Some fundamental aspects of human-computer interaction

UDC 004.5
Publication date: 08.02.2017
International Journal of Professional Science №2-2017

Some fundamental aspects of human-computer interaction

Mishin N., Aliev M., Korotkov I.
St. Petersburg Institute of Law and Economics
Abstract: The article discussed some challenges in the development of human-computer interaction. Techniques, outlining the art of designing human-computer interaction are outlined. Seven principles of user interface design are considered. Various methodologies which determine the methods of human interaction with computer are analyzed. The authors come to the conclusion that usability and utility are equally important, no matter the subject of use is
Keywords: human-computer interaction, intuitive interface, interface design, descriptive and predictive models, approaches to the design

  1. Introduction.

One of the key success factors of software in the contemporary world is its user-friendliness. The paradigm of software development has recently undergone considerable changes. A growing number of time and resources are invested in the creation of friendly interface that allows users to carry out assigned tasks quickly, easily, and without noticing technical aspects of a system operation.

Approaches to the design of software developed evolutionarily:

Machine-centric approach. It was generally accepted at the beginning of the emergence of technical systems. Users were trained programmers specialists. The man in this system was seen as its element to solve various problems.

Anthropocentric approach. The essence of this approach consisted in that the machine is an instrument of labor, and the key in the design of such systems is the analysis of operator’s activities. However, the approach was too psychologized. The key role was rendered to engineering psychologists who being specialists in their field were not those in the field of technology.

System-technical approach. It appeared almost simultaneously with the anthropocentric one. The roles between human and machine were equalized. The approach practically failed to develop, as engineers, who have played a leading role, were not experts in psychology and often ignored psychological knowledge [1-4].

Human-oriented approach. It came as less radical form of anthropocentric approach, it set what needs, goals, and abilities of a person should be considered.

Human-computer interaction studies in what ways people work with computers and how computers should be designed in order that they could be used with maximum efficiency.

Thus, in the process of human interaction with computer engineering psychology focuses more on human study of its characteristics and needs, and ergonomics on account of these factors in the design of human-machine systems. In addition to psychological factors, ergonomics is also increasingly takes into account a number of other parameters such as physiological and motor characteristics of man and tension indicators.

Human-computer interaction is often considered as a sub-section of ergonomics, concentrated on the interaction between humans and computer. However, some experts share ergonomics, which is engaged in designing machines, indicators, that is, to a greater extent objects of physical world, and PCI-centered UI designed.

Quite often one can hear the expression intuitive interface. This notion implies that it is possible to design something so well that people, for the first time seeing this, will know how to use it. When someone speaks of an intuitive interface, it should be understood as an interface corresponding to the previous user experience. Only if a user already has life experience with the same or similar product or class of similar products, there will be an intuitive understanding present [5-7].

  1. Materials and methods.

The main objective of human-computer interaction is the improvement of interaction between humans and computers by making computers more usable and receptive to user needs. In particular, human-computer interaction deals with:

— methodology and development of interface design;

— methods of implementing interfaces;

— methods for the evaluation and comparison of these interfaces;

— developing new interfaces and interaction techniques;

— developing descriptive and predictive models;

— interaction theory [8-9].

The long-term objective of human-computer interaction is the development of the system, which will reduce the barrier between the human cognitive models of what they want to achieve, and understanding of the computer assigned tasks.

Specialists of human-computer interaction are, as a rule, developers involved in practical application of design techniques to real global issues. Their work often deals with the development graphical and web interfaces.

Researchers of human-computer interaction are involved in the development of new design techniques, experimentation with new hardware devices, prototyping new software systems, exploring new frameworks for interaction and development of theories and models of interaction.

In the study of personal information management, human-computer interaction is extensive in the information environment, people can work with various forms of information, some of which are computer forms, some are not to understand and effectively influence the desired changes of their environment. In the field of computer-supported collaborative work emphasis is on the use of computer systems to support collaborative work of a group of people. Teamwork management principles expand the scope of computer-supported collaborative work at the organizational level and can be implemented without the use of computer systems [10-11].

A variety of techniques, outlining the art of designing human-computer interaction began to emerge during the development of this area in the 1980s. Most techniques have evolved from the development of user interaction models, developers, and technical systems. Early techniques such as cognitive processes of users treated as a predictable and quantifiable, and offered to developers when designed user interfaces to consider the results of cognitive research in areas such as memory and attention. Current models tend to focus on continuous feedback and dialogue between users, developers, and engineers, and endeavor to ensure that the technical systems are operating in the field of user desires rather than the desires of users in the field of ready-made systems.

User-centric design: development, focused on the user, at the moment is a modern, widely practiced philosophy, the essence of which lies in the fact that users should be central to the development of any computer system. Users, developers and technical experts work together to clearly express the desires, needs and boundaries, and create a system that meets these requirements. User-oriented projects often use ethnographic research environment in which users will work with the system. This practice is similar to, but not a joint development, which emphasizes the ability for users to actively cooperate through meetings and seminars.

Seven principles of user interface design can be considered at any time, in any order during the development time, it is habitualness, simplicity, evidence, admissibility, consistency, structure and feedback [12-14].

In order to assess interaction between humans and computers, Don Norman suggested seven principles. He proposed seven steps that can be used to convert complex tasks. Below are seven principles of Norman:

  1. Use both knowledge in world & knowledge in the head.
  2. Simplify task structures.
  3. Make things visible.
  4. Get the mapping right (User mental model = Conceptual model = Designed model).
  5. Convert constrains into advantages (Physical constraints, Cultural constraints, Technological constraints).
  6. Design for Error.
  7. When all else fails – standardize [15].

Various methodologies have materialized since the establishment, which determine the methods of human interaction with computer. Here are some design methodologies:

  • Activity Theory: This HCI method, which describes the structure where there is human-computer interaction. Activity theory provides reasoning, analytical tools and projects of cooperation.
  • User-Centered Design: It provides users with a central place in the design, where they get the opportunity to work with designers and engineering practitioners.
  • Principles of User Interface Design: Tolerance, simplicity, visibility, affordance, sequence, structure and feedback are seven principles used in the design of interface.
  • Value Sensitive Design: This method is used for the development of technologies and includes three types of research: conceptual, empirical and technical.
  • Conceptual research works on the understanding of the value of investors who use the technology.
  • Empirical studies are quantitative and qualitative design research that demonstrates understanding of the designer user values.
  • Technical studies include the use of technologies and designs in conceptual and empirical research.

Although the paintings and sculptures appeared earlier, it is the text that is usually regarded as the defining point of civilization; preliterate and oral societies are often seen as the background simply because they do not have history till now.

All these traditional texts have a common linear character. Aristotle in his Poetics says the history should have a beginning, middle and end, and even post-modern non-linear narrative is actually written in a linear order, even though the events may not be causally related [16-18].

  1. Results and Discussion.

Application of modern approaches such as the use of gestural input method and the use of augmented reality to create user interfaces is a step to improve the human-machine interaction by increasing the naturalness and usability.

There are many other criteria that determine the usability of the product. One of the main usefulness of this is: whether the product meets the needs of the user? Both usability and utility are equally important, no matter the subject of ease of use, unless it is of no interest to you. It is not a favorable situation as when the system can theoretically do what you need, and in practice is so complicated to use that the achievement of the desired results is simply impossible [19-20].

Computer, information and telecommunication technologies, penetrating into such forms of social communication, like the press, publishing, radio, film, television, are gradually blurring the line between them. There is reason to believe that in the future all of these forms constitute a single, integrated information environment that will provide the entire process of mass communication in society.

Informatization of society based on mass introduction of computer technology is an irreversible process. But it is a process, not a one-time event. Apparently, it will take time before the benefits of computerization begin to be visibly felt. The current stage cannot be identified otherwise than initial. And the objectives of this phase are specific in many ways. Yet to build an infrastructure that meets the objectives of the global informatization. Whatever may seem a daunting task of transferring information from paper-based to computer-based.


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