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Some links and references to IBM CUA: Common User Access which defines a lot of the UIs and UX we still use.

Posted by jpluimers on 2016/02/04

Back in the late 80s and early 90s of last century, engineers Richard E. Berry, Cliff J. Reeves set a standard that still influences the user interfaces and user experience of today: the IBM Common User Access.

I mentioned CUA a few times before, but since an old client of mine managed to throw away their paper originals in a “we don’t need that old stuff any more as we are now all digital” frenzy, I wanted to locate some PDFs. And I promised to write more about CUA.

If anyone has printed versions of the non-PDF documents below, please donate them to aek at or scanning at as they are really hard to get.

A few search queries I used:

The PDFs I think are most interesting:

And these non-PDFs (some via IBM Library Server Library):

ACM links:



3 Responses to “Some links and references to IBM CUA: Common User Access which defines a lot of the UIs and UX we still use.”

  1. weirdo12 said

    I have printed copies of GC26-4341-2, SC26-4351-0 and SC26-4352-0.

    • jpluimers said

      Hi Jeff. If you want to contribute them: please let me know. I’ll be in Florida starting monday. Lets try to keep in touch then.

      For my memory:

      • “Systems Application Architecture: An Overview” (GC26-4341)
      • “Common User Access: Panel Design and User Interaction” (SC26-4351)

      I could not find “SC26-4352-0”, what’s the title of it?

      • weirdo12 said

        I just logged in to WordPress and saw your reply – I’m a little late answering!

        SC26-4352-0 is Common User Access: Advanced Interface Design Guide

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