User-Centered Technology: A Rhetorical Theory for Computers and Other Mundane Artifacts

Robert R. Johnson


User-Centered Technology: A Rhetorical Theory for Computers and Other Mundane Artifacts

User-Centered Technology: A Rhetorical Theory for Computers and Other Mundane Artifacts

  • Title: User-Centered Technology: A Rhetorical Theory for Computers and Other Mundane Artifacts
  • Author: Robert R. Johnson
  • ISBN: 9780791439326
  • Page: 194
  • Format: Paperback



User Centered Technology presents a theoretical model for examining technology through a user perspective Johnson begins with a historical overview of the problem of technological use from the ancient Greeks to the present day a problem seen most clearly in historical discussions of rhetoric theory The central portion of the book elaborates on user centered theory by dUser Centered Technology presents a theoretical model for examining technology through a user perspective Johnson begins with a historical overview of the problem of technological use from the ancient Greeks to the present day a problem seen most clearly in historical discussions of rhetoric theory The central portion of the book elaborates on user centered theory by defining three focal issues of the theory user knowledge, human technology interaction, and technological determinism Working from an interdisciplinary perspective, Johnson uses rhetoric theory to present a definition of user knowledge human factors engineering to illuminate the ideological presuppositions built into technology design and history, philosophy, and sociology to explain technological determinism, possibly the greatest impediment to user centered technology development in modern times The latter part of the book applies user centered theory in two contexts the nonacademic sphere, where the writing and design of computer user documentation is discussed, and the academic sphere, through a discussion of how user centered concepts might drive university technical communication and composition curricula.


Recent Comments "User-Centered Technology: A Rhetorical Theory for Computers and Other Mundane Artifacts"

This is a frustratingly difficult text. Johnson spends too much time telling what he’s going to talk about and inflating the effectiveness of his argument when he’s through, rather than just saying what was on his mind. Johnson’s point here was to discuss the field and his ideas in general terms, to not fill a book with examples. He did that admirably: I swear there were only two clear case-studies that occupied a grand total of four pages. After reading the entire book, I have but a vague [...]

Johnson's book is a cornerstone for re-imagining the relationships between users, developers, and the texts/spaces they create. Unfortunately, the field of technical communication is often seen as an arhetorical field that functions on the premise of a conduit. For technical documents to work, the writer merely has to get the information down with clarity. Johnson is making the argument that technical writers need to take into account the ecologies of use and consider users as situated, knowledg [...]

I'm reading this again, in Sept. 2011, probably for the 4th time.


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    Published :2018-09-08T04:20:22+00:00