Coffee & Content: Reading Is Unnatural

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Guest: Jeff Johnson, Ph.D. > Hosts: Patrick Bosek and Scott Abel

About this talk

Reading is a complex, taxing process, particularly for unskilled readers. While speaking and understanding spoken language is a natural human ability, reading is not. Join us for a chat with human computer user interface design expert, Jeff Johnson, who will help you understand that reading is an artificial skill that we learn by systematic instruction and practice, like playing a violin, juggling, or reading music. On this episode of Coffee and Content, we'll discuss how humans read, the role of context, the impact of poor information design, and other factors that can influence how we help others find, understand, and act upon the information they need. After earning BA and PhD degrees from Yale and Stanford Universities, Jeffrey Johnson worked as a UI designer and implementer, engineer manager, usability tester, and researcher at Cromemco, Xerox, US West, Hewlett-Packard Labs, and Sun Microsystems. In the late 1980s and early 1990s he was chair of Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility. He has taught at Stanford University, Mills College, and in 2006 and 2013 taught HCI as an Erskine Fellow at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. Since 2004 he has served on the SIGCHI Public Policy Committee. In 2013 he presented in the prestigious Authors@Google talk series. He is a member of the ACM SIGCHI Academy and in 2016 received SIGCHI's Lifetime Achievement in Practice Award. He has authored or co-authored many articles and chapters on human-computer interaction, as well as the books GUI Bloopers, Web Bloopers, GUI Bloopers 2.0, Designing with the Mind in Mind, Conceptual Models: Core to Good Design (with Austin Henderson), Designing with the Mind in Mind 2nd edition, Designing User Interfaces for an Aging Population (with Kate Finn), and Designing with the Mind in Mind 3rd edition. Coffee and Content is brought to you by The Content Wrangler and Heretto, the ContentOps platform for product, reference, and knowledge content.
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