACM.


Information Visualisation

How should complex data best be presented to decision makers?  The field of Information Visualisation (‘InfoVis’) has grown rapidly in recent years as designers of interactive software have targetted this issue.  There is important background research in Exploratory Statistics as well as in the Psychology of Decision Making (especially multi-dimensional decision making).  Additionally there are plenty of interesting theory-based research products – see for example the edited collection by Card, Mackinlay and Shneiderman; and more recent journal articles.


Card, S. K., & Mackinlay, J. (1997, October). The structure of the information visualization design space. In Information Visualization, 1997. Proceedings., IEEE Symposium on (pp. 92-99). IEEE.


Pinker, S. (1990). A theory of graph comprehension. Artificial intelligence and the future of testing, 73-126.



A growing empirical literature testifies to the difficulties of modern information workers with multi-tasking and information overload.  Information workers are interrupted often, and, further, interrupt themselves by willfully switching between tasks.  Some researchers have even proposed that ‘addiction’ is a common problem in our relation to email and other information sources.  How can technologies and organizational protocols be designed with these problems in mind?


Henderson Jr, D. A., & Card, S. (1986). Rooms: the use of multiple virtual workspaces to reduce space contention in a window-based graphical user interface. ACM Transactions on Graphics (TOG), 5(3), 211-243.


Salvucci, D. D., & Taatgen, N. A. (2008). Threaded cognition: an integrated theory of concurrent multitasking. Psychological review, 115(1), 101.


Persuasive Technology

How might computer technologies be designed to encourage behavioural change for users’ benefit and for the benefit of society at large?  In recent years, this question has motivated a range of research under the title ‘Persuasive Technology’.  Especially current, in the light of government policy, is the potential for mobile and ambient technologies to ‘nudge’ behaviour change. In this coursework assignment you would review some of these developments, question what they have in common, and reflect on how a design science might be developed to tackle these questions.   Important background is in the psychology of persuasion and influence.


Fogg, B. J. (2002). Persuasive technology: using computers to change what we think and do. Ubiquity, 2002(December), 5.


Oinas-Kukkonen, H., & Harjumaa, M. (2008). A systematic framework for designing and evaluating persuasive systems. In Persuasive Technology (pp. 164-176). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.


Human (HCI) aspects of security

Why does phishing work – what makes a person trust something that is fake to the point that they expose themselves to risk? What makes PINs and passwords hard to handle? How powerful are reputations in persuading someone that they are reliable?


Lee, J., & Moray, N. (1992). Trust, control strategies and allocation of function in human-machine systems. Ergonomics, 35(10), 1243-1270.


Jøsang, A., Ismail, R., & Boyd, C. (2007). A survey of trust and reputation systems for online service provision. Decision support systems, 43(2), 618-644.




Social Networking

How does the availability of social networking tools like Facebook affect friendship?  Does the ready availability of broadcast, e-communications and persistent memory for communications mean that people are able to maintain more friendships at higher levels of closeness, or does it shift preferences away from close friendships toward weaker ties?  Consider work from anthropology (e.g. Robin Dunbar’s work on social networks) which posits limits on the number of friendships at different intimacy levels.


Wellman, B., Salaff, J., Dimitrova, D., Garton, L., Gulia, M., & Haythornthwaite, C. (1996). Computer networks as social networks: Collaborative work, telework, and virtual community. Annual review of sociology, 213-238.


Ellison, N. B., Steinfield, C., & Lampe, C. (2007). The benefits of Facebook “friends:” Social capital and college students’ use of online social network sites. Journal of ComputerMediated Communication, 12(4), 1143-1168.


Human-Robot Interaction

Are robots just another kind of interactive computer? In some ways yes but their range of possible action, communication modalities and potential contexts for use are very diverse. Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) is raising new questions about the purpose and limits of interaction design, including how one might conceive of supporting mental model development that does avoids potentially dangerous anthropomorphic attributions.


Dautenhahn, K.; Woods,S.; Kaouri, C.; Walters,M.L.; Koay,K.L., &  Werry, I. (2005) What is a robot companion-friend, assistant or butler? Proceedings of IROS 2005 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems: 1192-1197


Cynthia Breazeal, C. & Scassellati, B. (1999) How to build robots that make friends and influence people Proceedings of IROS 99 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems. 858-863




5.   General textbooks:

This is an advanced unit so makes use of peer-reviewed articles as primary literature resources. However, several HCI textbooks are available and provide an overview of some of the core areas we consider. For students who are unsure of their prior learning in HCI, or feel they need a recap on the field, these books will serve to contextualise the issues we shall be examining.

Preece, J., Rogers, Y., & Sharpe, H.

Interaction Design: Beyond Human-Computer Interaction, John Wiley and sons. Latest edition is 5th – author order is switched for some editions.


Shneiderman, B.; Plaisant, C.; Cohen, M.; Jacobs, S., & Elmqvist, N.

Designing the User Interface Pearson. Latest edition is 6th.,contains,designing%20the%20user%20interface&sortby=date&facet=frbrgroupid,include,978400882&offset=0&pcAvailability=false


Dix, A., Finlay, J., Abowd, G., & Beale, R.

Human-Computer Interaction. Prentice-Hall.  Three editions (fourth long in preparation but yet to appear).