Human-computer interaction as a multidisciplinary field of science

UDC 004.5
Publication date: 25.02.2017
International Journal of Professional Science №2-2017

Human-computer interaction as a multidisciplinary field of science

Gorelov A., Terteryants A., Khmelev G.
Moscow Institute of Administration and Management
Abstract: The article deals with an ongoing problem of human-computer interaction. Human-computer interaction becomes an integral part of many developments, although not always it is given a high priority. The universal use of various computer processing and content creation leads to the fact that a creative activity attached masses of people.
Keywords: human-computer interaction, human factor, computer factor, e-learning, control systems

  1. Introduction

Human-Computer Interaction is research, planning and development of interaction between people (users) and computers. Very often it is regarded as a set of computer science, behavioral science, engineering, and other fields of study. The interaction between users and computers occurs at the user interface (or interface), which includes hardware and software; for example, images or objects displayed on the screen, the data received from the user via hardware input devices (such as keyboard and mouse) and other user interaction with large automated systems, such as aircraft and power plant.

Association for Computing Machinery examines human interaction and the computer as a discipline engaged in the design, evaluation and implementation of the work of interactive computing systems for human use, as well as the study of the processes. An important aspect of human-computer interaction is to ensure satisfaction of users.

Due to the fact that human-computer interaction is studied as from human side and the computer one, the knowledge gained in the course of the study, is based on human factor, and on computer factor. On the computer side important computer graphics technology, operating systems, programming languages and development environments are important. On the human side — communication theory, graphic and industrial design, linguistics, sociology, cognitive psychology and human factors such as a user satisfaction. Also engineering and design are important. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the human-computer interaction of people with different skill levels contribute to its success. Sometimes, human-computer interaction is called as a man-machine interaction and computer-human interaction.

Until the late 1970s, the only humans who interacted with computers were information technology professionals and dedicated hobbyists. This changed disruptively with the emergence of personal computing in the later 1970s. Personal computing, including both personal software (productivity applications, such as text editors and spreadsheets, and interactive computer games) and personal computer platforms (operating systems, programming languages, and hardware), made everyone in the world a potential computer user, and vividly highlighted the deficiencies of computers with respect to usability for those who wanted to use computers as tools [1].

Initially, the main focus of research of human-computer interaction has been the user’s physical interaction with a computer or other device. Studied model of human motion, for example, parameters such as the time required clicking an object of a certain size or speed input text using the 12-button mobile phone keypad.

With the development of human-computer interaction the focus shifts towards the study of the human mind, how a person understands and recognizes objects and processes.

  1. Materials and methods.

Today, human-computer interaction became a multidisciplinary field, growing at a tremendous speed. Specialists on human-computer interaction work in virtually all computer and networking companies, since such a huge role to play hypostases of human-computer interaction as usability and friendliness. They are important not only for the use of computers and consumer electronics, so there is nothing surprising in the fact that human-computer interaction experts appear even in companies producing household appliances such as microwave ovens and washing machines. The role of these professionals grows within organizations; they need to improve the efficiency of management, collaboration, and workflow. As a result of human-computer interaction becomes an integral part of many developments, although not always it is given a high priority.

An important role of human-computer interaction lies within ongoing spread of e-learning. In the study of the educational environment is possible to allocate how electronic educational models are modified as they convert the process of learning organization. Generalization of works that represent the organization of the e-learning environment suggests three basic types of models. The first type of E-Learning environment is associated with the first generation of Web. This model slightly changes the traditional teaching; the essence of it is that the electronic environment allows teachers to move to electronic teaching mode by downloading slides, assessment tests and other electronic materials. The second type of model is a result of rapid development of the information environment. This model shifts the focus on a virtual nature of learning. The third type of model is related to the development of the social context of learning [2-4].

The use of e-learning covers the situation where the student independently learns the material through work and interaction in electronic information and educational environment. An example of such learning can be the development of massive open online courses in which a contact with teaching staff of a particular student can be completely eliminated, but made up for by interacting with the community involved in the electronic information and  educational environment [5-7].

E-learning has several advantages over the traditional: 1) freedom of access – a student can practice almost anywhere; 2) reduction of educational costs – student bears the cost of storage media, but does not of costs of methodological literature; 3) flexibility of learning – duration and sequence of materials study; students choose by themselves, adapting the whole learning process to fit their capabilities and needs; 4) e-learning users develop their skills and knowledge in accordance with the latest modern technology and standards, updating learning materials; 5) equal educational opportunities – learning becomes independent of the quality of teaching in a particular educational institution; 6) ability to define criteria for assessing knowledge [8-10].

The trend of network connection of all devices to enhance their consumer qualities gave rise to the term hyperconnectivity. Today in the multiplayer mode almost all computers work, many phones and game consoles, as well as some other devices; in the near future will join televisions en masse, camcorders, home appliances. As a result, the number of devices and applications connected to the network far outweigh the number of people using the network for data transmission. With increasing extent of connection and growing amount of information about our lives, stored in electronic form, from personal photos and protocols of social networking to detailed summaries of actions and statements by the representatives of all levels of government and business. What is important is not only the fact of fixing the information in the electronic memory, but also its accessibility. Finally, the universal use of various computer processing and content creation leads to the fact that a creative activity attached masses of people, and not only professional artists, writers, journalists, musicians, photographers, directors and designers. The availability of creative concerns and research activities, a large number of interested users involved in research. It is important to remember that all of these changes are not an end in itself, they are needed for people. Human-computer interaction is not necessary to make it easier for a person to communicate with a computer, it is only a means. The focus should not be on technology, but on what has the true value — our daily life, work, family, health, education, communication with the public and mutual support [11].

  1. Results and Discussion

Inherent to new technique fleeting complex processes with a large number of varying parameters, which need to be monitored and taken into account in control, demanded by human perception of such speed and processing of current information, which in some cases exceeded its capacity. The man in the management process of such systems sometimes simply physically could not cope with all the emerging challenges before him. If, moreover, we consider that such problems had to be solved in the unusual conditions of life, in conditions of high responsibility for the success of the operation, the high price errors, it becomes obvious how much human living conditions has changed in the new control systems.

Thus, with the advent of new, modern technical systems dialectical leap was discovered that has led to the emergence of a qualitatively new working conditions under which a person could not even with the mobilization of all their compensatory abilities to successfully solve tasks assigned to it. Hence followed an important conclusion: the reason for the low effectiveness of new technology was not the man who let his mistakes to its successful implementation, and the technique that was created without taking into account psychophysiological human capabilities to manage it and actually provoked his mistakes. So there was a need for a special study of the psychophysiological characteristics of human activities and the new complex technical systems, exploring its capacity to resolve problems arising in it to take account of these data in the design of systems and operator training for management.

So on the brink of psychological science and technology originated a complex of special theoretical and applied problems, without the authorization of which was impossible to create new combined systems, human-machine that can effectively resolve their assigned tasks. To address this range of problems, and formed a new scientific direction in psychological science, called engineering psychology.

In the historical development of human computer can be regarded as new sophisticated weapons, mediating human mental activity, which transferred executive intelligence. The relatively basic kinds of mental activity, with predominantly stereotyped character, a computer can replace the man, forcing him out of the implementation of these activities; while a computer can be transferred to the components of the creative process. In more complex, dynamically changing forms mental activity, characterized by the emergence of new problematic situations, the computer intelligent functions are transferred only partially and problem-solving functions are distributed between man and computer [12-14].

Instrumental computer mediation is a dynamic process that is associated with the change of types of computers and their programs, programming languages, which leads to a change in the nature of performing the functions referred to it and components activities, remaining a man, activating, making changing in historical terms and the process of transformation of mental processes and human properties. Transmitting intelligence computer accounting program for it, the man on the stage of preparation of acomputer as an instrument plays a leading role. The next step in functional performance of the computerized activity the person in relation to the computer as an instrument can perform a subordinate or a leading role or dynamically change the role in the long-term work with it.

Thus, it has become clear that computerization can lead not only to a positive, progressive changes in human life, but also provoke negative changes, such as reduction of human intellectual activity, reduction in the activities of creative components and increase in stereotypeness.


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