The strange absence of abstraction levels in designing HCI

Dov Te’eni*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


People process and communicate information at multiple levels of abstraction when reading, talking, solving problems, designing and interacting with computers. For example, in reading an article, actors may focus on a letter, a word, a clause, a sentence or a paragraph. At any moment, they focus on a particular level of abstraction, do something, and, under certain conditions, move back and forth to other levels until the actors achieve their goal. Not moving between levels of abstraction when necessary, decreases performance. It follows that human-computer interaction should be designed accordingly, yet there is hardly any explicit mention of abstraction levels in studies or guidelines of designing HCI. In this talk, I propose a method for incorporating abstraction levels in the design of HCI as a critical dimension of designing adaptive HCI. The talk demonstrates the ideas with examples of HCI for supporting online reading and group problem solving.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGroup Decision and Negotiation
Subtitle of host publicationA Socio-Technical Perspective - 17th International Conference, GDN 2017, Proceedings
EditorsMareike Schoop, D. Marc Kilgour
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9783319635453
StatePublished - 2017
Event17th International Conference on Group Decision and Negotiation, GDN 2017 - Stuttgart, Germany
Duration: 14 Aug 201718 Aug 2017

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Business Information Processing
ISSN (Print)1865-1348


Conference17th International Conference on Group Decision and Negotiation, GDN 2017


  • Feedback
  • HCI design
  • Levels of abstraction


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