Discussion on HCI

In this post I will be discussing Human Computer Interaction (HCI), which has been discussed since the “early 1980’s.[1]” What is great about HCI is that users can merge several different areas of research. Ebert et al point out numerous examples such as “scientific visualization, data mining, information design, graph drawing, computer graphics, cognition sciences, perception theory, and psychology.[2]” One recent example, that is possibly taking HCI to a whole new level, was done in a study by Grau et al entitled Conscious Brain-to-Brain Communication in Humans Using Non-Invasive Technologies where brain-computer interfaces and computer-brain interfaces were used to allow the study participants to communicate through brain to brain communication across varying countries with the aid of computer technology; I imagine in some ways to be like telepathy.

HCI is an important factor to consider when designing interface and interaction because of the constancy and pervasive way computers and computer technology are being integrated into our everyday experiences. As with any technology, the goal is always to make easier the work of the user. Gupta, in his article Human Computer Interaction – A Modern Overview, stated that “the main focus of HCI practitioners is to create an adaptive and intelligent system designs which efficiently get embedded with user’s natural environment.[3]” By being more integrated into our natural environment users will experience what Gupta refers to as a “liberal sense of comfort[4]” with computer interaction, and with that familiarity and comfort we, as a society of users, can begin to capture and make more sense of all of the data around us. This harkens back to the suggestion by Mark Weiser in 1998 to “introduce the idea of embedding the computers everywhere in everyday objects so that people can interact with many computers at the same time.[5]”

HCI usability “covers all interaction between the user and the system[6],” which means it is as important to the designing stage of a system as is the Systems Design Life Cycle. Ebert A. et al note that “perception starts in the human senses, of which a growing number is relevant for HCI with the expanding variety of available effectors: to the traditional short list of vision and hearing we are adding taste, smell and the various ‘tactile’ senses of pressure, pain, temperature, equilibrium, proprioception and kinesthesia.[7]”
Computer and software designers are continuing to take an interest in this field and users should stay abreast of the topic as well so that when the technology comes out the user can already feel accustomed to it.

For an interesting discussion on what HCI can become watch Jeff Han’s TED Talk on The radical promise of multi-touch interface.

Bibliography

Achim Ebert, Nahum D. Gershon, Gerrit C. van der Veer. “Human-Computer Interaction: Introduction and Overview.” Künstliche Intelligenz 26, no. 2 (2012): 121.

Grau C, Ginhoux R, Riera A, Nguyen TL, Chauvat H, Berg M, Amengual JL, Pascual-Leone A, Ruffini G. “Conscious Brain-to-Brain Communication in Humans using Non-Invasive Technologies.” Pubmed 9, no. 8 (2014).

Gupta, Rachit. “Human Computer Interaction – A Modern Overview.” International Journal of Computer Technology and Applications 3, no. 5 (2012): 1736.

Moreno, A. M., Seffah, A., Capilla, R., & Sanchez-Segura, M.-I. “HCI Practices for Buidling Usable Software.” Computer 46, no. 4 (2013): 100.
________________
[1] Ebert, A. et al. p. 121
[2] Ebert, A., et al. p. 121
[3] Gupta, R. p. 1737
[4] Gupta, R. p. 1737
[5] Gupta, R. p. 1737
[6] Moreno, A. M. p. 102
[7] Ebert, A., et al p. 124

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