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Duke, D. J., Barnard, P. J., Duce, D. A. & May, J.
Human Computer Interaction, volume 13, issue 4, 1998
Year of publication:
Syndesis n. (pl. ~ es). [mod, L, f. Gk SYNdesis} binding together (sundeo bind together)].—The Concise Oxford Dictionary, Seventh Edition, 1986.User and system models are typically viewed as independent representations that provide complementary insights into aspects of human-computer interaction. Within system development it is usual to see the two activities as separate, or at best loosely coupled, with either the design artefact or some third ‘mediating’ expression providing the context in which the results of modelling can be related. This paper proposes that formal system models can be combined directly with a representation of human cognition to yield an integrated view of human-system interaction: a syndetic model. Aspects of systems that affect usability can then be described and understood in terms of the conjoint behaviour of user and computer. This paper introduces and discusses, in syndetic terms, two scenarios with markedly different properties. We show how syndesis can provide a formal foundation for reasoning about interaction.