Tom Chi  

HCI Superpowers

February 17th, 2004 by Tom Chi :: see related comic

Well we’ve got ourselves into quite a situation now. 12 HCI figureheads all with superpowers… I think. Will Lou Rosenfeld unleash a fascinating ontology? Will Brenda Laurel transform the East into a quivering transmedia substrate? (Don’t ask me what that means). Perhaps Tufte will disappear into thin air using his principal of minimal visual difference, or Winograd will apply the priciple of “throwness” literally. I’m getting quite confused trying to figure out exactly how everyone will fight, so I’m opening it up to the readers for suggestions. Which superpowers do you want to see for your favorite HCI star?

3 Responses to “HCI Superpowers”
Bob Salmon wrote:

I think it would help if we knew how they came to have superpowers in the first place. Who was bitten by a radioactive use case? Who’s an alien from another planet? Who sought enlightenment from esoteric monks? (http://www.ok-cancel.com/archives/week_2003_11_21.html)

Don Norman’s got to have an Affordance Ray. It uses his principle of affordances, plus the dictat that things should accommodate people rather than the other way around. When he zaps you with it, you change so that he can dispatch you easily. Maybe the ray gun has a dial on it to configure it . You could change into a ball so he can kick you into the sunset. Maybe you sprout large handles so he can easily give you a judo throw. Or, you could turn 2 dimensional so that he can fold you up like a map and throw you in a bin. All hail the mighty Don!

Fitts' Lawn wrote:

OK/Cancel: HCI Superpowers

OK/Cancel ask “Which superpowers do you want to see for your favorite HCI star?” Bob Salmon has an interesting idea; Don Norman’s got to have an Affordance Ray. … When he zaps you with it, you change so that he

Justin Donaldson wrote:

How about Yvonne Rogers? I was kind of thinking of “The Jolly Roger” as a super hero name.


Leave a Reply


OK/Cancel is a comic strip collaboration co-written and co-illustrated by Kevin Cheng and Tom Chi. Our subject matter focuses on interfaces, good and bad and the people behind the industry of building interfaces - usability specialists, interaction designers, human-computer interaction (HCI) experts, industrial designers, etc. (Who Links Here) ?