Archive for February, 2010


This entry is part 8 of 43 in the series Words

We all know what cryptography is: cryp·tog·ra·phy, n. 1.    the science or study of the techniques of secret writing, esp. code and cipher systems, methods, and the like. Cf. cryptanalysis (def. 2). 2.    the procedures, processes, methods, etc., of making and using secret writing, as codes or ciphers. 3.    anything written in a secret code, […]


Data Display

This entry is part 12 of 12 in the series Medical Computing

One feature of most tracking systems is data display for an individual patient in the Emergency Department. In most tracking systems, we can double-click on the patient’s name, and then we see a pop-up window, populated with things that the nurses have entered and that are found in the patient’s electronic medical record (EMR) entry: […]



This entry is part 11 of 12 in the series Medical Computing

To find something using the Google search engine, or a location using Google Maps, we simply type in a few words and then browse the results. This is so much better than what was available before that it has made Google one of the richest corporations in the history of the world. However, many programs’ […]


Mental Models, Input Modes and Cognitive Friction

This entry is part 10 of 12 in the series Medical Computing

If the point of contact between the product and the people becomes a point of friction, then the Industrial Designer has failed. –Henry Dreyfuss, Designing for People, 1955 Mental Models In the first edition of About Face, one of the first design/usability texts (and a great read, much more personal, personable and readable than subsequent, […]


Icons, Pedagogic Vectors, Forms Design and Posture

This entry is part 9 of 12 in the series Medical Computing

Icons and Pedagogic Vectors We all have trouble remembering a program’s graphical icons. The International Standards Organisation (ISO) has a standard for icons – an icon must be interpreted correctly by 2/3 of  test subjects. In usability and error-prevention terms, a 1/3 error rate is poor, but reality is even worse – an experimental study […]