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From Human-Centeredness to Usability: The Shifting Terrains and Technopolitics of Human-Computer Interaction

21. Juni 2023 @ 15:00 - 16:00

Keynote, Max Stadler (Bauhaus-Universität Weimar)

In the late 1970s, video display units (also called video terminals) became more common and affordable, and were seen as the symbol of the post-industrial way of working and living. For instance, while there were around 50,000 of these terminals in West Germany in 1975, by 1985 there were already a million. The effects of this large-scale adoption of new technology have only recently been recognized in the study of computing history, including the conflicts that arose in the workplace, new areas of knowledge, and scientific theories that were developed as a result. By examining the histories of industrial sociology, user psychology, and related fields, as well as developments in West Germany, Great Britain, and the United States, this keynote focuses on an important shift in how experts approached people who used computers: from prioritizing «humane» working conditions to emphasizing individualized «user-friendliness.» The emerging sciences of the «casual user» thus illustrate broader changes in the post-industrial social research.

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