Publication statistics

Pub. period:1990-2008
Pub. count:34
Number of co-authors:34


Number of publications with 3 favourite co-authors:

Michael J. Muller:
Jr. Dan R. Olsen:
Ben Shneiderman:



Productive colleagues

David G. Novick's 3 most productive colleagues in number of publications:

Ben Shneiderman:225
Michael J. Muller:65
Jean Scholtz:54

Upcoming Courses

go to course
User-Centred Design - Module 3
92% booked. Starts in 3 days
go to course
Design Thinking: The Beginner's Guide
87% booked. Starts in 8 days

Featured chapter

Marc Hassenzahl explains the fascinating concept of User Experience and Experience Design. Commentaries by Don Norman, Eric Reiss, Mark Blythe, and Whitney Hess

User Experience and Experience Design !


Our Latest Books

The Social Design of Technical Systems: Building technologies for communities. 2nd Edition
by Brian Whitworth and Adnan Ahmad
start reading
Gamification at Work: Designing Engaging Business Software
by Janaki Mythily Kumar and Mario Herger
start reading
The Social Design of Technical Systems: Building technologies for communities
by Brian Whitworth and Adnan Ahmad
start reading
The Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction, 2nd Ed.
by Mads Soegaard and Rikke Friis Dam
start reading

David G. Novick

Has also published under the name of:
"David Novick" and "D. G. Novick"

Personal Homepage:


Publications by David G. Novick (bibliography)

 what's this?
Edit | Del

Novick, David G., Andrade, Oscar D., Bean, Nathaniel and Elizalde, Edith (2008): Help-based tutorials. In: DOC08 2008. pp. 1-8.

The consensus of the documentation literature is that users rarely use help, usually preferring to muddle through. To increase use of help, tutorials for novice users could be changed from guided presentations toward using the system's actual help system. To determine whether this approach would increase users' use of help when they encountered problems with an application, we developed an alternative, help-based tutorial introduction to Microsoft Publisher. We compared the behaviors of users introduced to Publisher with the help-based tutorial with the behaviors of users who learned from a traditional tutorial. A balanced study of 22 novice users of Publisher suggests that using a help-based tutorial leads to significantly greater use of help systems when users encounter problems. However, the data also suggest that the increased use of help may not lead to more effective task performance.

© All rights reserved Novick et al. and/or ACM Press

Edit | Del

Andrade, Oscar D. and Novick, David G. (2008): Expressing help at appropriate levels. In: DOC08 2008. pp. 125-130.

Users of help systems often complain that the documentation is pitched at the wrong level, but the "right" level differs among users. Building on a prior definition of the space of possible expressions of documentation in terms of task, application, and user experience, we explore what it means to express help at different levels. We also survey other dimensions in which help contents may be organized to provide ease of access to the information people need when troubleshooting applications, and conclude by proposing an interface through which users could navigate dynamically, thus finding help expressed at their own "right" level.

© All rights reserved Andrade and Novick and/or ACM Press

Edit | Del

Novick, David G., Elizalde, Edith and Bean, Nathaniel (2007): Toward a more accurate view of when and how people seek help with computer applications. In: Proceedings of the 25th annual ACM international conference on Design of communication 2007, El Paso, Texas, USA. pp. 95-102.

Based on 40 interviews and 11 on-site workplace observations of people using computer applications at work, we confirm that use of printed and on-line help is very low and find that providing greater detail of categories solution methods can present a more realistic picture of users' behaviors. Observed study participants encountered a usability problem on average about once every 75 minutes and typically spent about a minute looking for a solution. Participants consumed much more time when they were unaware of a direct way of doing something and instead used less effective methods. Comparison of results from different data-collection methods suggests that interviews, and probably surveys, provide less reliable views of users' problem-solving behaviors than do participatory evaluation and direct observation.

© All rights reserved Novick et al. and/or ACM Press

Edit | Del

Hollingsed, Tasha and Novick, David G. (2007): Usability inspection methods after 15 years of research and practice. In: Proceedings of the 25th annual ACM international conference on Design of communication 2007, El Paso, Texas, USA. pp. 249-255.

Usability inspection methods, such as heuristic evaluation, the cognitive walkthrough, formal usability inspections, and the pluralistic usability walkthrough, were introduced fifteen years ago. Since then, these methods, analyses of their comparative effectiveness, and their use have evolved in different ways. In this paper, we track the fortunes of the methods and analyses, looking at which led to use and to further research, and which led to relative methodological dead ends. Heuristic evaluation and the cognitive walkthrough appear to be the most actively used and researched techniques. The pluralistic walkthrough remains a recognized technique, although not the subject of significant further study. Formal usability inspections appear to have been incorporated into other techniques or largely abandoned in practice. We conclude with lessons for practitioners and suggestions for future research.

© All rights reserved Hollingsed and Novick and/or ACM Press

Edit | Del

Jan, Dusan, Herrera, David, Martinovski, Bilyana, Novick, David G. and Traum, David R. (2007): A Computational Model of Culture-Specific Conversational Behavior. In: Pelachaud, Catherine, Martin, Jean-Claude, Andre, Elisabeth, Chollet, Grard, Karpouzis, Kostas and Pele, Danielle (eds.) IVA 2007 - Intelligent Virtual Agents - 7th International Conference September 17-19, 2007, Paris, France. pp. 45-56.

Edit | Del

Novick, David G. and Ward, Karen (2006): Why don't people read the manual?. In: ACM 24th International Conference on Design of Communication 2006. pp. 11-18.

Few users of computer applications seek help from the documentation. This paper reports the results of an empirical study of why this is so and examines how, in real work, users solve their usability problems. Based on in-depth interviews with 25 subjects representing a varied cross-section of users, we find that users do avoid using both paper and online help systems. Few users have paper manuals for the most heavily used applications, but none complained about their lack. Online help is more likely to be consulted than paper manuals, but users are equally likely to report that they solve their problem by asking a colleague or experimenting on their own. Users cite difficulties in navigating the help systems, particularly difficulties in finding useful search terms, and disappointment in the level of explanation found.

© All rights reserved Novick and Ward and/or ACM Press

Edit | Del

Novick, David G. and Ward, Karen (2006): What users say they want in documentation. In: ACM 24th International Conference on Design of Communication 2006. pp. 84-91.

While earlier work provided a partial view of users' preferences about manuals, for most users in most work contexts the important question remains open: What do users want in documentation? This paper presents the results of a study in which a diverse cross-section of 25 users was interviewed in depth about their needs and preferences with respect to software help systems, whether printed or on-line, that they use at work. The study's participants indicated that they preferred documentation, whether online or printed, that is easy to navigate, provides explanations at an appropriate level of technical detail, enables finding as well as solving problems through examples and scenarios, and is complete and correct. These preferences give rise to difficult issues, including a possibly inherent tension between coverage and precision, and variation among users with respect to desired level of technical complexity of explanation.

© All rights reserved Novick and Ward and/or ACM Press

Edit | Del

Stamey, John, Novick, David G., Spinuzz, Clay and Mehlenbacher, Brad (2006): Research issues in the design of communication. In: ACM 24th International Conference on Design of Communication 2006. pp. 129-130.

Edit | Del

Novick, David G. and Lowe, Brian (2005): Co-generation of text and graphics. In: ACM 23rd International Conference on Computer Documentation 2005. pp. 6-11.

To reduce potential discrepancies between textual and graphical content in documentation, it is possible to produce both text and graphics from a single common source. One approach to co-generation of text and graphics uses a single logical specification; a second approach starts with CAD-based representation and produces a corresponding textual account. This paper explores these two different approaches, reports the results of using prototypes embodying the approaches to represent simple figures, and discusses issues that were identified through use of the prototypes. While it appears feasible to co-generate text and graphics automatically, the process raises deep issues of design of communications, including the intent of the producer of the documentation.

© All rights reserved Novick and Lowe and/or ACM Press

Edit | Del

Mendoza, Valerie and Novick, David G. (2005): Usability over time. In: ACM 23rd International Conference on Computer Documentation 2005. pp. 151-158.

Testing of usability could perhaps be more accurately described as testing of learnability. We know more about the problems of novice users than we know of the problems of experienced users. To understand how these problems differ, and to understand how usability problems change as users change from novice to experienced, we conducted a longitudinal study of usability among middle-school teachers creating Web sites. The study looked at the use both the use of documentation and the underlying software, tracking the causes and extent of user frustration over eight weeks. We validated a categorization scheme for frustration episodes. We found that over the eight weeks the level of frustration dropped, the distribution of causes of frustration changed, and the users' responses to frustration episodes changed. These results suggest that the sorts of errors that are most prominently featured in conventional usability testing are likely of little consequence over longer periods of time.

© All rights reserved Mendoza and Novick and/or ACM Press

Edit | Del

Sayles, Kenneth and Novick, David G. (2004): Assessing effectiveness of personality style in documentation. In: ACM 22nd International Conference on Computer Documentation 2004. pp. 75-82.

This paper extends previous work by other researchers that indicated that users of computers preferred a computer with a personality that was similar to theirs. We conducted a similar experiment, but looking beyond preference to see if the personality of documentation would make a difference in the user's performance. Our data suggest did not indicate that personality match affects performance; and if such a relationship exists it is likely to be weak. We discuss the related research, describe our methodology, present our results, and describe their implications and limitations.

© All rights reserved Sayles and Novick and/or ACM Press

Edit | Del

Snoddy, Sam and Novick, David G. (2004): Post-training support for learning technology. In: ACM 22nd International Conference on Computer Documentation 2004. pp. 90-96.

To examine the effects of post-training support, we studied the introduction of new gradebook software in a public high school. The school's 108 faculty members received training on the software, and approximately half of the faculty received post-training support for eight weeks. The study measured the faculty's current computer usage, usage of earlier versions of the software, and their perceived skill levels in using the software. The data suggest that the faculty members who received post-training support maintained and raised their skill levels, while unsupported faculty had their skill levels decline.

© All rights reserved Snoddy and Novick and/or ACM Press

Edit | Del

Novick, David G. and Ward, Karen (2003): An interaction initiative model for documentation. In: ACM 21st International Conference on Computer Documentation 2003. pp. 80-85.

In this paper we propose a model of creation and use of documentation based on the concept of mixed-initiative interaction. In our model, successful single-initiative interaction is characterized by grounding of contributions, and successful mixed-initiative interaction is characterized by both grounding and agreement. Just as in spoken conversation, achievement of actual agreement depends on the intentions of both parties; agreement is achieved when the reader follows the documentation's instructions. In fact, readers are not obligated to-and often do not-act according to the author's intentions. By making these dynamics explicit, the model can aid authors in developing effective documentation. The paper describes the model and its antecedents, explains the application of the model to documentation, discusses implications such as effects of printed versus electronic forms of documentation, and outlines future work that includes empirical testing of the model.

© All rights reserved Novick and Ward and/or ACM Press

Edit | Del

Ward, Karen and Novick, David G. (2003): Hands-free documentation. In: ACM 21st International Conference on Computer Documentation 2003. pp. 147-154.

In this paper, we introduce an analysis of the requirements and design choices for hands-free documentation. Hands-busy tasks such as cooking or car repair may require substantial interruption of the task: moving the pan off the burner and wiping hands, or crawling out from underneath the car. We review the need for hands-free documentation and explore the role of task in the use of documentation. Our central analysis examines the roles and characteristics of input and output modalities of hands-free documentation. In particular, we review the use of speech as an input modality, and then visual means and speech as possible output modalities. Finally, we discuss the implications of our analysis for the design of hands-free documentation and suggest future work. The design implications include issues of navigating through the documentation, determining the user's task and task-step, establishing mutual understanding of the state of the task, and determining when to start conveying information to the user.

© All rights reserved Ward and Novick and/or ACM Press

Edit | Del

Novick, David G. and Scholtz, Jean (2002): Universal usability. In Interacting with Computers, 14 (4) pp. 269-270.

Edit | Del

Novick, David G., Romero, Francisco, Saenz, Edgar Rene and Sandoval, Armando (2002): Extending direct manipulation in a text editor. In: ACM 20th International Conference on Computer Documentation 2002. pp. 127-132.

This paper describes the implementation of a prototype text editor that incorporates conversation-like features through the direct-manipulation modality. In this way, traditional direct-manipulation interaction techniques such as direct reference via pointing can be extended to include techniques more commonly associated with human conversation, such as negotiation of reference. The paper illustrates the use of the prototype with an extended example, and discusses research issues raised by the implementation.

© All rights reserved Novick et al. and/or ACM Press

Edit | Del

Novick, David G. and Wynn, Eleanor (2001): Users and uses of synchronous business communications software. In: IEEE ACM 19th International Conference on Computer Documentation 2001. pp. 142-146.

To help designers and authors understand users' intentions and work practices for synchronous business communications in a systematic way, we used ethnographic and task-analytic techniques to collect, analyze and classify evidence of the activities of potential users as they conducted their work lives. The interactions we observed among our users took place through a variety of modalities. We found eight categories of tasks for the collaborative or interactive work in which our subjects engaged. Based on these data, we were able to classify roles of potential users of synchronous business communications software into a set of "archetypes" that characterize their use: Thinkers, Producers, Authors, Networkers and Diplomats. Issues raised by our work include questions about the nature of user archetypes, user tasks, and their modalities.

© All rights reserved Novick and Wynn and/or ACM Press

Edit | Del

Novick, David G. (2000): Testing Documentation With "Low-Tech" Simulation. In: IEEE IPCC 2000 / ACM 18th International Conference on Systems Documentation 2000. pp. 55-68.

Edit | Del

Novick, David G. (2000): A Why-What-How Tool for Development and Documentation of Operating Procedures. In: IEEE IPCC 2000 / ACM 18th International Conference on Systems Documentation 2000. pp. 559-570.

Edit | Del

Novick, David G. (1999): Using the cognitive walkthrough for operating procedures. In Interactions, 6 (3) pp. 31-37.

Edit | Del

Novick, David G. (1999): Communicating with International Audiences. In ACM SIGCHI Bulletin, 31 (1) pp. 5-6.

Issues of international cooperation in the CHI community were made personal for me when I moved from the United States to France in July of 1996. Things that I should have noticed before, and which had slid right by me, all of a sudden became salient. For many people already immersed in internationally diverse work environments, much of this will probably be familiar. For those who tend to work within their own national environment, here are some observations and suggestions based on my experiences working in France that I hope will be of help. The most practical of these suggestions involve how to give a talk for an international audience, whether or not you're a native speaker of the meeting's target language.

© All rights reserved Novick and/or ACM Press

Edit | Del

Scholtz, Jean, Muller, Michael J., Novick, David G., Olsen, Jr. Dan R., Shneiderman, Ben and Wharton, Cathleen (1999): A Research Agenda for Highly Effective Human-Computer Interaction: Useful, Usable, and Universal. In ACM SIGCHI Bulletin, 31 (4) pp. 13-16.

Edit | Del

Novick, David G. and Juillet, Joel (1998): Documentation Integrity for Safety-Critical Applications: The COHERE Project. In: ACM 16th International Conference on Systems Documentation 1998. pp. 51-57.

A key aspect of the COHERE project involves building an authoring system for documentation for safety-critical systems. Following a set of documentation integrity maxims, the project developed two generations of prototype interfaces designed to assure consistency of information during production and revision of manuals.

© All rights reserved Novick and Juillet and/or ACM Press

Edit | Del

Novick, David G. and Tazi, Said (1998): Applying the Act-Function-Phase Model to Aviation Documentation. In: ACM 16th International Conference on Systems Documentation 1998. pp. 243-249.

The act-function-phase model systematically relates the acts of the dialogue at time-of-use to the acts of the dialogue between author and users at time-of-development. We show how this kind of model of communicative action can be applied to the interactions described and embodied in a flight crew operating manual for a commercial aircraft. We claim that the model's abstraction provides basis for co-evolutionary design of procedures and their corresponding documentation.

© All rights reserved Novick and Tazi and/or ACM Press

Edit | Del

Novick, David G. (1998): The SIGCHI International Issues Committee. In ACM SIGCHI Bulletin, 30 (4) pp. 16-18.

Forty-three people from fifteen countries participated in the CHI 98 special interest group on the SIGCHI International Issues Committee: Taking Action. Three people contributed to the SIG via e-mail. This SIG's principal goals were to inform the CHI community about the creation of the SIGCHI International Issues Committee, to encourage broad participation in the committee's activities, and to develop an action plan for the committee in carrying out the SIGCHI Executive Committee's recommendations. David G. Novick organized the SIG and served as facilitator. In its group discussion, SIG participants identified key issues and proposed means of responding to these issues.

© All rights reserved Novick and/or ACM Press

Edit | Del

Marshall, Catherine R. and Novick, David G. (1997): CHI Ten Year View: Creating and Sustaining Common Ground. In ACM SIGCHI Bulletin, 29 (1) pp. 14-17.

Edit | Del

Boy, Guy Andr and Novick, David G. (1997): The SIGCHI International Advisory Task Force: Preliminary Report. In ACM SIGCHI Bulletin, 29 (4) pp. 4-5.

Edit | Del

Hansen, Brian, Novick, David G. and Sutton, Stephen (1996): Systematic Design of Spoken Prompts. In: Tauber, Michael J., Bellotti, Victoria, Jeffries, Robin, Mackinlay, Jock D. and Nielsen, Jakob (eds.) Proceedings of the ACM CHI 96 Human Factors in Computing Systems Conference April 14-18, 1996, Vancouver, Canada. pp. 157-164.

Designers of system prompts for interactive spoken-language systems typically seek 1) to constrain users so that they say things that the system can understand accurately and 2) to produce "natural" interaction that maximizes users' satisfaction. Unfortunately, these goals are often at odds. We present a set of heuristics for choosing appropriate prompt styles and show that a set of dimensions can be formulated from these heuristics. A point (or region) in the space formed by these dimensions is a "style" for prompts. We develop and apply metrics for empirically testing different prompt styles. Finally, we describe a toolkit that automatically generates prompts in a variety of styles for spoken-language dialogues.

© All rights reserved Hansen et al. and/or ACM Press

Edit | Del

Wynn, Eleanor and Novick, David G. (1995): Conversational Conventions and Participation in Cross-Functional Design Teams. In: Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Organizational Computing Systems 1995 August 13-16, 1995, Milpitas, California, USA. pp. 250-257.

Edit | Del

Novick, David G. and Wynn, Eleanor (1993): Participatory Conversation in PD. In Communications of the ACM, 36 (6) p. 93.

Edit | Del

Douglas, Sarah A., Doerry, Eckehard and Novick, David G. (1992): QUICK: a tool for graphical user-interface construction by non-programmers. In The Visual Computer, 8 (2) pp. 117-133. http://

Edit | Del

Novick, David G. (1991): Controlling Interaction with Meta-Acts. In ACM SIGCHI Bulletin, 23 (4) pp. 45-46.

User models that are adequate for conversational interaction between human and machine must include meta-knowledge about the state of conversational control. This paper discusses the representation and use of such meta-knowledge, proposes a conversational model based on meta-locutionary acts, and presents a conversational simulation based on the model.

© All rights reserved Novick and/or ACM Press

Edit | Del

Douglas, Sarah A., Doerry, Eckehard and Novick, David G. (1990): QUICK: A User Interface Design Kit for Non-Programmers. In: Hudson, Scott E. (ed.) Proceedings of the 3rd annual ACM SIGGRAPH symposium on User interface software and technology October 03 - 05, 1990, Snowbird, Utah, United States. pp. 47-56.

Interface design toolkits have proven useful, both for exploring conceptual issues in user interface design, and for constructing product quality interfaces for commercial applications. However, most such toolkits focus on a relatively low-level of abstraction, are oriented towards design of a limited set of "standard" interface types, and are intended for expert users. Our QUICK system explores the opposite pole. QUICK is a toolkit for the design of highly interactive direct manipulation interfaces oriented specifically towards non-programmers. The challenge we face in QUICK lies in maximizing the power and flexibility in an extremely simple environment. We explore the utility of direct manipulation, the object oriented paradigm and a structure editor in this context.

© All rights reserved Douglas et al. and/or ACM Press

Edit | Del

Novick, David G. and Walpole, Jonathan (1990): Enhancing the Efficiency of Multiparty Interaction Through Computer Mediation. In Interacting with Computers, 2 (2) pp. 227-246.

People use various techniques to reduce the complexity of realtime multiparty conversational interaction. These techniques -- formal meetings, for example -- generally restrict the format of the interaction in an attempt to reduce the amount of control information which must be processed by each conversant. This allows the conversants to concentrate more on domain specific information but severely reduces the efficiency of interaction. Previous approaches to the design of computer-mediated interaction (CMI) systems have largely attempted to automate such mechanisms. This paper examines the current state of research in the area of CMI systems and suggests a new direction for research in this area based on the utilisation of control information to increase communicative efficiency. To demonstrate the practical application of these ideas, an initial design for a CMI system which uses the concept of virtual conversants is presented. The CMI system assumes the burden of processing control information and presents to each conversant: * a two party interaction model for control information * a multiparty interaction model for domain information.

© All rights reserved Novick and Walpole and/or Elsevier Science

Add publication
Show list on your website

Join our community and advance:




Join our community!

Page Information

Page maintainer: The Editorial Team