Archive for March, 2011

A quiz on User Interface History

March 22, 2011

You can find a 5-minute quiz called “Snippets of User Interface History” on

The quiz addresses various early facets of UI history (see details below). The quiz is intended to raise the interest in user interface history in particular and computer history in general.

The occasion was World Usability Day on Nov 9, 2010, where the organizers found that the historical aspect should be advanced.

The quiz is in Ignite-format, an up-and-coming format, where a presentation lasts exactly 5 minutes and encompasses exactly 20 slides, each shown for exactly 15 seconds. [It was quite a task to prepare the quiz under these constraints!]

The six snippets are
– Frans Alt 1951 an early quote on UIs (input/output organs)
– Office Automation concern: preserve keystrokes
– An early game development project
– Herbert A. Simon’s reflections on response times
– Altair 8800 interface: switches – no mouse, screen, keyboard – but nevertheless┬áloved by the users
– My mother is a computer: meaningful?

Have a go!