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International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction 15

Editors:Kay M. Stanney; Gavriel Salvendy
Dates:2003
Volume:15
Publisher:Ablex Publishing Corporation
Standard No:ISSN 1044-7318
Papers:32
Links:Table of Contents
  1. IJHCI 2003 Volume 15 Issue 1
  2. IJHCI 2003 Volume 15 Issue 2
  3. IJHCI 2003 Volume 15 Issue 3

IJHCI 2003 Volume 15 Issue 1

Editorial: Design Versus design: A Nordic Perspective BIB 1-4
  Ann Lantz; Jan Gulliksen
Design Versus design-From the Shaping of Products to the Creation of User Experiences BIBA 5-20
  Jan Gulliksen; Ann Lantz
The concept of design in the context of human-computer interaction is discussed based on definitions from industrial design to the very practical problem of achieving usability in industrial projects in practice. Design is an important quality of a product that today has not been receiving enough attention when it comes to computerized artifacts. Design is also a process of creating the user's experience of a system. This article focuses more on design as a creative process of communication than on a posteriori product quality aspects. The Scandinavian tradition has stressed the importance of users participating actively in a user-centered design process. The article defines and discusses user-centered design in light of the theories of communication as put forth by Herbert Clark (1996). Communication is identified as one of the key issues that needs to be addressed to achieve well-functioning user-centered design. The article discusses different terminology and gives examples from a theory on common ground. Finally, mock-ups, prototypes, and video are discussed as tools for facilitating communication and construction of common ground.
Dialogue Design-With Mutual Learning as Guiding Principle BIBA 21-40
  Janni Nielsen; Lone Dirckinck-Holmfeld; Oluf Danielsen
This article describes a large European research and development project on Multimedia and Network in Co-operative Research and Learning (MANICORAL) from the point of view of participating human-computer interaction (HCI) researchers. The project developed the methodology of dialogue design, drawing on two sources: participatory design (PD) and dialogue research (DR). Action research is understood as the historical basis for the two strands, where PD has focused on research in working life, and DR has focused on living conditions. However, dialogue design as a methodology differs in a number of aspects. In dialogue design, the carrying principal is mutual learning, focus is on working life of high resource groups, and users are themselves developing parts of the technologies. The techniques applied and the role of HCI researcher as mediator creating dialogues are introduced and reflected upon. Dialogue design is discussed within the theoretical concepts of communication and learning.
Ethnographic Fieldwork Under Industrial Constraints: Toward Design-in-Context BIBA 41-50
  Werner Sperschneider; Kirsten Bagger
In this article, ethnographic fieldwork is discussed as a research technique for user-centered design in industry. The original meaning of fieldwork in ethnography is considered, and how ethnographically inspired fieldwork can enrich research and data gathering in a participatory design setting are discussed. The ethnographer in his or her field seeks to "go native." But in an industrial setting, there is neither time nor resources for prolonged engagement with users. Is there a "quick and dirty" version of going native? Five cases of video-based research techniques are presented as examples of a participant observation research strategy, and means of moving beyond observation are discussed. The ethnographer seeks to understand the world as it is. The designer wants to change the world through introducing new products. Is there a way to study the changes to come, of involving users in design in their own work context? In this article, design-in-context is introduced through 2 cases of user involvement.
Alarms -- Localization, Orientation, and Recognition BIB 51-66
  Marcus Sanchez Svensson; Hans Tap
Interaction Styles: An Aesthetic Sense of Direction in Interface Design BIBA 67-85
  Trond Are Oritsland; Jacob Buur
In architecture and industrial design, the concept of style plays a major role in education as a way of establishing an understanding of visual design expression. In this article we claim that interaction design can benefit greatly from a similar application of style. It can provide designers with strong visions and a sense of direction in designing new interfaces. In particular, the focus is on solid user interface design (i.e., products with small displays and a limited number of keys) because of the tight coupling of interaction and industrial design.
   Style theory is explored and an experiment is reported that introduces interaction-style thinking in a user-centered design process in industry. Further, a discussion about parallels between our approach to interaction design and the dominant styles of the twentieth-century, Scandinavian design in particular, is provided.
User Study of Video-Mediated Communication in the Domestic Environment With Intellectually Disabled Persons BIBA 87-103
  Stefan Junestrand; Goran Molin; Konrad Tollmar; Ulf Keijer
A user study of video-mediated communication (VMC) involving six persons with mild intellectual disability is presented. It took place at comHOME, a full-scale model of an apartment of the future, showing innovative architectural and technical designs with regard to the integration of VMC into the domestic environment. Two different zones for VMC, comZONES, in the apartment were tested, the videoTORSO (a large-screen set-up for informal everyday communication) and the workPLACE (a place for professional work tasks). The purpose of the study was to get a deeper understanding of how people use these comZONES. The final discussion points out that the comZONES seem to be interpreted correctly and to function aptly in relation to the participants in the study. An assumed explanation is that spatial recognition is a very fundamental human function and thus less significant with regard to the mental capacity of the individual.
Visitor-Oriented Design-Three Studies of Visitor Accommodation and a Call for Action BIBA 105-120
  Anders Hedman
This article proposes and describes a visitor-oriented perspective emphasizing the unique needs of visitors of digital environments in contrast to the user-oriented perspective that emphasizes the needs of users. To do so, the term accommodation is introduced in a technical sense and given a brief explanation. Results are also reported from 3 explorative studies of desktop virtual reality environments. In these studies, the visitor-oriented perspective was adopted and allowed for analyzing how participants perceived the environments as places rather than artifacts for use. In comparison to a web site, it was found that even a rudimentary virtual reality environment can have a positive impact on visitor regard for information content. Implementing teleports increased the efficiency of 1 test environment, but it was not found to have a positive effect on user attitudes to the environment. Many participants felt that the environments were sterile. Another common complaint was about the amount of walking required in the first environment. Five suggestions are given for building desktop virtual reality environments that are better received by visitors. In closing, the visitor-oriented perspective presented here is briefly discussed in relation to Winograd and Taber's (1997) writings on software inhabitants.
Visualizing Discussion History BIBA 121-134
  Jarkko Leponiemi
Current computer-mediated discussion systems usually force an elaborate hierarchical structure on the annotations of a discussion. Applying existing visualization techniques can allow a more free and natural structure. GraffiDis is a discussion system supporting computer-mediated asynchronous and synchronous discussion. The discussions conducted with the system consist of graphical annotations including text and graphical elements. The history of the discussion is visualized by fading the older annotations to the background of the discussion. Using a simple slider, a user can browse the history of the discussion forward and backward. This article describes the system and the visualization technique with the aid of 2 sample discussions. Experiences gained by using the system indicate that GraffiDis is especially suitable for conducting discussions that have a clear target provided in the form of a background picture.
Book Review BIB 135-137
  Robert Stone
Book Review BIB 139-141
  Arnold Lund
Criteria For Evaluating Usability Evaluation Methods BIBA 145-181
  H. Rex Hartson; Terence S. Andre; Robert C. Williges
The current variety of alternative approaches to usability evaluation methods (UEMs) designed to assess and improve usability in software systems is offset by a general lack of understanding of the capabilities and limitations of each. Practitioners need to know which methods are more effective and in what ways and for what purposes. However, UEMs cannot be evaluated and compared reliably because of the lack of standard criteria for comparison. In this article, we present a practical discussion of factors, comparison criteria, and UEM performance measures useful in studies comparing UEMs. In demonstrating the importance of developing appropriate UEM evaluation criteria, we offer operational definitions and possible measures of UEM performance. We highlight specific challenges that researchers and practitioners face in comparing UEMs and provide a point of departure for further discussion and refinement of the principles and techniques used to approach UEM evaluation and comparison.
The Evaluator Effect: A Chilling Fact About Usability Evaluation Methods BIBA 183-204
  Morten Hertzum; Niels Ebbe Jacobsen
Computer professionals have a need for robust, easy-to-use usability evaluation methods (UEMs) to help them systematically improve the usability of computer artifacts. However, cognitive walkthrough (CW), heuristic evaluation (HE), and thinking-aloud study (TA)-3 of the most widely used UEMs-suffer from a substantial evaluator effect in that multiple evaluators evaluating the same interface with the same UEM detect markedly different sets of problems. A review of 11 studies of these 3 UEMs reveals that the evaluator effect exists for both novice and experienced evaluators, for both cosmetic and severe problems, for both problem detection and severity assessment, and for evaluations of both simple and complex systems. The average agreement between any 2 evaluators who have evaluated the same system using the same UEM ranges from 5% to 65%, and no 1 of the 3 UEMs is consistently better than the others. Although evaluator effects of this magnitude may not be surprising for a UEM as informal as HE, it is certainly notable that a substantial evaluator effect persists for evaluators who apply the strict procedure of CW or observe users thinking out loud. Hence, it is highly questionable to use a TA with 1 evaluator as an authoritative statement about what problems an interface contains. Generally, the application of the UEMs is characterized by (a) vague goal analyses leading to variability in the task scenarios, (b) vague evaluation procedures leading to anchoring, or (c) vague problem criteria leading to anything being accepted as a usability problem, or all of these. The simplest way of coping with the evaluator effect, which cannot be completely eliminated, is to involve multiple evaluators in usability evaluations.

IJHCI 2003 Volume 15 Issue 2

Introduction to Mediated Reality BIB 205-208
  Steve Mann; Woodrow Barfield
Early Experiences of Visual Memory Prosthesis for Supporting Episodic Memory BIBA 209-230
  Jyrki Hoisko
This article describes the use, experiences, and inferred design issues of an audio-visual content recorder that supports retrospective episodic memory (i.e., memory of personal events). In addition, some further user interface issues are discussed. The concept was explored by collecting mostly images and some audio over a period of more than a year (every now and then) using a body-worn camera and DAT-recorder. Special browser was built to be used in wearable and desktop computers. We also consider the use of thumbnail reductions of images. We empirically determined that image and audio data could help episodic memory to recall other facts related to the recorded episode. This kind of technology could be utilized in both personal and professional applications.
Wearable Mobility Aid for Low Vision Using Scene Classification in a Markov Random Field Model Framework BIBA 231-244
  M. R. Everingham; B. T. Thomas; T. Troscianko
This article describes work on a novel approach to vision enhancement for people with severe visual impairments. This approach utilizes computer vision techniques to classify scene content so that visual enhancement of the scene can identify semantically important concepts. The mediated view of a scene presented to the user is in the form of a highly-saturated color image in which distinct colors represent important object types in the scene. The effectiveness of this scheme was demonstrated in a pilot study participated in by people with a range of visual impairments. The scene classification technique uses an artificial neural network classifier within the framework of a Markov random field model, and the accuracy and robustness of this technique using low quality video images from a hand-held camera is demonstrated.
Testing Visual Search Performance Using Retinal Light Scanning as a Future Wearable Low Vision Aid BIBA 245-263
  Sun-Kai V. Lin; Eric J. Seibel; Thomas A., III Furness
For the goal of designing a wearable low vision aid, aspects of both head-mounted display (HMD) design and performance evaluation were integrated into a single study of scanning ability. A head-mounted version of a novel retinal light scanning display known as the virtual retinal display was fabricated for this study. A remote head CCD (charge coupled device) attached approximately at the user's line of sight was used as the input source. Scanning ability was quantified as the time to identify a target in a wide field of distractors while using the HMD design in four different display interface modes (DIMs). Each DIM was tested with respect to their corresponding controls: A (augmented, see-through) and CO (center occluded) DIMs were compared to the augmented control (augmented, retinal display turned off), and CPO (center and periphery occluded) and PO (periphery occluded) DIMs were compared to the periphery occluded control (periphery obstructed, retinal display turned off). Each DIM was tested at high, medium, and low contrast levels. Five subjects were tested without optical correction (visual acuity worse than 20/200), which accurately represented low vision subjects. Results showed that for each DIM, scanning performance decreased as the contrast level decreased. At the lowest contrast level, the PO DIM provided the greatest and most significant improvement in scanning performance. At the medium and highest contrast levels, all DIMs provided equal or worse performance than their controls. Additionally, the subjects' natural visual acuity showed no correlation with scan time. All subjects reported a higher acuity with the retinal display, and showed a diverse range of preference for the most helpful DIM. Based on these results, we realized that low vision applications have unique design requirements unlike those for normally sighted users, and therefore customization of a wearable low vision aid may be an optimal design strategy.
Mediated Reality Through Glasses or Binoculars? Exploring Use Models of Wearable Computing in the Context of Aircraft Maintenance BIBA 265-284
  Daniel Fallman
Aircraft maintenance is often considered a typical application for specialized wearable computer systems, designed and used for a specific purpose only. From the findings of an interpretive case study conducted at Scandinavian Airlines Systems, the largest commercial airline in Scandinavia, there is evidence to question the potential usefulness of such a system.
   Instead, in this article, aircraft maintenance is used to explore the potentialities of different use models of wearable computing (i.e., the way the system is designed, used, and understood, and which should also make sense in other environments). The use models are (a) a vertical model addressed by a binoculars-analogy, where the system is designed and used for a specific purpose; and (b) a horizontal model, approached by perceiving wearable computers as eyeglasses, where the system is used throughout the day for a number of activities. Problems with both models suggest an alternative use model, which is presented as the embodied use model, drawing on the notion of embodiment introduced by Ihde (1990).
Seeing with the Brain BIB 285-295
  Paul Bach-y-Rita; Mitchell E. Tyler; Kurt A. Kaczmarek
The Internet Chair BIBA 297-311
  Michael Cohen
A pivot (swivel, rotating) chair is considered as an input/output device, an information appliance. The input modality is orientation tracking, which can dynamically select transfer functions used to spatialize audio in a rotation-invariant soundscape. In groupware situations, like teleconferencing or chat spaces, such orientation tracking can also be used to twist iconic representations of a seated user, avatars in a virtual world, enabling social situation awareness via coupled visual displays, soundscape-stabilized virtual source locations, and direction-dependent projection of non-omnidirectional sources. Using its audio output modality, the system can present unencumbered binaural sound with soundscape stabilization for multichannel sound image localization.

IJHCI 2003 Volume 15 Issue 3

On the Advantages of a Systematic Inspection for Evaluating Hypermedia Usability BIBA 315-335
  A. De Angeli; M. Matera; M. F. Costabile; F. Garzotto; P. Paolini
It is indubitable that usability inspection of complex hypermedia is still an "art," in the sense that a great deal is left to the skills, experience, and ability of the inspectors. Training inspectors is difficult and often quite expensive. The Systematic Usability Evaluation (SUE) inspection technique has been proposed to help usability inspectors share and transfer their evaluation know-how, to simplify the hypermedia inspection process for newcomers, and to achieve more effective and efficient evaluation results. SUE inspection is based on the use of evaluation patterns, called abstract tasks, which precisely describe the activities to be performed by evaluators during inspection. This article highlights the advantages of this inspection technique by presenting its empirical validation through a controlled experiment. Two groups of novice inspectors were asked to evaluate a commercial hypermedia CD-ROM by applying the SUE inspection or traditional heuristic evaluation. The comparison was based on three major dimensions: effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction. Results indicate a clear advantage of the SUE inspection over the traditional inspection on all dimensions, demonstrating that abstract tasks are efficient tools to drive the evaluator's performance.
Flexible User Interfaces for Group Collaboration BIBA 337-360
  Ivan Marsic; Bogdan Dorohonceanu
Flexible user interfaces that can be customized to meet the needs of the task at hand are particularly important for telecollaboration. This article presents the design and implementation of a user interface for DISCIPLE, a platform-independent telecollaboration framework. DISCIPLE supports sharing of Java components that are imported into the shared workspace at run-time and can be interconnected into more complex components. As a result, run-time interconnection of various components allows user tailoring of the human-computer interface. Software architecture for customization of both a group-level and application-level interfaces is presented, with interface components that are loadable on demand. The architecture integrates the sensory modalities of speech, sight, and touch. Instead of imposing one "right" solution onto users, the framework lets users tailor the user interface that best suits their needs. Finally, laboratory experience with DISCIPLE tested on a variety of applications with the framework is discussed along with future research directions.
Training Novice Users in Developing Strategies for Responding to Errors When Browsing the Web BIBA 361-377
  Jonathan Lazar; Anthony Norcio
Novice users frequently make errors when learning a new computer task and spend a large portion of their time trying to recover from errors. Three methods for helping novice users respond to errors have been presented in the literature: error management training, exploratory training, and conceptual models. In error management training, errors are presented as opportunities for learning, and users are instructed in strategies for coping with errors. In exploration, users are given an overview of their environment and are taught how to navigate through their task environment. Conceptual models are graphical or mathematical representations of a system that correspond closely to the real-world system. This experiment tested the effectiveness of these different approaches on training novice users to use the Internet. In this experiment, users received 3 hr of training on the World Wide Web and then were asked to perform a set of information retrieval tasks. Performance was measured in two ways: task performance and performance time. Participants who received exploratory training had significantly higher task performance. Participants who received exploration and conceptual models, both individually and together, were able to complete the tasks in less time. Error management had no significant effect on the performance of participants. In the task application of Web browsing, exploration seems to be the most appropriate training method for novice users.
Effects of Cursor Orientation and Required Precision on Positioning Movements on Computer Screens BIBA 379-389
  J. G. Phillips; J. W. Meehan; T. J. Triggs
Arrowhead cursors used within graphic-user interfaces include implicit directional cues that may not be compatible with desired axis of motion. In addition, arrowhead cursors may not afford the best cues for location, and such effects may be exacerbated when there is a greater need for precise cursor placement. To address the impact of the cursor's orientation on its positioning, 12 participants were required to move cursors (pointing arrows) leftward or rightward to targets (small, medium, or large) on a computer screen. Response latencies were influenced by compatibilities between movement direction and cursor shape but only when moderate levels of precision were required. Rightward movements were slower and less accurate, and movements were slower and less efficient when arrows pointed in compatible directions. Implicit directional cues only elicited compatibility effects with moderate precision requirements. Arrowhead cursors compatible with direction of motion led to slower cursor movements and less efficient cursor trajectories. Where response initiation is important, compatible arrowheads are beneficial, but if speed of cursor placement is an issue, an orientation neutral cursor with area effect might be preferable, or a more direct interface (e.g., touch-sensitive screen) might be more appropriate.
Muscular Activity in Relation to Support of the Upper Extremity in Work With a Computer Mouse BIBA 391-406
  Jarmo Sillanpaa; Mika Nyberg; Jukka Uitti; Esa-Pekka Takala; Pertti Kivi; Iiro Kilpikari; Pekka Laippala
The objective of this study was to compare the effects of using a forearm or wrist support on muscular load in the forearm and neck-shoulder region during work with a computer mouse. Fourteen 35- to 50-year-old healthy women who worked with a video display unit for at least 4 hr a day in an office and who also used a computer mouse for at least 2 hr a day participated in this experimental study. In the laboratory, computer mouse use with the forearm supported was compared with computer mouse use with the wrist supported. The participants edited a text table by moving symbols from one square to another in a fixed order. Each trial was a set of 64 movements. The trials were repeated 10 times in random order, 5 trials with each method of support. The dependent variable was electromyographic activity measured from muscles in the preferred lower arm and in the neck-shoulder region. Normalization to the individual mean of each participant was found to be more effective in reducing the interindividual variation than normalization to the maximal electrical activity (MEMG) obtained during isometric maximal voluntary contraction using the variation coefficient. The amplitudes normalized to the individual mean of each participant were used to evaluate the statistical significance of the difference between the methods of support. To interpret the magnitude and the practical meaning of the statistically significant differences, the corresponding mean percentages of the MEMG were used. The results of the study indicate that changing the position and support of the upper extremity affects muscular activity in the forearm and neck-shoulder region. The load on the trapezius muscle is significantly lower when the forearm is supported, and therefore such support may offer one means of preventing common disorders in the neck-shoulder region in office work. The load on the infraspinatus muscle and on forearm flexor muscles was, on the contrary, higher when the forearm was supported. The result may indicate the difficulty that workers have in adopting new hand and upper arm movements when using a computer mouse.
Evaluation of Shoulder Muscular Fatigue Induced During VDT Tasks BIBA 407-417
  Atsuo Murata; Atsushi Uetake; Syuichiro Matsumoto; Yosuke Takasawa
This study was designed to evaluate localized muscular fatigue induced during visual display terminal (VDT) tasks. In the experimental paradigm used, electromyography (EMG) signals were not recorded during the VDT task but during isometric contractions in which the load imposed on the shoulder muscle was kept constant. The change in mean power frequency (MPF) and the root mean square values of EMG signals with time were explored. The correspondence between these measures and the psychological rating of localized muscular fatigue also were examined. The effectiveness of the experimental paradigm and of the measures used for evaluation of localized muscular fatigue are discussed. MPF measured during isometric contraction was found to be a sensitive measure of localized muscular fatigue.
Does the Use of E-Mail Change Over Time? BIBA 419-431
  A. Lantz
Many empirical studies of the use of e-mail have been performed, but longitudinal studies are not common. In this article a longitudinal study is presented, with data collected during 1994, 1995, and 1998. The research question was as follows: How does the use of e-mail change over time concerning problems experienced with e-mail, the flow of messages, and time to handle mail (i.e., to send and receive a response)? Results show that the flow of messages was stable (sent mail per day) or doubled (received messages per day). Time to handle mail was stable over the 5 years, but the experienced amount of time to handle mail changed from not being sufficient to sometimes sufficient depending on the total work situation. Experienced problems with e-mail decreased during the 5-year study period. The time for respondents to reply to a message changed during this period from immediately to in a day or even a week. Respondents accepted not receiving replies to their own messages, but they used strategies to get answers to the most important messages.
Presenting Movement in a Computer-Based Dance Tutor BIBA 433-452
  Katherine E. Sukel; Richard Catrambone; Irfan Essa; Gabriel Brostow
This article addresses how to present movement information to learners as part of a larger project on developing a nonconventional computational system that teaches ballet. The requirements of such a system are first described, and then discoveries regarding the first requirement, presenting movement to a user, are discussed. Background research regarding how people learn movement, hypotheses concerning presenting movement with computer animation versus videotape, and an experiment testing those hypotheses are presented. The experiment required individuals to perform movements after viewing them in one of the formats. Each participant viewed a movement sequence multiple times and then was evaluated on his or her performance of that movement by two expert judges. Animations resulted in higher performance ratings for individuals with some previous dance experience. Format did not affect performance for other learners. This result implies that domain knowledge interacts with presentation format in learning ballet. These results will influence the design and implementation of a computer-based dance tutor under development, and they point to several interesting research directions, including exploring the effects of multimodal sensory presentations and prior knowledge in learning movement.
Development and Evaluation of a Parenting Intervention Program: Integration of Scientific and Practical Approaches BIBA 453-467
  David Segal; Peter Y. Chen; Donald A. Gordon; Christoph D. Kacir; Julius Gylys
This article presents a case study describing practical and scientific strategies that were applied to assess human-computer interaction, with the foci on software content development (i.e., content validation and interface comparisons), evaluation (i.e., different types of criteria, effect sizes, effect ratios, targeted goals met), and user acceptability. A parenting intervention program entitled Parenting Adolescents Wisely (PAW) was delivered to 42 parents in community settings via two formats: noninteractive videotape and interactive multimedia. Based on a content validation model developed in this study, both formats consisted of critical skills identified from past empirical studies. Results of applying both formats to at-risk families showed improvements on three types of evaluative criteria: reaction, learning, and behavior. Improvements in children's problem behaviors were clinically significant for 33% to 48% of the children whose parents used the program. Finally, the PAW program showed a substantial cost benefit based on effect ratios, compared with other parenting interventions.
Immersive Virtual Reality for Reducing Experimental Ischemic Pain BIBA 469-486
  Hunter G. Hoffman; Azucena Garcia-Palacios; Veronica Kapa; Jennifer Beecher; Sam R. Sharar
This study explored the novel use of immersive virtual environments as a nonpharmacologic pain control technique and whether it works for both men and women. Fourteen female and 8 male students underwent pain induced via a blood pressure cuff ischemia lasting 10 min or less. Pain ratings increased significantly every 2 min during the no distraction phase (0 to 8 min) and dropped dramatically during the last 2 min period when participants were in the virtual environment (a 59% drop for women and a 41% drop for men). Five visual analog pain scores for each treatment condition served as the primary dependent variables. All 22 participants reported a drop in pain in the virtual environment, and the magnitude of pain reduction from the virtual environment was large (a 52% drop) and statistically significant. This is the first study to show immersive virtual environment distraction is also effective for women. The results show that virtual environments can function as a strong nonpharmacologic pain reduction technique, showing the same pattern of results obtained from recent clinical studies using virtual environments with burn patients during physical therapy. Practical applications of virtual environment pain reduction, and the value of a multidisciplinary approach to studying pain are discussed.
Book Review BIB 487
  Gavriel Salvendy
Book Review BIB 489-490
  Nancy J. Lightner