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Much of current culture and economy runs on software and revolves around user interfaces. Software must function correctly and run smoothly. Its interface to the ubiquitous user must be pleasant to observe, easy to understand, and intuitive to learn. Perception, appreciation, and apprehension are required from visitors, experts, students, and gamers. Whether the standard graphic user interface, the control room panel of instruments, or the robust public service screen, their aesthetic features determine our reactions. "Usability" has been the main concern of interface designers for more than three decades. But the shift from interface to interaction, and the tendency to new devices of interaction, aesthetics is slowly gaining the kind of attention needed for future development. When we look into the future, it is wise to be aware of the past. However, a good interface like a good piece of art is hard to achieve. This book therefore asks for the influence of designers and artists on early developments of graphic user interfaces. It carefully traces that development at Xerox PARC where it all happened. Results are surprising and encouraging. An important step is done to make interaction designers aware of their responsibility for new matters of aesthetics.
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