Carey, Tom Department of Computing and Information Science, College of Physical Science, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada.
Harrigan, Kevin TeleLearning Network of Centres of Excellence, Department of Computer Science, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.
Last reviewed:April 2021
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- Example of interaction
- Human capability
- User interface
- Contextual design
- Development process
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
An interdisciplinary field focused on the interactions between human users and computer systems, including the user interface and the underlying processes that produce the interactions. The contributing disciplines include computer science, cognitive science, human factors, software engineering, management science, psychology, sociology, and anthropology. Early research and development in human-computer interaction focused on issues directly related to the user interface. Some typical issues were the properties of various input and output devices, interface learnability for new users versus efficiency and extensibility for experienced users, and the appropriate combination of interaction components such as command languages, menus, and graphical user interfaces (see illustration). The field of human-computer interaction has broadened and become more attentive to the processes and context in which the users' experience with human-computer interactions takes place. The focus of research and development is on understanding the relationships among users' goals and objectives, their personal capabilities, the social environment, and the designed artifacts with which they interact. As an applied field, human-computer interaction is also concerned with the development process used to create the interactive system and its value for the human user. See also: Anthropology; Human-factors engineering; Psychology; Software engineering
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