The world of computing has evolved really fast with passing time. From data centres, we moved to the cloud, then to the edge and we are sure that much more is still going to come. We got introduced to 3D printing and virtual and augmented reality applications, some of which completely changed our lives. As discussing augmented reality, learn top trends in AR.
From the AI assistant on our phones to that speaker looking thing that can turn off the lights of your room on one single command of yours, technology has no barriers nowadays. But in between this technical revolution we must admit that the interaction and communications with technology is not always that easy, remember getting annoyed because of your phone’s autocorrect feature? That’s what I am talking about.
The keyboard that was not easy to communicate with was suffering from a poor Human-computer interaction design. Do you know what it is? This blog is all about the thing mentioned above.
The study of how computer technology affects human labour and activities is known as Human–Computer Interaction (HCI).
The word “computer technology” currently encompasses a wide range of devices, from traditional computers with displays and keyboards to smartphones, home appliances, in-car navigation systems, and even integrated sensors and actuators like automated lighting.
HCI is linked to a design field known as Interaction Design or User-Centered Design, which focuses on how to make computer technology as simple and enjoyable to use as possible. The concept of “usability,” which is generally characterised in terms of efficiency, effectiveness and satisfaction, is an important part of the design profession.
Because it currently encompasses practically all types of information technology, the definition of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) must remain wide (IT). The study of creating computers and technologies to best serve their users is known as human-computer interaction (HCI) (i.e. humans). HCI is closely connected to User Experience (UX) design and is widely regarded as the forerunner of this more current approach.
(Must read: Dark side of IT)
Evolution of Human-Computer Interaction
Since its beginning, the area of Human-Computer Interaction has expanded considerably. To operate the early personal computers (PCs), you needed a lot of training and, predictably, there were a lot of problems in the user experience. Simple operations like moving the mouse or erasing text faced users with never-before-seen problems, all of which posed major barriers to the computer’s use.
In the early 1980s, HCI emerged as an attempt to understand how and why computers could be made more user-friendly. The subject of research soon expanded to encompass nearly all aspects of information technology.
Importance of Human-Computer Interaction
HCI is critical since it will be necessary for goods to be more successful, safe, helpful, and functional. It will make the user’s experience more enjoyable in the long term. As a result, having someone with HCI skills involved in all phases of any product or system development is critical. HCI is also necessary to prevent goods or projects from failing completely.
When creating clear intuitive systems that will be accessible by people with a wide variety of talents and knowledge, as well as those who have not finished any official training, HCI is critical. HCI makes software and gadgets more intelligible and useful for everyone by leveraging our everyday knowledge of the environment.
As everyone has used genuine paper folders in their daily lives, displaying a visual of a small folder in a computer’s interface helps the user comprehend the folder’s purpose. Finally, if a system is well-designed using HCI approaches, the user should not have to worry about the system’s complexities. Clear, straightforward, and natural interaction should be the norm.
(Must read: Human Augmentation)
5 Applications of Human-Computer Interaction
Today, technology has infiltrated every area of our life. Even if a person does not directly own or use a computer, computers have an impact on their lives. ATM machines, railway ticket selling machines, and hot beverage vending machines are just a few examples of computer interfaces that people may interact with on a regular basis without having to possess a computer.
When creating any of these systems or interfaces, human-computer interaction (HCI) is crucial, whether designing an interface for an ATM or a desktop computer, HCI principles should be examined and taken into account to guarantee that the interface is safe, useful, and efficient.
Industry and Business
HCI is significant for any company that relies on technology or computers in its day-to-day operations. Staff are more content and productive when working with well-designed usable systems since they are not irritated.
HCI is particularly essential in the design of safety-critical systems like those found in power plants and air traffic control centres. In these instances, design flaws can have catastrophic consequences, including the death of many individuals.
(Related reading: How technology has affected businesses?)
When building systems that are not just functional but also accessible to persons with impairments, human-computer interaction (HCI) is a critical factor to consider. HCI’s basic idea is to offer everyone with secure, usable, and efficient systems, which includes people with a wide variety of abilities and levels of experience and knowledge.
Any system that is built using HCI user-centered approaches and concepts will be as accessible as possible to people with impairments.
Users who are untrained
Today, only a small percentage of computer users read the software’s documentation, assuming one exists. Only the most specialist and complex programmes need intensive training and a handbook.
Within a few minutes of engaging with a computer software, consumers expect to grasp its basic features. HCI equips designers with the ideas, strategies, and resources they need to create intuitive, easy-to-use interfaces that don’t require training.
(Also read: Functions of Information Technology)
Virtual reality is an excellent example of human-computer interaction in the workplace. The interaction between the computer and the user is meant to provide the user a new viewpoint. Virtual reality, when done correctly, can genuinely resemble the actual environment, and is an excellent example of good HCI at action.
Voice search, such as Amazon Alexa and Google Voice Search, is another example. These voice search apps and gadgets allow users to engage with a device or system that guides them to an Amazon purchase or a Google search.
Recent Development in Human-Computer Interaction
On an end-note, if we look at the future of Human-computer interaction, we will find that the things ahead are going to be really exciting.
Looking into the possibilities of where HCI may lead us might seem like you’re reading a science fiction storey. That’s because HCI wants technology to be as normal and accessible as possible in our daily lives, giving us a glimpse into an apparently futuristic future.
The following are some of the most recent prototypes developed by firms throughout the world employing HCI theories:
Dexta Haptic Gloves
When utilising virtual reality, Dexta haptic gloves were created to simulate touch feelings of hardness, softness, springiness, and more. As the user interacts with things in their VR experience, the gloves replicate these feelings by locking and unlocking the user’s finger joints to various degrees. As indicating VR applications here, learn the applications of VR in the military.
It enables your smartphone to read your thoughts (almost). When they first come out, pre-touch phones should be able to detect how the user holds the phone or which fingers approach the screen in order to forecast what the user intends to do. This gives the impression that your phone can read your mind since it executes things before you give it a clear instruction.
It is the next effort to digitise paper by converting it to a touchscreen. Paper will be able to “detect its surroundings and respond to gesture instructions, as well as link to the Internet of Things,” according to this new technology. The goal is to connect the physical and digital worlds.
These were just a few applications of HCI that we can see in the near future. Considering it just a window to the future, we can be heavily assured that the door has much more to welcome.
(Recommended blog: Introduction to extended reality)
The Human Computer Interaction(HCI) is the field of study of mutual communication between the user and the computer. This is the field of interaction is equipped by using the user interface which includes the software as well as the hardware too. All the software which are being made are enabled with user interface design and their implementation. Today, Microsoft Windows XP, Microsoft Windows 98 etc. are the operating systems which are enabled with graphical user interface. This is also the human computer interaction.
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The World Wide Web is also the example of human computer interaction. The field of the human computer interaction is well developed today with the advent of new technologies in software and hardware both. With the development in this the field the new terms like menu, buttons, icons etc are introduced which recite the uses and advantages of human computer interaction. (Brad A. Myers March, 1998 pp. 44-54 ) With the development in application of mobiles the human computer interaction’s are also increased.
The new interface design like touch-screen designing of computers and mobiles also has given a new direction to HCI. The HCI in future has better opportunities with the developing software and hardware. 2) Methodologies and processes for designing interfaces: the HCI design methodologies are developed from early methods like treated users’ cognitive processes to the new ones like web designing. The methods for designing the HCI always looks for interaction between the user, computer that is the machine and the designers.
User centered design is also the method in which every aspects like requirements, design etc.
are included in which the attention is being paid on cognitive factors. in this design processes the users use through the hyperlink with a very high speed. These models as the name denotes are based on the models which are based on human expectations. The model can be integrated by programming and then can be implemented and then the feedbacks can be undertaken for modifications.
(HUMAN COMPUTER INTERACTION p. 1) Paper prototyping is also a method for designing HCI by developing software. It is used for examining and scheming user interface. In this method the drawings of the interfaces are created for design. Its is a useful method as the sketching is faster than the programming. This method can be useful as the persons who do not the programming can also do this. Web design is also a method of designing user interface like web pages, websites etc.
using HTML, JAVA as the software toolkits for development of web pages. The web design is used to made websites as graphical user interface(GUI). The web design also implemented to meet the requirement of the website developer as well as the end-user. The web design is based on languages like JAVA, HTML for safety purposes to eliminate the problem like hacking etc. Cognitive method of HCI designing is a earlier method but still its very constructive.
It is based on analysis of two aspects cognitive exchanges with computers like learning, reading and other aspect is cognitive stuffing, composition etc. In this process the user analysis is done firstly like requirements, tasks etc. This analysis contains the features like memory, perception, requirements etc. The next step is designing and analytical test. This contain the features like language and memory. The last phase is system testing to test the authentication of the system.
(Douglas J. Gillan & Nancy J. Cooke p. 1) 3) Methods for implementing interfaces: There are many methods of implementing the interfaces like software, research methods, efficient algorithms etc. There are many software tools like windowing systems, toolkits, interface builders etc. These software includes the software like JAVA, Macintosh Toolbox, Visual Basic etc. These software are very beneficial as they have application in HCI designing as well as in other fields also.
The software programming is easy to handle as any person can gain knowledge of it. The methods of implementing interfaces using the software is also beneficial as the cost is reduced in designing and the modifications can be made very easily. The software used has the advantage that if the new version of software comes in light and the user want the interface based on this new version. Then the interface can be programmed in the new software and interface can be modified.
The libraries can also be used to develop the software. The libraries are used to store the data, execute the programs. Then the programs are implemented which are stored in these libraries. These libraries can be connected to share the heavy load of data. With the advancement of these libraries the data is now stored in organized and can be shared in any part of the world. The algorithms are also used for HCI designing as these algorithms are created for systematic workflow.
For detailed representation of the problem which has to be solved has to be studied carefully. This approach is developed by efficient use of the algorithms. 4) Techniques for evaluating and comparing interfaces: There are many techniques for evaluating the interfaces design and utilization. There are many criteria for evaluating like EC directives. There are many issues which have to be undertaken for evaluation of interfaces like controllability, data integrity etc.
These factors are mainly used for HCI interfaces evaluation as these are basic factors for designing and comparison of interfaces. The HCI interfaces which are being developed must be user friendly. The techniques which are being used today are EVIDAS II, MUSiC, KABA etc. These are the latest techniques which are used for comparing the interfaces. These techniques are categorized further as user-oriented like MUSiC and product-oriented like EVADIS II(Chris Stary*, Thomas Riesenecker-Caba, J &-g Flecker, pp1-2).
These techniques undertake various fields like user interface, organization of work, software features etc. These techniques are designed to evaluate the various factors like appropriateness, management of data, failure of interface chances etc. These techniques has developed the chances of improvement in software quality, user-friendly quality, success rate, cost effectiveness etc. The major task is transparency of software for future modification. These HCI interfaces are applicable to group work, this factor is also tested by these techniques.
5) Developing new interfaces and interaction techniques: The new interfaces which are being designed for the future must includes many features like management and filtering of data, input devices and sensors, learn ability, user satisfaction etc. The Augmented Reality(AR) design is a latest one. This design is oriented from the Virtual Reality(VR) design. These design are implemented to reduce the cognitive overhead. ( Andreas D? nser, Raphael Grasset, Hartmut Seichter, Mark Billinghurst pp1-5)
There are many principles which are being undertaken like affordance, user satisfaction, low physical effort, learn ability, flexibility etc. There might be a switching from 2D to 3D visualization. The HCI may be designed by touch-screen application. The models which are being designed must correlate according to the needs, task, goals of the user. The 2D screen desktop may be given a new look by 3D view. The HCI may be developed such that they might be connected to mobile and when a e-mail, message etc.
come then the user interface attach directly connect with the processor and the communication system and will inform the user directly. One technique may be used by using sensors. When the user wants to switch on the computer or want to give any instruction. Then the sensor which are employed just start their working and obey the order of user. The HCI must respond to the user’s instruction quickly. The problem of slow response must be eliminated in order to make new interface more efficient.
The error must be eliminated or must be decreased to a zero level. The interface must have the tracking stability. The user-centered design must be improved to AR designs. The user intervention must be taken into account. 6) Developing descriptive and predictive models and theories of interaction: The models which are to be developed must be based on the many key factors like virtual and augmented reality, tangible user interface, affective computing, sensing interface eye moved based interface , perceptual interface etc.
The models are used to design and evaluate the interface technique The graphical user interfaces(GUI) are used today mainly. These interfaces will be modeled according to the needs of the user. The new models will used the basic qualities of the WIMP interface as well as they will work on new innovative techniques like using sensors, 3D environment. The HCI environment must be created such that the communication process must be strong.
The metaphoric systems are related to the descriptive models and the those which are related to mathematical systems, are towards the predictive models. The predictive models analyze the interface technique with any time-consumption. The descriptive model are different than the predictive models but are used as well like the predictive model. These models does not give the quantitative measure but just provide a scenario to think about the situation of the problem or to describe the problem. These models are used for keyboard interfacing, mouse interfacing etc.
( I. Scott MacKenzie, pp. 27-54 ) The models which are based on these models are also modified according to the new theories presented like the use of new methods like digital libraries. 7) Conclusion: The human computer interaction is very beneficial today as well as few decades ago when WIMP interfaces were in use. With the advent of new technologies and theories, the new HCI environments has been created and the development in the field of the HCI is going on like 2D to 3D environment on desktop.
These all development are due development of new software and techniques which are being used. The latest research strategies like Ethnography is also beneficial for the HCI development. The web application are being developed with the use of new methods. Thus the HCI environment has been developed a lot.
1) Human Computer Interaction, Wikipedia the free encyclopedia. (Online), 4th April, 2007.
Human–computer Interaction (HCI) This paper I will briefly summarize a few paradigms within Human-Computer Interactions (HCI), and the comparison between them. I will also define Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) . I will be utilizing the 5W+H (What, Where, When, Who, Why and How) analytical format . I’m going to discuss the factors that makes HCI a everyday usage. Definition Human–computer Interaction (HCI) involves the study, planning, and design of the interaction between people (users) and computers.
It is often regarded as the intersection of computer science, behavioral sciences, design and several other fields of study. The term was coined by Card, Moran, and Newell in their germinal book, “The Psychology of Human-Computer Interaction”. The term connotes that, unlike other tools with only limited uses (such as a hammer, useful for driving nails, but not much else), a computer has many affordances for use and this takes place in a sort of open-ended dialog between the user and the computer.
Interaction between users and computers occurs at the user interface (or simply interface), which includes both software and hardware; for example, characters or objects displayed by software on a personal computer’s monitor, input received from users via hardware peripherals such as keyboards and mouses, and other user interactions with large-scale computerized systems such as aircraft and power plants.
The Association for Computing Machinery defines human-computer interaction as “a discipline concerned with the design, evaluation and implementation of interactive computing systems for human use and with the study of major phenomena surrounding them. ” An often-sought facet of HCI is the securing of user satisfaction (see Computer user satisfaction), although user satisfaction is not the same thing as user performance by most meaningful metrics. Interaction Paradigms •Large Scale Computing •Personal Computing •Networked Computing •Mobile Computing •Collaborative Environments •Virtual Reality •Augmented Reality
Network Computing Paradigm What is Networked Computing Paradigm? When you have a scope consisting of Wide Area Network (WAN), Local Area Network (LAN), Metropolitan Area Network and Personal Area Network (PAN); mixed in with wired/wireless capabilities such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and 2G/3G/4G, you are utilizing a Network. The first network was established in 1969 by Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET), see slide 6. The development was initiated by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) which was headed by the United States Department of Defense.
This is down by utilizing a packet switching process; which enables a single communications link to communicate with more than just one machine. If I wanted to share a single piece of information, but needed to spread this information to multiple sites, I could utilize Networking. Of course we have to include the designer. Lawrence Roberts, a highly prized scientist, was given, along with his team, the successful task of creating packet switching in the Advanced Research Projects Agency. Mobile Computing Paradigm What is Mobile Computing Paradigm? Mobile computing has taken the world by storm.
Whether it’s a cellular phone, tablet or laptop, you are not confined to stationary computing. Mobile networks utilizes Wi-Fi to communicate between each machines, giving the ability to share photos, files and voice conversations. In 1940s , the military utilized Hand-held radio transceivers; which relied on a radio telephony links. Later Bell Laboratories inherited this process and began placing mobile phones in vehicles in 1946. The race to produce the first handheld mobile phone was reached in 1973 by Motorola, by a researcher named Martin Cooper.
The cellular phones had to utilize a multi-directional, cellular network antenna array; which was developed by Douglas H. Ring and W. Rae Young in Bell Labs. The antennas would transmit/receive in three directions under three different frequencies. Now days we are flooded with a onslaught of mobile options and by choice it is winning the preference race. When we started mobile communicating, our first generation of mobile telephony (0G) needed the operator to setup and place each call individually, now with 4th Generation (4G), we can make phone call around the world and better yet pass data through network computing and satellites.
Conclusion Although in comparison, Mobile computing and Network computing fall under two different categories, they both benefit from Human-Computers Interactions (HCI). Mobile computing relies on a Network computing. Mobile computing offers a multitude of capabilities, such as data processing, on the go communications and document sharing. Network computing provides end-to end solutions that give you the power to connect and communicate. These computers or nodes work together over a network . These paradigms are great contributions to HCI.
In the book by Shneiderman and Plaisant (2010), designing Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) is the science of studying and structuring interaction between users and the devices or machines such as computers. It’s a process that requires proper planning, incorporates numerous fields of disciplines such as the study of computer science, the study of the behaviors in science and the study of the structural design of both users and computers and how they relate through interaction.
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Therefore, human computer interaction can be defined as an evaluative discipline concerned with the process of designing and implementing systems for study of events through computing functions by users who are people. Such interactive systems can be academic where students research their reports or project proposal writing.
The goal of Human-Computer Interaction
The goals of designing Human-Computer Interface are to create systems that are functional and safe to use. To achieve this designers struggle to have equipments and methods necessary to enable them create quality systems. They also keep in mind factors such as technology that affects users usability and ensure that such determining factors are studied and adverse effects realized in advance.
Another goal is to develop efficiency through designing safe interface which is highly effective to the user.
Based on the needs of the users, the task of the system developers or designers is to focus on their abilities and ways in which they can provide users with systems that suit their preference and requirements. Interface programmers study human factors of the users such psychology and design interfaces through scientific knowledge they already have since they are professionals in the field of engineering. This interdisciplinary approach proves Human-Computer interaction as both an art and a science.
Analysis of the interactions
In the book by Constantine and Lockwood (1999), the success of analyzing interactions between humans and computers is guided by the following questions;
Who are the immediate users of the system?
What will the users need to meet their goals?
What are the requirements of the system to accomplish the tasks?
Are there methods of supply that systems should possess to meet users’ needs?
How reliable or efficient is the interaction interface?
Therefore to answer the above questions, one has to consider the following;
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The interaction platform between computers and actual users of computers is referred to as the interface. Users constantly come into contact with computer components.
Such components are categorized into two i.e. Computer software and hardware. The interface created by such components aims at creating and satisfying the needs of the user or the people whose operations are computer-based.
Analysis of the Users
Users are the people interacting with machines in a given work environment. To analyze them appropriately, one needs to understand the social groups in which they belong, group or individual efforts, interaction time between the users and the machines, goals to accomplish and their levels of motivation in undertaking their tasks. Contextual inquiry is the most useful technique of retrieving information about all the variables of user analysis. It helps in the collection and analysis of information to bring sense about the interaction between humans and computers.
Analysis of the tasks
A task is an important activity to be performed by the user to meet the set objectives or goals. Task analysis is therefore a technique that is mostly used by people to accomplish certain activities. It’s concerned with objective development and use of software to undertake such activities. Users’ tasks can be used to develop systems through design and interaction. This gives rise to usage- centered method of design to evaluate the tasks performed by the user.
Interaction analysis links the users, tasks and the computers. It’s important in the identification of the tasks that a system can handle and the ease with which users’ goals can be accomplished. Interaction effectiveness and reliability are determined through the analysis approach. Analysis of the interactions involves the study of the interface area, the flow of information as input raw material and the information out put that originates from the Human-Computer-environment interaction.
Quality evaluation of interactions
In the book by Shneiderman and Plaisant (2010) to evaluate the quality of human computer interaction, it’s important to relate how users interact with the systems. This is referred to as usability. Usability attributes used to measure and evaluate quality of interaction include;
Error manipulation and handling
The design of the system should be made in such a way that critical errors cannot be made by the users. The system should be able to notice any form of error at an early stage in the course of interaction and offer simple ways of going about fixing the error. Designing high quality systems will help prevent occurrence of errors.
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Enable quick access to functions by the users
Depending on the needs of the user, there is need for high speed in operations to accomplish certain tasks. Therefore short-cut commands and functions should be well understood by the user to improve the quality of the task outcome.
Flexibility in reversing operations
Quality designed systems are easy to use and enable the user to correct errors with ease.
Any action performed by the user should be backed up immediately. Feedback process of systems will enable users to be certain about every action they perform.
Consistency in operations
Well designed systems will ensure the flow of similar actions or operations is consistent throughout the entire operation. For example execution of any command on the menu should remain consistent during user-computer interaction.
In the evaluation of quality of interaction in a newly designed user interface the following principles approach must be observed.
Establish an early user and tasks focus: User and task focus involves defining clearly the number of users needed to undertake a particular task or tasks. Target the right users based on the user orientation perspective i.e. regular users with stability in their work and not expected to change working environments. The users’ roles should be defined and time allocated for each task to be undertaken. The frequency with which the tasks are to be performed should also be clearly stated.
Initial measurement: carry out tests of the newly designed interface with actual users who are frequently in the interaction environment with the computers. Ensure all factors favorable to initiate the interaction process are in place since the output will be related to the actual performance when the system designed is put in a competitive working environment.
Quantity attributes such as the tasks, people and time used to perform the tasks allocated should be recorded. Errors made should also be noted. This will act as a guide in dealing with such similar cases in the future to reduce uncertainty and increase quality and improve productivity and users’ satisfaction.
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Design-interaction stage follows immediately after the measurements are done, tasks and users have already been fully evaluated. The design interaction stage includes designing the actual user interface, proof testing the interface, analysis of results and repetition of the whole process again until a logically interactive interface for the users is developed. Ensure the newly developed user-friendly interface is desirably workable and free of errors. Interfaces with relative errors may cause dissatisfaction to the users and lead to inefficiency and users may lose confidence in relying to such interfaces.
This process of design development can be used to create individual or group interfaces. Group interfaces enable multitudes to work as a whole, for example, organizations under certain projects use internet in their work group systems to carry out group tasks.
Recommended changes to the interactions
A new way of understanding and designing the interaction between human and computers includes thorough research on relevant goals to draw the relationship between technology and users. Therefore, there is need to understand users’ needs, their behavior, roles and responsibilities and their overall expectations which form the basis of the interaction relationship. The following recommendations will help in the understanding of changing interactions between human and computer systems in the future.
Offering training support for researchers
Researchers of human-computer interaction need to understand the interaction relationship and design to identify problematic areas that require close attention. This will also aid In the process of exploring new areas of the changing interaction and possible ways of dealing with such scenarios.
Educate the young generation
The changing world has impacted adverse and complicated effects to the modern society. Computer as a discipline needs to be taught in schools to increase computing skills. This will aid the further understanding of the problems that face the interaction between the humans and the computers.
Understand users through exploration of new ways
Articulation measures need to be put in place to study factors that affect human behaviors and social sciences that restructure systems and designs to crown meaningful values of tasks to be undertaken. Value should be the determining factor in the design and making of novel devices. The ability to satisfy the user should be well defined involving the complex systems such the emerging technologies. There is a need to evaluate new technologies and reconsider the sensitiveness to the work environment in terms of efficiency, level of satisfaction and productivity
Based on the above recommendations for future changes, it’s evident that the quality and extent of the existing interaction is expected to change positively within the next decades. Researchers of Human-Computer Interaction are optimistic in their work to prove the evolutionary changes which are growing at a faster rate.
For example; high sophistication in entertainment where the user interacts with computers by playing music through multi touch interfaces; this is aimed at satisfying leisure and recreating individuals. The Robot- Human interaction interface enhances decision making and improves social life. This will be as a result of more research and the need to explore the human machine interaction in depth. Mobile phones will also be expected to change evolutionally from large handsets ‘bricks’ to the present sophisticated touch sets, ‘clicks’ such as the ‘Google phones’.
In conclusion, the recommendations are expected to change the lives of people and improve social interactions.
Methodology in designing Human-Computer interface
In the recent decades, methodologies in the designing of human-computer interface have come into existence. These methodologies are the techniques used to determine the relationship of interaction among systems, users and the actual designers of such interactive interfaces. The strategies aimed at studying in the interaction through cognition as a process of predicting future behavior of the users and the machines.
Quantity output is also measured and designers of the system are encouraged to analyze and explore scientific fields and pay maximum attention to feedback and memory the design of modern user interactive interfaces.
Designers should consider users as the foundation of the design. This is known as user-centered design strategy. This strategy addresses users’ needs and preferences, wants and dislikes based on the present environment in which the user and the designer in situated and will interact with the system.
Participatory or democratic design strategy proves the capability of the users to actively participate through contribution to the interaction relationship in the work environment. It determines the rate and frequency at which users interact with computers at work. It’s based on human motivational factors such as moral, interest, time and attitude towards the immediate workshop.
Principle strategy of designing User Interface
The process of designing any user interface is normally guided by certain principles. The principles are important in ensuring structure development is in order, maintenance of consistency in operation and organized feedback process. The strategies include;
Predictive aiding principle-Designers should be able to predict the perceptual needs of the user. The user should not concentrate more on his or her present conditions but should think of the future conditions. If the design requirements are too demanding the designer should formulate ways of addressing such conditions without the users’ knowledge. This will help eradicate any form of uncertainty by the user. Therefore designers need to be proactive rather than being reactive to situations of great concern.
The moving part Principle-The features that the designer uses should coincide with the users’ moving mental system. The elements should move in the same pace with the expectations of the user. This increases understanding of the systems’ operation to the user. There should be some form of compatibility between systems’ patterns and users’ direction of understanding.
Scope of judgment. It involves ensuring the limit of a particular factor to be considered in the design structure. For example if the variable to be considered is gender the limits may be in terms of numbers of male or female users in a given user interface.
The flow of the processing mechanism-The designer’s way of perceiving and interpreting ideas is based on the level of his experience. Such ideas should be presented as per the expectations of the user to simplify the process of user’s understanding. The user will understand the ideas used correctly and this increases accuracy with which the user will apply those ideas in the course of the interaction with the computers.
Positive redundancy-If an action is performed for several times, its understood correctly than before. The user will understand the relevance of an operation if a similar operation is performed more than once and the results do not change. This principle is used to correct minor errors such as the undo function of the computers.
Confusion avoidance-Confusion is often caused by the occurrence of similar operations. Therefore similar operational features should be avoided and if necessary be removed or changed all together to reduce confusion. Confusing features cause errors in the designing of interfaces. This is likely to frustrate the final users of the system. To avoid confusion the designer has to use elements with discriminating characteristics and if possible avoid elements with potential of confusing.
Cost principle of accessing information-Cost and time factors affect users directly. The user may decide to move from one place to the other with least costs of accessing information. Therefore the designer should ensure that systems adequately favor users. Minimizing the costs of obtaining information will help conserve resources and users’ efforts are less compromised.
Multiple sources Principle-System designers ensure that interfaces provide users with information from native sources. Information processed from such internal and external environments can be used by the users across geographical locations to satisfy their needs. Such information can either be in audio form or visual.
Consistency Principle-The designer must ensure that there is some form of order between the techniques used to design the interface in line with the users’ expectation and usability.
Poor methodology in the design of computer systems are subject to waste computer users time and are a hindrance to effective and efficient interaction with user-centered systems. It’s essential that before any process of interface design is attempted an in depth of users and tasks analysis is undertaken in advance.
The designer should be able to know what takes place during interaction between the user and the interface, he also needs to know if the interaction produces the desired result to the user or not. He needs to weigh the possibilities of whether the interface can be easily changed to accommodate evaluation feedback process. The feedback process will enable him evaluate the entire interface performance. Computer programmers design software and hardware. They consider user factors throughout the process of the product design.
A newly designed interface with new technology is not usually interactive enough and accepted by the user because it’s not efficient to use. Depending on the users’ acceptance and feeling to interact with the designed product depends on the marketability and usability concerns. Therefore to launch such an interface there is need for good usability of technology, optimization of factors such as efficiency, designing speed, high levels of product comfortability that translates to acceptance and use by the people within the interaction environment. The major role played by the interface is to provide users with high levels of expectancy, effectiveness and ability to be learnt easily by the users.
Recent researches show that designing new interface is an essential part of the interaction between humans and computers because disasters that have resulted have mainly. After all, designers never pay attention to the needs of both the users and the computers. These two parties form the interaction cycle and without one or both the relationship won’t exist at all. For example, complexities of user interface have caused havocs such as system failure and loss of direction especially for aircraft control. This has caused air crash accidents, loss of employment for incompetent programmers and lack of profitability in Hospitality and Tourism industries.
Poorly maintained Human-Computer interaction has also triggered terrorism and caused a lot of insecurity cases. An example is the Japan attack through missile bombing due to poor interface between the system administrators and the users to detect any external attack through radar control functions.
Strengths and weaknesses
There is rapid evolution as a result of humans interacting with computers. The success or failure of this interaction interface is measured in strengths and weakness respectively.
Communication speed-Computers are speedy in communication through networks. Information can be obtained from a click of a button. Data can be computed and sent over several networks in a fraction of a second. This shows how efficient computers are and there is need to increase the speed even more in the future.
Functionality capabilities-computers can manage numerous factions executed at the same time. Users save time in carrying out assigned tasks. This increases productivity and efficiency.
Computer bulkiness-Computers can handle other systems such as graphics, animations and images and other mixed media which can be manipulated and transferred across network links therefore merging with other remote systems. This creates bandwidth interaction and saves time and material resources such as money.
Information provisions- information is provided to the Public. Customers can do home shopping and banking with ease. Customers can interact with online sellers via the internet e.g. eBay. Interface quality is increased due to increasing bandwidth interaction.
The evident strength of the current state of the interaction is that it has been able to solve problems. In the field of medicine, doctors have been able to deal with diseases such as diagnosing the causes through the use of computers. In engineering field, programmers have been successful in developing new software to improve the interaction relationship between computer-human interface.
In the social science fields psychologists have been successful in the study of the behaviors of people and their attitude towards the interaction with machines. Improvements in the entertainment, leisure and recreation fields have resulted to increased holiday planning to wonderful destinations with exceptional levels of satisfaction.
Tour operators and travel agents in the field of Hospitality and tourism can now reach their customers easily. Customers can interact with computers and make reservations at destinations away from their homes. They can also get relevant information about the places they want to visit from the destination websites. The overall effects to customers are that they built confidence and positive attitude towards their holiday destinations. This has branded image and build excellent reputation of tourist destinations. As a result, there are increased tourist activities boosting up the Tourism industry.
Business Administration fields have also benefited a lot. Marketers have gained more skills in their field of profession through the use of computers. Online marketing of products can be done easily, customers can access goods and services via net and even purchase goods right from the click of the button.
This has led to emergence of online sellers through development of websites which are the interfaces of consumer-seller interaction. Moreover, the quality of information, new technology and the value of designed interfaces as areas of interactions adds to the overall exceptional experience and satisfaction to the end users.
Increasing computer illiteracy-most developing countries cannot meet the requirements of the changing technologies. Most citizens in such states may not have access to computers.
Traditional ways of operations-most developing countries are still operating under uncouth ways and irresponsive to the changing needs have caused by the changing technology.
Power is a major requirement to run computers. Rural areas in most developing countries do not have electric power supply.
High computerization, high costs due to emerging innovative techniques. Most developing states lack resources to withstand the costs of transformation and change with new technology.
The study of human computer interaction is uniform and simultaneous. Individuals cannot separate one component from the other. To gain knowledge on both people and computers, there is need to study them as a whole. For example in the study of computers one needs to understand the functions of the operating system and installation, understand and interpret computer language used in the running and execution of programs and the development of quality graphics in computers.
In the near future our interactions with computers will be expected to transform based on how we define and think about interaction which is currently changing exponentially. The nature of how we use computers and rely on them in our daily life, the rate of hyper connection of interactions with the digital world and the ease with which we solve critical emerging as well as existing problems due to the new forms of innovation and creativity are factors of great concern and require prompt scrutiny and conceptualization analysis.
There is need to focus on the effects caused by the interaction such as diseases like cancer and impotence caused by infrared radiations and Bluetooth enabled devices. This is especially with modern forms of laptops and phones. Doctors have to formulate ways of dealing with such problems as computers have become part of today’s man’s life.
In the transport industry, airlines have to be up to date with technology to reduce accidents. Professional technicians and computer literate persons must be employed to help minimize occurrence of accidents. Main causes of accidents include poor maintenance of machines and human factors such as ignorance, high illiteracy levels and lack of motivation in the work place. Therefore there is need to formulate rewarding and incentives programs to motivate people in their places of work by making them feel part and parcel of the establishment.
In the study of recipients or users, factors to consider include level of satisfaction from the use of computers, communication and graphical design of disciplines such as socially interacting sciences and the study of psychology and cognitive environments. Thus the nature of human computer interaction is important in the fact that users from different ecological and geographical background get to interact smoothly thus referred to as man-machine interaction.
High quality systems should be designed to respond to most problems. Concerns should be based on the ways of improving human-computer interactions worldwide with the changing technological world.
Constantine, L & Lockwood, L 1999, Software for Use: A Practical Guide to the Models and Methods of Usage Centered Design ACM Press, Addison-Wesley.
Shneiderman, B &Plaisant, C 2010, Designing the User Interface Strategies for Effective Human-Computer Interaction 5th Edition, Addison-Wesley.
For the recent decades, computers have quickly and dramatically entered and changed the world. Technologies penetrate into traditional spheres of people’s activity and are winning superiority there. These changes have happened due to the emergence and development of computer technologies. This refers to the most widespread fields of work, namely, to the commerce – one of the most important branches on which sustainability of modern economy rests. People need to have business relationships with each other, and computers have been applied for more effective trading experience. This is why HCI (human-computer interaction) has become so important for effective trading and commercial interactions.
The term itself was promoted and put to general use by Card, Moran, and Newell (1980) in early 1980s. However, the term is known to appear for the first time as early as in 1975 (Carlisle, 1976, p. 611). Though information technologies were not as popular at those times as they are now, this term and the concept behind it have become evidently important and attracted attention of numerous scholars. Nowadays computers are used by the wide variety of people. At those times, forty years ago, computers were mainly used by the specialists; they were either highly professional tools, or just very expensive toys, rather funny than useful instruments. HCI at that stage used to be more of theoretical interest, and this issue was considered interesting only by a limited number of IT specialists. In modern times, the situation is much different, and the problem has moved to the applied field.
This issue has got a number of dimensions, and now computers are used in different spheres of commerce. They help end users find and order desired goods and services, pay for them, and, in some cases, even receive them (for instance, a purchase of electronic book). Firstly, the user searches for the necessary file, then places an order, makes their payment, chooses the format and receives it.
On the side of the seller, computers help put goods and services to sale, then advertise them, receive orders, structure them, keep information about the orders and bookkeeping, etc. This shows that the majority of people in the world are engaged in this process. Some of them are selling and the others are buying. This is why it is so important to take into consideration the diversity of people involved in the process. Currently businesses have come to the understanding that meeting the interests of each customer is much more important than meeting the interests of the majority. This allows not only to increase the sales, but also to improve the overall satisfaction level of the customers, and thus to initiate the most effective kind of advertising campaign – word of mouth advertisements.
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There are numerous factors which need to be taken into consideration when developing a software product for HCI. And some of those factors may include psychological state of a person, personal cognitive abilities, diversities in culture and education, various disabilities, background knowledge, and many others. All of those need to be regarded, and the interface available to the end user needs to be user-friendly. The whole effectiveness of a commercial operation depends on this user-friendliness. If something is not clearly understood, the client is likely to leave the web site and look for easier solutions. If accessibility features are not considered, a user will also try to find a better way of solving their tasks, and, thus, will look for more accessible web site. Too complex language of the interface may lead to failure of understanding by the client, who does not speak the language of the interface, is in a hurry, or has got low level of background knowledge.
One of the most important elements of HCI is the display design. Wickens et al. (2003) offered a set of principles utilized for display design. Applying some of these principles proves to lead to an increased level of efficiency, as well as user satisfaction. On the other hand, they allow users to decrease the number of errors made and the time spent on training.
It is quite obvious that all the principles of effective HCI cannot be considered within each and every project. And, definitely, there should not be such a goal set. However, it is important to define the priorities in each particular case, and to take into account those high priority factors. And it is critically important, as the overall success of the company and business process depends on the quality of HCI nowadays. Previously, the quality of goods or services offered, advertisement campaign and many other factors were traditionally considered key factors to the business success. However, the situation has rapidly changed. A ticket for success is now a good user-friendly web site with attractive and explanatory images, clear structure that works without delays. This situation shows how serious the responsibility and how significant the role of software developer is.
In conclusion, the use of computer technologies within commercial projects continues to intensify, and the importance of HCI in business sphere keeps growing. Thus, the competition grows tighter as well. Therefore, the IT specialists working on HCI interfaces and mechanisms need to constantly advance as professionals and be ready for new challenges upcoming.