Human-Computer Interface or Interaction (HCI) is a multi-disciplinary field of study concentrating on the design of computer technology and, essentially on the interaction between humans (which is the users) and computers. While being primarily concerned with computers. The field of Human Computer Interface has since expanded to cover almost all kinds of information technology (IT) design.
Human Computer Interface was known in the past as the studies of man and machine or the study of the interaction between man and machine. It deals with the design, execution, and assessment of computer systems and its related events and cases that are for human use. It is basically a study of how human beings relate to computers and also do what computers are not supposed or supposed to do for successful interaction with human beings
Human Computer Interface can be used in all disciplines and fields wherever there is a likelihood of a computer being installed on. Human Computer Interface, when applied in the field of Computer Science, is used for application design and engineering. In the field of psychology, it is used for the application of theories and analytical purposes, in the field of sociology, it is used for the interaction between technology and organization, finally, it is applied in the field of industrial design for the developments of interactive products such as mobile phones, smart fridge, etc.
One important HCI factor is that various users from different conceptions or mental models about their relationships/interactions and various ways of learning and keeping knowledge and skills. In addition, cultural and national differences partake in it too. Another factor in studying or designing HCI is that user interfaces technology changes very fast, giving new interaction possibilities to which previous research results may not apply. Finally, user preferences can change as they slowly master new interfaces.
To fully understand the interaction between humans and computers it is quite important to understand the power and hindrances of humans and the strengths and limitations of computers. Producing computer systems that are usable, efficient, and enjoyable to use actually means that system designers have to think very much beyond merely what capabilities and functions the system should possess. They also need to consider and understand the interaction that happens between users and the computer system. HCI draws from several fields to get insight and knowledge into both humans and computers.
The present leading organization in the world in Human Communication Interface is ACM − SIGCHI, and this stands for the Association for Computer Machinery − Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction. SIGCHI describes the study of Computer Science to be the core discipline of Human Computer Interactions.
HCI came about in 1980s with the advent of personal computers, like machines such as the Apple Mac, IBM PC 5150 showing up in homes and offices in really impressive numbers. For the first-time, intelligent electronic systems were available to general consumers for uses such as word processing, games units, and accounting aids. As computers were no longer large or the sophisticated and expensive tool exclusively built for experts in specialized environments, the need to create human-computer interactions or connections that were also easy, efficient for less experienced users started becoming important. From its origination, HCL will expand to join multiple fields such as computer science, cognitive science, and human factors engineering.
There are four basic features of Human Computer Interface and they are:
1. Command Line Interface: The Command-line interface (CLI) is a text-based Human Computer Interface that is used to manage and operate software and operating systems while letting the user react to visual prompts by typing in single commands into the interface and getting back a reply in the same way. A CLI allows its user to execute specific tasks by entering commands. Its working model is very easy, but it does not have a user-friendly interface.
2. Menu Driven Interface: This type of interface allows you to interact with a computer or an electronic device by working your way through a series of screens or menus. For example, your iPod or mobile phone both use a menu-driven interface. You are first presented with a menu, then you make a choice and then the next menu appears on the screen.
3. Graphical User Interface: A graphical user interface (GUI) is a computer interface with which a user interacts with electronic devices such as computers, hand-held devices, and other appliances. This interface makes use of icons, menus, and other visual indicators or graphical representations to show information and related user controls, not like in text-based interfaces, where the data and commands are entered and displayed just in text. GUI representations are managed by a pointing device such as a mouse, stylus, trackball or a human finger on a touch screen device.
4. Natural Language Interface: Natural-language user interface (LUI or NLUI) is a kind of computer to human interface where linguistic happenings such as phrases, verbs, and clauses act as UI controls for creating, selecting and editing data in software applications.
5. Touch Sensitive Interface: This more widely known as touchscreens, touch-sensitive interfaces are quite popular and they are used extensively in mobile devices. Commands are given and the data is inputted via a finger or a stylus pen. Also tapping over actions with the finger are recognized by touch sensitve interfaces, such as pinching and swiping.
There are a lot of benefits and advantages of Human Computer Interface and some of them are:
1. HCI allows you to interact with the computer system.
2. HCI brings about productivity.
3. HCI brings about collaboration.
4. HCI lets you see errors from your inputs on the computer.
5. HCI improves our daily lives and makes doing things easier for us
6. HCI caters for people with disabilities by improving accessibility.
7. Good use of HCI principles and techniques is not only important for the end-user, but also is a very high priority for software development companies
Factors that influence the Human computer interface includes:
1. Organizational factors
2. Environmental factors
3. Health and safety factors
4. The User
5. Task factors
7. Comfort factors
8. System functionality
9. Productivity costs
Human Computer Interface - HCI Introduction
Human Computer Interface - Guidelines in HCI
Human Computer Interface - Interactive System Design
Human Computer Interface - Interactive Devices
Human Computer Interface - Design Process & Task Analysis
Human Computer Interface - Dialog Design
Human Computer Interface - Information Search & Visualization
Human Computer Interface - Object Oriented Programming
Human Computer Interface - HCI Summary
Human Computer Interface - Exams and Certification
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