Human computer interaction is an on-going improvement made to computers in order to be able to associate and communicate with the user operating them. This enables the process of using a computer to be a two way system; the user tells the computer what to do and the computer prompts some answers from the user as well. It has helped almost every profession in the world today to actually improve and upgrade their yields and an image can be seen below. These interactions have been made to both the physical and the unseen parts of the computer system. In this part of my report, I will be explaining and describing the impacts of human computer interaction on the society, the economy and the cultural beliefs of people.
Impact of Human Computer Interaction on the society
One of the most dominant, special and important impact of Human Computer Interaction (H.C.I) is its ability to help people that have got special needs such as deaf, dumb and blind people through its 'domestic appliance display' feature. This helps to make them very relevant and useful to the society by not limiting the opportunities that are available. This feature for example helps blind people to operate computers, mobile phones and even electronic gadgets such as iPod and eBooks. This is especially as a result of the development and the revolution in the world as well as the importance of 'equality' in today's world. This has helped the society because the rate of 'segregation' or 'discrimination' has reduced as much as possible compared to some time ago.
Impact of Human Computer Interaction on the Economy
Human computer interaction has helped the economy by enhancing the reduction of input complexity; this was done by limiting the inputs given by human. With this, automation is increased thereby reducing any human mistake due to either omission or mishandling. It also helps to effectively forecast and give trends of potential results without any mistake or error. Due to the fact that the economy is a very sensitive aspect of the development of the society, it is essential that any type of error or manhandling is avoided as much as possible. Also, the fact that people with special needs have been able to function effectively in the society, HCI have helped to boost the economy in some aspects and it is a very good thing to the development.
Impact of Human Computer Interaction on Culture
The creation and improvement in Human Computer Interaction has successfully helped different people from different walks of life to easily upgrade the way they use computers. For example, the inclusion of different applications, games and programs have successfully lured people to computers, mobile phones and so on. The usage of computer can be diverse and a particular individual might not be using his own gadget or computer for the same use as everyone but for another reason which might be as a result of the improvement in HCI.
Fundamental Principles of Human Computer Interaction
There are many fundamental principles of Human computer interaction but in this report, I will be explaining just 2 of them which are Information Processing and Behaviour models. These are basically the factors that are considered before Human Computer Interaction is created; below is a breakdown of each of them and how they are considered.
This is taken into consideration to determine how information are going to be processed in HCI, this is done to make it as perfect as possible and to allow a sensible allocation of space for the operation. To do this, certain checks are conducted and they are listed below:
Certain basic fact and theories about normal information processing are taken into consideration. For example, the minimum and maximum units of information that can be processed at a given time. It also considers how information is going to be dispersed and moved around in the process.
The next thing considered is the information processing method that can be used by the HCI, this also works out the amount of time it is going to take to implement an operation. A study of the way a human uses the computer is also carried out so as to be able to work out the response a human expects from every given command.
The results gathered in (ii) above are then characterised and modelled so as to be used to predict and produce alternative interfaces for the use of the user.
The idea used by the HCI information processing is the idea used by the human's information processing; this is done to enhance a perfect human computer interaction. The idea used is that information is taken in and given out through series of levels. These levels start from triggered STIMULI to ENCODING to COMPARISON to RESPONSE SELECTION to RESPONSE EXECUTION and to the actual response. This exactly is the way information is processed by the HCI.
This is the aspect where different models are considered to determine how the interface or the user is going to be like. These models help really well in the production of interfaces so as to make it as real and original as possible to enable it to be fit for purpose. Outlined below are the models considered to determine the behaviour model of the interface:
As the name implies, predictive modelling is a type of modelling where the behaviour is going to be forecasted. This kind of behaviour modelling helps to provide a solid help when producing an interface. A big research isn't expected to be carried out in the process of predicting as this is going to slow down the production. By carrying out a big research, the production is stalled while different kinds of test are carried out. Predictive modelling is more like formulae which is used to predict an event. For example, the time an interface will take to respond to any given command is down to the user who is operating on it. The designer of the interface has to determine if the interface is going to be responsive to time e.g. debug a program when it is taking too much time to load up.
The Keystroke-level model (KLM)
This is the kind of model which discovers and manages 'very low level actions' in the interface. It organises and arranges every operation so as to make it as simple as possible by simplifying it into individual commands. For example, if a user eventually clicks on the button 'SIGN IN', the Keystroke-level model breaks the operation down thereby making it look like; keyboard press to mouse moving to mouse pointing to the point where you click on the button; this makes it easy for the interface to manipulate and carry out the commands easily.
The Throughput (TP)
In this aspect of Predictive Modelling, the productivity of the computer is considered; it outlines every operation required for a computer to carry out a command. It also analyses the time and speed needed to carry out the commands. While doing this, it takes into consideration, every form of factors that may hinder or influence the operation therefore arriving at a specific time to suit the user; this process is also known as the 'response time'.
This is the law which is used to calculate the speed which the computer is going to use to carry out an operation which means it works with 'the throughput'. It is the official law used to calculate 'throughput'. Its result gives the prediction of the movement and motion of human using the time and distance which is also known as 'Psychomotor behaviour'. This law was tested by using it to oppose the fact that the time taken to move from a point to another depends on the distance; Fitts law identified that it also depends on the size of the object moving. Using this law, it shows that the time required for a user will depend on certain factors such as the position of the mouse, the position of the mouse or even the pace of the pressure applied.
M1. Expanding on P1, extend this work and explain how the advances in design have contributed to the impact that you have detailed in P1.
As this is a continuation of what I have written about in P1, I will continue from where I stopped. Human computer interaction has managed to be dominant in every aspect of the human life these days and these include culture, society and the economy. Individually, HCI has helped massively in each of the above named aspect of human life and I will be going into them in details as this is what M1 is about. The first aspect that I will be talking about is:
Human Computer Interaction on the society
As I have already said, Human computer interaction has really helped in the society to get rid of Discrimination which is the biggest problem that the society experience these days. It has also help to make sure that many endeavours of the human life can now be done electronically instead of physically which it used to be. Above all, the use of Human Computer Interaction in medical treatments and medical researches has made it possible for lives to be saved and preserved unlike before. Below are some impacts of the advances of HCI on the society in details:
Gone are the days when the use of any computer appliance or any sort of electronic equipment depends on the user's ability to read and understand the user's manual. However, these days, appliances are easy to use and operate thereby reducing the stress of having to read loads of instruction. HCI has also helped to prompt an easy log-in to social sites and to load certain programs from wherever it is located as easy as possible. This is possible through the use of MENU ICONS that will easily allow the user to click and load the particular program. Also, Human Computer Interaction has made it possible for certain developers such as Macromedia to keep the consistency in their layout such as tool bars, menus and GUIS and this has made it possible for many users with little or no technical know-how to easily use their products. Users that know how to use Macromedia Fireworks for example can easily go on Macromedia Flash to operate on it a little bit because they have got the same layout and GUI i.e. menu bars and icons are still located in the same spot. This consistency in the product outlines input/output and is user-friendly because it increases the confidence in users. Another example of Usability can be seen in mobile game consoles such as comparing the Nintendo Game-boy to the PSP (Play Station Portable). Human Computer Interaction has helped to make these game makers to revolve from a heavy console with loads of buttons Game-Boy to the light console with very little amount of buttons PSP. This has made these games to be as portable, mobile and usable as possible.
Human Computer Interaction has helped human beings to be able to be as safe as possible in certain harsh conditions and environments such as areas that have landmines or even bombs that explode when they get into contact with human. In these cases, remote controlled robots are deposited in the areas so as to locate and alert the user where they are situated so that they can be able to avert it. In other cases, landing a rocket in mars is also an example of where HCI has really helped because users can easily send a remote controlled robot that includes data logger so as to be able to record certain conditions such as the temperature and other conditions needed.
As there are simple cases of the use of GUI, there are also complex uses of them such as in aircrafts to replace human actions, this is known as Fly by Wire system. The system known as the 'Virtual reality system' which is used to train pilots, astronauts and race drivers to help them learn and gain experience using a real life environment but not in real motion. It also helps them to be safer because it actually shows them examples of risks that can be taken while using the real operation. This process helps to reduce big threats to life which could be experienced if the pilots or drivers are actually allowed to fly or drive for real. This process is a cost effective; life saving method therefore has a very good impact on the society.
Human Computer Interaction on the Economy
As HCI have an impact on the society, they also have impacts on the economy. HCI has helped to yield greater productivity with reduced costs and it has also help to enable ease of work in workers. Below is an insight into the impacts:
Productivity per Individual
With the aid of certain Human Computer Interaction, users have been able to carry out many operations that could have take loads of time in little time. An example of this is typing a 10,000 word essay on the computer and actually writing it out with a pen. Writing it out could have taken days to finish while typing it Ms Word might just be a little above an hour. Another example is having figure out some numbers to produce a graph on paper and using Microsoft Excel. Microsoft excel can easily look for the data itself and also plot the graph as easy, neat and clear as possible. All the user has to do is to provide certain information to the wizard by interacting with it. When these operations are evaluated, the time which they should have actually taken have to put into perspective as well.
The ability to limit human input is definitely one of the major importance and impact of Human Computer Interaction. This is because human beings tend to make mistakes which could be as a result of any factor such as tiredness or laziness therefore prompting them to make random mistakes. Another type of automation which is very big in terms of importance is the use of a 'text phone' which has the ability to convert voice messages from its initial format to text messages and also 'text reader' which has the ability to convert text messages into voice messages. This kind of software can be found on some popular mobile phones these days.
Automatic Judgement of Output
Human Computer Interaction has also helped to increase automated output forecast for some business and industries. This helps by taking certain factors into consideration such as the quantity, weight and size of the products to determine what can be gotten out of them and how the yield is going to benefit the industry. It has also been easy for the customers to be 100% satisfied with products using advanced HCI. For example, a consumer that wants a particular colour for a product can now have it with the use of good technology. Automatic judgement of output has been a good source of improvement and impact to the economy.
Using this technique has helped to reduce cost by reducing the number of staffs and to be able to carry out work in a very little time scale. It has helped to save both time and cost. An example of this is the online 24/7 assistance that is rendered by certain Phone shops such as T-Mobile, it manages to ask the user question and process their answer by searching through the database to get them their required answer. Another example of this is with EBAY verification where the user receives a call prompting them to say a pre-given set of numbers and it processes it at the same time. This has made resources to be effective and efficient in different cases.
Human Computer Interaction on Culture
This can be seen by the way everyone from every background can actually belong to the society by getting automated translator in many places. There is a huge need to satisfy this as it makes the purpose of a culture obvious. For example, the last CENSUS could have been a very big flop if there was no language translation in it because many people from different backgrounds will be deprived to opportunity to be counted. These translators are easy to take everywhere; very portable and they come at affordable prices for everyone. Below are more impacts of HCI on the culture:
The way Computers are used
Human computer interaction has had a major influence on the way computers are used these days which includes the way text messaging has reduced the way people receive and make calls. It has enhanced the way information is passed around making some works even easier to be carried out and it has also made it easy for people who work from home because every information they need can be passed to them at a go without having to go through a tiring procedure. The release of PDA's such as blackberries is also a major effect of Human computer interaction because it understands the human needs and wants thereby providing them to spend more time with it than to actually have a Human-to-Human-Interaction. HCI have really succeeded in that aspect as that is one of the main objectives of it but it is bad for the society as people tend to spend more time on appliances than actually communicating to human.
Psychological Impact on IT and human
With the use of HCI, the use of human skills and labour has gone to the low because everything that a human should do could also be done by a robot controlled machine. The robot already knows every operation that needs to be carried therefore reducing speciality and division of labour. This is bad for the human brain and brain because they become useless by having nothing to do and it also hinders the opportunity of training people that wants to learn as well as people that wants to gain experience. An example of this can be seen in fixing a car engine in a garage; gone are the days when the engineer will actually have to remove it and look for the fault himself. But these days, all the engineer has to do is to connect the car to equipment which scans and discovers any fault in the car. Although, it has made it easy for the engineer to carry out their job and it has helped to save time, it also deskills the mechanic in that process which is going to make him useless without the particular equipment.
Name: Employed: .
Age: Student: .
Do you own a Computer, Mobile Phone or a game console?
How effective do you think it is?
Very Effective Just Effective Not effective
How often do you use it?
Always Sometimes Never
How simple is it to use or operate?
Very Simple Just Simple Not Simple
Did you have to read the User's Manual before you could operate or use it?
Overall, do you think this appliance or gadget is effective from everything you need it for?
Can you write out what you like and what you do not like about the gadget and appliance?
This type of questionnaire is known as the Qualitative research and I feel it is going to help me to know how satisfied and impressed users are with the particular product.
Quantitative Effectiveness of HCI
Human computer interactions can be researched in so many ways in order to get a perfect result and to know what people actually think about the particular appliance. HCI can be researched in a quantitative and qualitative way depending on the kind of result which is needed. In the quantitative type of research, certain questions about the speed, the cost, comparison with original needs and comparison with other systems are asked. Answers gotten from these questions can produce quantitative data needed. Below is an insight into what each of the questions is:
This is a very essential aspect of HCI as the productivity depends on the speed at which it manipulates and carries out certain commands which the user has asked. The main criteria that the questionnaire have to satisfy include; the pace at which the user inputs the command, the speed of result and the amount of time it takes the user to actually recognise and come to terms with the result. If these criteria is satisfied then this questionnaire is on a good path however if not, then the questionnaire can not be termed as 'effective'
The cost at which an interface is produced is also a huge factor in the effectiveness of this questionnaire. For example, a new interface might cost more than the former in terms of operation or usability. Some interfaces also have to work to other software in order to make them work therefore this questionnaire have to ask if the user is up for it or not. If not, then the whole upgrade should be ditched as it means users are not up for it.
Comparison with original needs
The designers also have to make a clear comparison between what has been produced and what the user requirements are. An example of this is to check if this present design tallies with the former one. The criteria that need to be checked include; the numbers of features included completely or not and how close the new one match the real user requirement.
Comparison with other systems
In the questionnaire, there also has to be a comparison question which satisfies answers such as how closely does the new product match other products of its type from different designers. By doing this, the designer ensures that he doesn't miss any core aspect of what the user really wants.
Qualitative Effectiveness of HCI
This is basically the type of research that is carried out to get people's opinion and their view of things. By doing this, the designer knows what type of system to produce and how it should work. The main criteria that this type of research satisfies are; user satisfaction and comparison with other systems.
To actually get people's opinion, the designer has to ask users questions about their level of satisfaction of the product. By doing this, the designer is getting certain important information from the user so as to be able to adjust and produce what the users are going to be satisfied with. In this aspect, personal questions must not be asked to avoid biased answers and to force the users to actually give a genuine answer. It is also important to get personal information of people filling the questionnaires and what they use the particular product for so as to be able to evaluate their answers efficiently.
Comparison with other systems
Just like in quantitative effectiveness of HCI, the designer has to include questions which are going to compare the product to other products which are similar to this one as well. It is essential to make sure that the users are asked these kinds of questions and be able to write out what they feel at the same time.
Evaluation of Interfaces
After getting these results, it is important to evaluate them and to come up with a decision on what to do or what not to do. The user should present the result in a graph as it makes it easy to evaluate and come up with a decision. Without doing this, the research carried out is only going to be a waste of time and resources which is rather insensible.
D1. Evaluate the HCI developments over recent years and Future Improvement
Human computer interactions have been around for a very long time and it has continued to improve in features and interaction. HCI can actually be traced back to 50 years ago and it came into existence through the upgrade and improvement in the graphical user interface of the Microsoft Windows. This is where users actually have to type in command and wait for windows to process and manipulate it to do whatever the code was for therefore the interaction between man and computer goes way back. The first GUI was designed by a graduate called Ivan Sutherland; he created a sketchpad during that time and it was actually inspired through the way humans learn and understand things. Before1984, there was actually a term known as WIMP which means Windows, icons, menus and pointers; Apple computer was the developer of this and in 1984, Macintosh came into the business as well. These two computer companies were able to use GUIs in the form of a computerised desktop with icons that looks like 'images of paper, desktops, files and a rubbish bin. These icons with the aid of a mouse and keyboard could be accessed and opened as well take unwanted documents or junk documents into the rubbish bin. By using this process, Apple computer helped greatly to influence and convince many people to jump on the computer interaction process and it has definitely influenced more than half of the population of the world. Back in the days however, lengthy codes were required for the computer to be able to work effectively especially a popular system known as 'commodore 64' which was the most popular system in the 80s. There was no interface that requires a username and password during that time. But these days, the systems used in the olden days are only a primary part of the new computers; computers these days can also be operated in a command based way but not as dominant as it was in the 1980s. When turning on a computer these days, the user is shown a black screen with the C:\ as it was in the olden days but it just keeps loading and gets off this screen by itself to a GUI which prompts a username and password so as to be able access the computer features.
Extended command line editor (CLE)
Before the invention of Graphical User Interface, the only way to interact with a computer was through codes. For example, the normal look that the Ms Dos has is the C:\ command which requires the user to type any code of the operation they want in front of it. For example to print, copy or delete have different codes that works for them and should be typed in front of the C:\. After this must have been done, the user has to type in the ENTER button to make the computer carry out the command or else it stays like that. These days however, computers do not need any command to be learned before been used. As far as the user knows what they want, they can use the computer.
Graphical User Interface
As computers evolved and moved on over the years, their GUI has also been improving and this can be seen in the lay out of the GUI of Mac and Windows operating system. Every year, as new models comes out, so do the interface keeps improving and this can be seen in the latest improvement to the GUI of windows which is known as Windows 7. it has an entirely different user interface to the previous version and this is an evidence of how much and how fast the world of technology is improving. There are also dialogue boxes in some windows application such as in Windows Microsoft Word; it asks the user what exactly they want and how they want it. This helps to give every user maximum satisfaction and contentment.
Another part of the improvement in technology is the upgrade in the visual displays of computers these days; it also has the ability to view objects and images in real format. Computers can be used to creating a real and exact image of what a house is going to be like and an example of this can be seen in construction sites where potential house buyers or clients can see exactly what their house is going to look like and how it is going to be set up including the colour and the views. This is a huge improvement to how things can be commercialised and sold. It reduces the need to actually go to extra miles to advertise the product. Another visual feature is the way a print out from the printer looks exactly the way it is on the computer.
The field of robotics is still an area which is more of 'being' tested; this does not mean it is not in existence already but it is not yet out to the public. With the way HCI has managed to evolve to this stage, Robotics is definitely going to be one area that will dominate the world when it comes into practice. This will ensure that things are done and productions are carried out till companies run out of resources because the robots will be able to work on without needing a break or rest. robotics are already in use in certain medical places to treat and to examine patients but then its wide use will help to do more things. These includes serving in restaurants reducing the number of 'manpower' required, barber shops and even hosting events.