HCI or Human-Computer Interaction is, the study of how computers respond to human Interaction and how effective and meaningful of an Interaction it is. Computers initially were not considered friendly as they failed to pass the ease of access. However, over the past few decades, ease of access and design has changed the game of corp-giants all together.?
Its all in the perception.
Many would even today, complain about their computers/devices not being user – friendly enough. This is because there is no standard metrics as to what Interaction means. Interaction/friendliness of a device changes from person to person. Everybody has this concept of what something should mean & how it should be for them. Cultural, regional, lingual roles have a vast influence on these concepts they form & the standards they hold mentally.
No-matter HCI has been growing vastly & more popularly among its masses, experimenting on unimaginable aspects & providing new features & possibilities.
Day to Day life
Computers have permeated & intertwined in a manner that the human race has become completely dependent on its devices for petty to complex matters.
Goals of HCI
The goal of HCI would be to put aside the obvious human — machine dissimilarities and work in a productive manner, that we achieve a more precise & accurate goal in a lesser time than needed.
The whole theme of HCI is that people who use a system should come first — they shouldn’t have to change their approach just to use a device.
In other words, the goal of HCI towards a system should be to make it simple, useful & accessible.
Design decides a product’s success. Also, the design allows users to tailor a product as per their needs. Like any other design, the HCI is fundamentally expected to have an empirical, reusable and iterative design. As the saying goes, Great design is good business. A good design is one which you create, test, deploy, analyse & reiterate the process that eventually lets you perfect the design.
Although there are a lot of methodologies, a few popular practices while designing HCI are Activity theory, User Centered Design, Value Sensitive Design, participatory design.
Usability Testing is carried out on a developed product, kept under observation for a definitive period of time, provided suitable conditions so that we can understand how effective of a product it can be for humans.
Who can benefit from HCI?
HCI should be a consideration for any business that uses devices & computers on a daily basis. HCI can cut short manual time for processing, ensures security etc.,
Everyone who uses a system even if they don’t personally own a system. As society has become more gravitated towards technologies, common use of ATM’s, vending machines, escalators to name a few, it is only befitting to develop a system that benefits them.
In today’s computer/technology-driven world, the real issue is not the system or the devices the masses use, it’s in the communication & perception of the designer and the front-end user or due to the deficiency in the user-centered design. The reason is not that there are no definitive HCI employed designs but the fact that HCI has not been incorporated properly. My suggestion would be that activists or people who are in to make a change, this is a challenge, close the bridge of unfamiliarity between users and designers and introduce HCI on a wider and a more approachable level.
This involves handling opposite sides of the thinking sphere, how to design and how to interact without losing control and keeping the interaction relative. This raises the next question of how it can be done, the answer to that would be HCI requires a faster understanding & analyzing technique that should incorporate what the human race believes & prioritizes in the forthcoming technologies. And to catch up we should do this at a faster rate as there is a lot more to be done.