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CACM Reports: Turning User Discomfort into Memorable Reactions

September Issue Reports on Turbocharging CS Education, Avoiding Obstacles to Scalability

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Traditional goals of usability have shifted with the increasing use of computers in games, amusement park rides, performances, and entertainment. In this month’s cover story, a team of university research professors from the UK explain how the deliberate use of discomfort—managed carefully and ethically—could become an important tool for designers as a means of producing more enlightening, socially bonding user experiences. These human-computer interaction experts introduce ways to create and resolve discomfort for a thrilling and memorable experience. 

Issue Highlights:

  • founder and CEO Hadi Partovi traces his interest in computer science education and illuminates the critical role of computer programming in solving world problems.  He cites Bono and Steve Jobs as inspirational sources that led him to his movement to bring computer science to every school and every student in America.
  • A persistent critique of Google’s power, known as “search bias,” is the fear that search rankings create reality rather than reflecting it, reports University of Maryland Law Professor James Grimmelmann.  He asserts that search engines, whether they are acting as a conduit, an editor, or an advisor, should put user interest first.
  • To address the unpredictable growth experienced by Web applications, consultant Sean Hull reveals the 20 biggest bottlenecks to achieving scalability and how to avoid them.  He outlines practices that minimize latency and guarantee applications that can scale as needed.

Click here for current Communications Table of Contents.  Visit Communications online, a digital hub of industry news, commentary, observations, and practical research.
Communications, the flagship publication of ACM, offers readers access to this generation’s most significant leaders and innovators in computing and information technology, and is available online in digital format.

About ACM
ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, is the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society, uniting computing educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field’s challenges. ACM strengthens the computing profession’s collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development, and professional networking.

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