This book introduces basic traditional semiotic concepts and adapts them so that they become useful for analyzing and designing computer systems in their symbolic context of work. It presents a novel approach to the subject, rich in examples, and is theoretically systematic but practical. The author refers to and reinterprets techniques already used, so that readers can deepen their understanding. In addition, it offers new techniques and a consistent perspective on computer systems that is particularly appropriate for new hardware and software whose main functions are presentation and communication. This book will benefit all involved in the development of systems in which meaning and interpretation are vital.
Part I. Theory: 1. The structuralist heritage; 2. Adapting and extending structuralist methods; Part II. Computers: Introduction; 3. The basic means of expression; 4. Composite computer-based signs; Part III. Language, Work and Design: Introduction; 5. Language as interpretation: semantic fields in the postal giro; 6. Language as action: language games in the postal giro; 7. Task analysis: controlling control; References; Index.
"...it will introduce you to a new way of thinking about programs and how people use them." Vivienne S. Begg, Computer
"Because it systematically develops how semiotics can be applied to the study of human-computer interactions, HCI researchers will find the book stimulating, even if their own approach is different. Finally, systems builders who are languishing for lack of a methodology could do worse than to review Andersen's approach." H. Van Dyke Parunak, Computing Reviews
"The book is a bold enterprise. It is an interesting and sometimes fascinating stab at a statement of a theory that is needed." Robin Fawcett, Computational Linguistics
"Andersen not only provides semiotic means of evaluation, he also presents a further development of the two concepts, which may open interesting perspectives not only for computer scientists but also for semioticians. His typology of speech acts, in particular, introduces a new approach that could prove useful to speech-act theorists." Bernhard Debatin, Semiotic Review of Books
"This book is a refreshing one: it aims to explore computer systems within the paradigm of semiotics instead of within the more restricted purview of logic or linguistics and manages to open new conceptual horizons." Jean Guy Meunier, Semiotica