Human Computer Interaction is a field of research that looks more deeply into the interactions that occur when users sit down to work with a machine. While you’re probably thinking that computer experts have given this field some thought for years, HCI is rapidly evolving into its own discipline that’s promising some big changes for the tech industry.
Components of Human Computer Interaction
Since this field of research represents a number of multidisciplinary projects, it can be hard to pin down the components that go into it. However, experts agree that specialists need to investigate problems from the aspect of human factor engineering as well as computer science. They’ll also want to include cognitive science in their studies, since it helps to understand how users interact with problems.
While the most efficient interfaces would be those based on raw opcode, people can’t be expected to think in terms of binary numbers. Therefore, HCI specialists are hard at work developing interfaces that represent a good compromise between user behaviors and the manner in which computers operate.
Importance of HCI
Without further research into how people and computers interact, we’d likely still be working with punched cards or physical switches. You might think that writing instructions on a command line feels relatively primitive compared to modern user-obsequious interfaces, but CLI environments are actually the result of decades of work. Modern terminals are designed to automate repetitive workflows, which disrupt the flow of what’s referred to as the loop of interaction.
This loop is held together by input devices like touchscreens, keyboards and pointing devices. Studying how these devices interact with individual end-users should help even experienced computer professionals to streamline their workflows.
How is HCI Changing Tech?
Accessibility might be the most visible area where this field is leading to major improvements. Users with different preferences or physical disabilities might find it difficult to interact with traditional interfaces. Some people have expressed that personal anxieties have become a serious hurdle to deal with when adapting to a new UI.
This, along with changing screen sizes, has increased the demand for new types of ways to interact with computers. Voice-activated interfaces have started to replace the traditional methods of working with equipment in at least some industries. Augmented reality and facial recognition technology both came about because of these same studies, which found that people needed ways to envision physical items even if they weren’t able to get an actual copy to work with.
Gesture interfaces were once thought of more as toys than serious tools, but this perception is changing as well. Several television manufacturers make set-top boxes that are designed to work with a series of gestures sent to them by viewers. This means people can select what program to watch at what time without ever having to pick up a remote.
More than likely, this kind of interface will soon come to smartphones and desktop computers as a result of the work done by skilled interface specialists. When it comes to user experience and how HCI is creating more synergy between computers and humans, there is much to learn and discover.Adobe XD Ideas is a great place to stay current on the latest developments.