HCI shortened for Human Computer Interaction is the study of the human and computer and the way they interact. The interaction between human, whom may be referred to as “users” and the computer occurs at the users interface, which simply means the way you input and output information.
The first interface that I will be looking at and its effect on Society is the online shopping – EBay. EBay is one of the world’s online marketplaces with a global customer base of 233 million. EBay has created a powerful marketplace for the sale of goods and services by a passionate community of individuals and small businesses to exhibit. Below is an image of EBay. EBay offers different features such as allowing customers to create an account for its users, it gives clear stated categories in which people can easily search from and it markets people’s product on the front page to advertise their product.
It’s impact on Society;
EBay has impacted the society in the sense that people can now shop online with ease and not having to go out of their way to locate a shop to purchase items. It has given people opportunity to market their business and product. It also enables its user to communicate with one another for transaction. It has brought people from across the globe to purchase items and made it a venue or forum for them to communicate and exchange cultural differences. However, as great as EBay is and with all the great features about as to how it creates a marketplace for people, many people use EBay as a form of fraud and deceit to people that are gullible enough, a recent example of this is on the 7th of April 2010, when the Romanian police arrested 70 cyber crooks, whom were thought to be members of the gangs which allegedly used compromised EBay accounts to run scams. They simply obtained login credentials using phishing scams before using these trusted profiles to tout auctions for non-existent luxury goods (luxury cars, Rolex watches and even a recreational aircraft).
The second interface I will be looking at and it effect on economy is smart phones – iPhones. iPhones are uniquely designed smart phones that are marketed by the Apple company. The iPhones are built with so many functions such as, video camera, camera, portable media player, web browsing and has both Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity. The main user interface on this device is built about the multi-touch screen with a virtual keyboard. The iphone models are in four different generations; the iphone, iphone 3G which was to make it easier to receive network and a A-GPS for location, iphone 3GS, this generation included in is a compass, a faster processor and a video recorder, the fourth generation which is the iphone4 has a rear face camera and it features higher- resolution display.
The iphones are a mobile phone and you can access anything online anytime and it does not matter where you are. It allows you to call other people using face time and there are downloadable app available, either educational, social or for personal use.
Impact it has on economy;
The iphone has impacted economy is many ways, one of which, many people, spend a huge amount of capital just to purchase the phone. It has become useful to workers has it allows them to access their business and complete their task without having to actually visit the office. To the various individuals they use it for their own personal needs and it has really helped people to stay focused and punctual on anything they attain to do via the ipohnes. The negative impact I think that the phone has brought to the economy aspect is that many people indulge themselves in criminal activities in order to get money and purchase the iphones. Another impact it has had on the society is it has become an easier way of communication with people from different parts of the world and made the internet more accessible to everyone globally.
The last interface I will be looking at is online gaming, but specifically the Xbox kinect console. Online gaming simply brings people across the globe communicating and just having fun. Online has made that accessible to all. Online gaming has developed enormously over the years in many ways with having so many attributes. The Xbox Kinect brings games to reality in the sense that its motion censored and you become the controller with just a wave of your hand. The Kinect allows people to do all sorts of things. It brings family together to play and enjoy each other’s company. It allows friends to meet up online and play with each others. It can be used educationally for children also. The kinect can be used for exercising purpose a swell.
Impact it has on Culture;
Kinect has impacted culture as it had engaged many people to go on it for whatever purpose they use it for. For example; some young children has become more and more engaged with it to an extent of it becoming addictive to them, that if they do not go on it they are not happy. It has affected people’s behaviour and even their social life. It has also impacted families has it has brought families together to spend quality times together. Also it has made more people to be more committed to being watchful of their diet and people use it as way of working out, basically having your own gym in your personal inn.
P2 – explain the fundamental principles of HCI design
Perception is the way that we see things as an individual. As a user of an interface, they way you would perceive a colour would be different, that is why it is important for developers to be considerate when creating an interface. Under perception there are colour, patterns and objects.
Colour is an extremely important fact in which a designer would have to consider when designing, as colour affects people in different ways, and the way the designer and user would perceive it would be different so it only important that the designer puts in mind the users with medical conditions as it may be uncomfortable for them. For example; if the colour used is mere grey or black or just really dull, this may put user off as it is non-attractive to users and may get them dull, however if a bright and attractive colour is used like light blue and not too bright red, it may appease them. So the designer has a lot to consider.
Luminance contrast is used as it is the belief that the three paired colour of the trichromatic system are detected by the three different types of cell on the retina of the eye. The three paired colours are ‘red-green’, ‘yellow-blue’ and ‘black-white’ which are used to get the best designs as it can help when using colour on the interface.
o Pop-out effect:
The pop-out effect is use to outline a subtle change in things, to make it stand out with a subtle non-eye affecting colour to highlight an indication. For example; if you take the Microsoft office word for an example, when you want to make a change on the task bar at the topic that gives you the categorised options, it has background yellow colour behind it, which is to indicate that you are about to click on it to change.
Pattern is the template or layout in which is needs to include familiarity, consistency, and evenness. It simply enables the users to be able to interact or relates to the interface, which makes it more user-friendly. Pattern perception has sets of laws which are to be followed for designs; proximity, continuity, symmetry, similarity and the common grouping; fate, region and connected.
o Proximity: how we view things that are close together as a group.
o Continuity: are smooth continuous lines that are easy to interpret than of a rapid often changing line.
o Symmetry: that we see symmetrical shapes easily than an unsymmetrical.
o Similarity: in groups, we tend to see similar objects as oppose to seeing subjects that are un-similar as an individual.
o Common Grouping;
* Fate: objects that moves together as a group.
* Region: objects that we see that are enclosed together in a way as a group.
* Connected: objects that we can see, that are connected by continuous line as related to each other.
All objects are designed hierarchy in order in order to display the interface in complete form, meaning the images are layered. It is very important to know which image appears first and the subsequent images which overlays the first image, otherwise the object will appear to the user as an incomplete object.
Positioning the object is very important and crucial to be considered when included on the interface, because if the object is not positioned accurately, then parts of the interface may appear behind the main screen and be invisible to the user.
o Geon’s and Gross 3D shapes;
Geon’s and Gross 3D shapes enable the consistency when images are being reproduced. Geon’s are made up of a property that allows viewers to see the images from almost any angles. It has less complexity when in the stage of being designed. Gross 3D shapes are used in video games and the shapes are used to transmit the 3D images in real time situation in most occasions. For example; an x-ray machine, which can be viewed on a large screen and displayed in 3D as it goes in depth of is being x-rayed and viewed.
Behaviour models are models that predict the ways in which interfaces behave when it’s being used and how users behave to interfaces. There are different types of behavioural model such as; Predictive Modelling and Descriptive Modelling.
* Predictive Modelling:
Predictive models provide guidance for when designing an interface. This is to be pre-cautious of how your interface will be like without any delay whilst it’s being tested out by users.
o The Keystroke – level model;
Keystroke – level model (KLM) spots very low level actions and it breaks down each sequence of operation into individual actions. Each action is assigned a time so it’ll be able to calculate how system responds.
o The throughput;
Throughput (TP) simply relates to the productivity of the computer and the speed of processing in response to a command that is being made. Other throughput measures the performance in speed of any variation in relation to the number of tasks and complexity – Response time.
o Fitts Law;
Fitts law basically calculates the speed accuracy by predicting the human movements and motion based on time and distance. In other words, it identifies how long or the time it will take from A- B if they are so close or too far apart of just about the right distance from each other. So Fitts law measures the time it will take the user to get from one to another.
* Descriptive Modelling:
Descriptive modelling describes how things literally work. In descriptive modelling, you have the key-action model (KAM), Buxton’s three state model and Guiard model.
o The Key-action model (KAM);
The key-action model is actually the explanation of how the keys on the keyboard are set out to be easier for users to use. It also looks at the way users react and behave to the computer and the reaction or response of the computer on the commands set for it. For example, a command is delayed and a feedback is received by the user, this automatically indicates something is occurring and the user’s reaction is now needed and it’s either to wait or be impatient.
o Buxton’s three state model;
The Buxton’s three state model is mainly focused and concerned about the pressure which users make movement with using mouse or touchpad’s. For example an ‘iPad’, this interface will be responsive by just a hand. Other interfaces may be with mouse, it also identifies how easy it is for users to use a mouse or a touch pad. As arguments may show that using a touchpad would be easier.
o Guiards model;
The Guiard model specialises more in interfaces being accessible and laid out logically in order for it to be used for both right and left handed users. As this is important that designer should not rely on the user always inputting data or using the mouse using preferred hands.
Information processing is basically how information is processed and the speeds and pace it travels in and time it’ll take it to complete the processing.
* Human as a component:
The human as a component simply establishes the difficulty that arises when it comes to managing an interface. As it can be difficult to identify people’s needs and expectations.
* Human information processing (HIP):
Human information processing simply explains how we as human take information and work on it by extracting and analysing and using the information that we have recieved and process the information.
* Goals, operators, methods and selection (GOMS):
The goals, operators, methods and selections models simply predict the time it will take for an action to be carried out. The gives the designer the ability to calculate the amount of time it will take to execute the instruction given to the interface. The designer identifies the outcome of intended actions when different types of operators.
M1 – Explain how an HCI could be adjusted for specialist needs
For my first HCI, in order to make it more accessible and applicable to children, I will I have to make it less complicated by using different colours to grab their attention and the words would be something easy and understand for them. Have fewer pages in order to make it quicker for them to access what they have searched for. Also have images or small animations on the page that could be a helping guide for them, which they could click on when they are stuck or in need of anything. For example on the Microsoft office word there was a help wizard which you can change into an animal if you did not want the wizard.
In regard to improving my HCI for the visually impaired, I could create a button in which would change the colour on the screen to make it easier for them to see the colour on the computer. I could also have a button that could enlarge the text on the screen for them.
For my second HCI, to make it accessible for children, I would have to improve on the colour from just being green and dull and include more bright colours as this would keep them engaged and still use the interface, Another adjustments that I could also make is give a description of what the products are and what they do, I will have to do this in the most simplest form possible.