Date of Original Version



Technical Report

Abstract or Table of Contents

Abstract: "The naming problem for computer interfaces is one of choosing verbal labels to refer to meanings in a way that people recognize them. Naming in interfaces has been extensively studied by psychological and human factors researchers, however the studies have focused on the properties of names rather than examining how names are interpreted by people in different situations. We employ the pragmatic Principles of Contrast and Conventionality (Clark, 1987, 1990) as a framework for defining what it means for a name to be good, and propose a method for making naming decisions based on linguistic and ethnographic analysis. We present two case studies drawn from a project in which a collaborative group of users and developers have been developing a new technology for equational simulation."