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The design of interactive graphic systems whose aim is good symbiosis between man and machine involves numerous factors. Many of those factors can be judged from the perspective of natural spoken conversation between two people. Guiding rules and principles for design of such systems are presented as a framework for a survey of design techniques for man-machine conversation. Attention is especially focused on ideas of action syntax structuring, logical equivalences among action devices, and avoidance of psychological blocks to communication.