Designing for Humans, Not Robots (or Vulcans)

Lueg, Christopher; Twidale, Michael (2018). Designing for Humans, Not Robots (or Vulcans) Library Trends, 66(4), pp. 409-421. Johns Hopkins University Press

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There is growing interest in embodiment in information seeking, which we use as an opportunity to reconsider what we as designers of information interfaces aim for. While we have become quite good at developing interfaces that are effective at supporting specific needs or needs that have been rendered specific, we are still not good at providing interfaces that reflect a key human characteristic and strength: being embedded in this world and being curious about it. While this discussion is related to research into serendipity (see, e.g., Erdelez et al. 2016), we stay clear of this body of work since we feel the issue is a broader one: we seem to have become stuck designing interfaces that are more suitable for patient, logical, rational robots (or Vulcans) than for mammals who get tired, bored, exited, irritated, intrigued, or distracted, and who even change their minds about what they want to do.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


School of Engineering and Computer Science > Institut für Medizininformatik I4MI


Lueg, Christopher0000-0003-1022-5724 and
Twidale, Michael


T Technology > T Technology (General)
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z665 Library Science. Information Science




Johns Hopkins University Press


Christopher Lueg

Date Deposited:

01 Apr 2020 10:03

Last Modified:

25 Sep 2021 02:17

Publisher DOI:




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