Essential Interaction Design Essays and Articles

I’ve started a list of essays and articles that I feel are important touchstones and reference points for interaction designers. These are not books (my Top Ten Essential Interaction Design Books), book chapters, or presentations (list to come), and I’ve certainly left out some classic (and not-yet-classic) articles. The list, as the best lists often are, is idiosyncratic. But please offer your own suggestions for additions in the comments.

If an article isn’t linked, most likely it is behind a firewall (the ACM’s firewall, to be specific). If you find an article publicly available, please let me know its URL.

The list, in chronological order:

Abraham Maslow, “A Theory of Human Motivation” (1943)

Vannevar Bush, “As We May Think” (1945)

Claude Shannon, “A Mathematical Theory of Communication” (pdf) (1948)

William Hick, “On the rate of gain of information” (1952)

Ray Hyman, “Stimulus information as a determinant of reaction time” (1953)

Paul Fitts, “The information capacity of the human motor system in controlling the amplitude of movement” (pdf) (1954)

Erving Goffman, “”On Face-work: An Analysis of Ritual Elements of Social Interaction” (1955)

George Miller, “The magical number seven, plus or minus two: Some limits on our capacity for processing information” (pdf) (1956)

Ivan Sutherland, “SketchPad: A Man-Machine Graphical Communication System” (pdf) (1963)

J.C.R. Licklider and Robert Taylor, “The Computer as Communication Device” (pdf) (1968)

Stuart Brand, “SPACEWAR: Fanatic Life and Symbolic Death Among the Computer Bums” (1972)

Horst Rittel and Melvin Webber, “Dilemmas in a General Theory of Planning,” (pdf) (1973)

Alan Kay, “Personal Computing” (pdf) (1975)

Allen Newell and Herbert Simon, “Computer Science as Empirical Inquiry: Symbols and Search” (1976)

Bill Verplank, et al, “Designing the Star User Interface” (1982)

Ben Shneiderman, “Direct Manipulation: A Step Beyond Programming Languages” (1983)

Don Norman, “Affordances and Design” (1988)

Alan Kay, “Predicting the Future” (1989)

Thomas Erickson, “Working with Interface Metaphors” (pdf) (1990)

Mitch Kapor, “A Software Design Manifesto” (1990)

Mark Weiser, “The Computer for the 21st Century” (1991)

Richard Buchanan, “Wicked Problems in Design Thinking” (1992)

Jeff Raskin, “Intuitive Equals Familiar” (1994)

Mark Weiser and John Seely Brown, “Designing Calm Technology” (1995)

Lucy Suchman, “Making Work Visible” (pdf) (1995)

Philip Johnson-Laird, “Mental Models, Deductive Reasoning, and The Brain” (pdf) (1995)

Hugh Dubberly, “Managing Complex Design Projects” (pdf) (1995)

Lauralee Alben, “At the Heart of Interaction Design” (pdf) (1996)

Don Gentner and Jakob Nielsen, “The Anti-Mac User Interface” (1996)

Bonnie Nardi, “Activity Theory and Human-Computer Interaction” (pdf) (1996)

Jared Spool, “Bridging Conceptual Gaps” (1996)

Brian Eno, “The Revenge of the Intuitive” (1999)

Shawn Barnett, “Jeff Hawkins: The man who almost single-handedly revived the handheld computer industry” (2000)

Chris Pacione, “Making Meaning” (pdf) (2000)

Richard Buchanan, “Good Design in the Digital Age” (pdf) (2000)

Robert Reimann, “So You Want to Be an Interaction Designer” (2001)

Scott Berkun, “Strategies of Influence for Interaction Designers” (2001)

Don Norman, “Emotion and Design: Attractive Things Work Better” (2002)

Stephan Wensveen, Kees Overbeeke, and Tom Djajadiningrat, “But How, Donald, Tell Us How?: On the creation of meaning in interaction design through feedforward and inherent feedback” (pdf) (2002)

Bruce Tognazzini, “First Principles of Interaction Design” (2003)

Bill Buxton, “Performance by Design: The Role of Design in Software Product Development” (pdf) (2003)

Scott Berkun, “The Myth of Discoverability” (2003)

Alan Cooper, “The Origin of Personas” (2003)

Andrei Herasimchuk, “Please Make Me Think!: Are high-tech usability priorities backwards?” (2004)

Gary Rivlin, “The Tug of the Newfangled Slot Machines” (2004)

Barry Schwartz, “The Tyranny of Choice” (pdf) (2004)

Dan Hill, “Insanely Great, Or Just Good Enough?” (2004)

Jodi Forlizzi and Katja Battarbee, “Understanding Experience in Interactive Systems” (pdf) (2004)

Paul Dourish, “What We Talk About When We Talk About Context” (pdf) (2004)

Michael Bierut, “On (Design) Bullshit” (2005)

Jared Spool, “What Makes a Design Seem Intuitive?” (2005)

Anne Galloway, “Seams and scars, Or Where to look when assessing collaborative work” (pdf) (2005)

Michael Bierut, “This is My Process” (2006)

Julian Bleecker, “Why Things Matter” (2006)

Eli Blevis, “Sustainable Interaction Design: invention & disposal, renewal & reuse” (pdf) (2007)

Don Norman, “Simplicity is Highly Overrated” (2007)

James Surowiecki, “Feature Presentation” (2007)

Adam Greenfield, “On the ground running: Lessons from experience design” (2007)

Bill Buxton, “The Long Nose of Innovation” (2008)

Aaron Powers, “What Robotics Can Learn from HCI” (2008)

Paul Graham, “Six Principles for Making New Things” (2008)

Don Norman, “Technology First, Needs Last” (2009)

Jonas Löwgren, “Toward an Articulation of Interaction Esthetics” (pdf) (2009)

Dan Saffer, “Controls are Choices” (2009)

BJ Fogg, “Creating Persuasive Technologies: An Eight-Step Design Process” (pdf) (2009)

Om Malik, “User Experience Matters: What Entrepreneurs Can Learn From ‘Objectified'” (2010)

Jon Kolko, “Abductive Thinking and Sensemaking: The Drivers of Design Synthesis” (2010)

Paul Seys, “11 Principles of Interaction Design Explained” (2010)

Update: If you like this list, I’ve moved it (and books and presentations) to The IxD Library.