Human Computer Interaction


What is HCI, Physical Computing and Creative Application Building

HCI stands for Human Computer Interaction.

This is the study on computers and the design of computer technology, particularly the interaction between the user (humans) and computers. The study was initially only with computers, but then expanded to all forms of computer technology i.e. smart phones and other computer systems like, air traffic control, computer and office gaming and nuclear processing.

Human computer interaction uses productivity, safety and entertainment to support and achieve the study into human-computer activities. HCI focuses on finding new methods and techniques that support people. The designers of HCI tend to always contemplate human computer interaction usability and user experience objectives applied to different interactive computer systems.

The study began in the 1980’s when personal computing was invented, with rise of machines like Apple Macintosh, started appearing in our homes as well as offices. Up until the late 1970’s the only people who had the opportunity to interact with computers, were those of the IT (information technology) profession and ‘dedicated hobbyists’. This changed when personal computers became more and more popular. With the emergence of personal computers, came the invention of personal software’s; i.e. text editors, spreadsheets and interactive gaming. As well as programming languages, (which allowed everyday people; as long as you were dedicated, the opportunity to become a programmer, (unlike in Ada Lovelace’s Day) operating systems and different forms of computer hardware

Humans connect with computers through a ‘user interface’, this tends to be software (what is displayed on the computer software), and hardware (this includes mouse, keyboard and other exterior devices), because of this the study of HCI tends to focus user fulfilment.

Paying close attention to human machine interaction is most important. In the case of a poorly designed interface, can make it difficult for users to complete even the simplest of tasks on the particular computer system. Sometimes for certain devices a poorly designed user interface could have severe or even caustic consequences.

The two most important aspects when looking at HCI is Usability and User experience goal awareness for these reasons;


Usability – The fundamental to interaction design and operations through definitive computer system benchmarks. This criteria includes adaptability, safety, service and learning


User Experience – The Focal point on creating systems that are rewarding/pleasing, enjoyable, amusing, constructive/invaluable, inspiring, creatively supportive, gratifying and lastly emotionally fulfilling.

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