Human Computer Interactions


This critical text report is based on Human Computer Interactions (HCI) which shows the communication between a user and a system in different ways. Where the user understands the system through some medium and there are a request & process operations held between human and computer. The interaction takes place in a social and corporate context that affects both user and the computer. There is no exact definition but there a working definition offered that Human Computer Interaction is a discipline concerned with the design, evaluation and implementation of interactive systems for human use.

Figure 1 Human Computer Interactions
(Donovan, Oct 18 2011)

1.1 Human

Humans are less potential to process the request, having their own understanding, feeling, emotions and reply according to their thinking. The information is received and output is given via different channels. Humans are capable of processing problem solving, reasoning, error detection and correction.

1.2 Computer

A computer system is a combination of various elements in collaboration develops an electronic device that performs different arithmetic and logical operations. A computer system accepts inputs from input devices like keyboard, scanner, and pen devices and provides output to the user through output devices like monitor, printers etc. It holds the user data in storage devices and hold cache in primary memory that is not static. In early days, the systems were only command based but this electronic machine was steadily growing in coming years. The system applications were keeps on updating which results into a Graphical User Interface (GUI) that was convenient for the user.

1.3 Interaction

The term interaction is the pattern of dynamic and responsive behaviour between two or more entities. These entities can be any objects, animal, human etc. The interaction is the medium which recognize or shares the happening going on between two objects like a system and a human being. The interaction takes place within a social and organizational context that affects both user and system.


Human Computer Interaction came up as a field from roots in computer graphics, operating systems, human factors, computer science etc. The HCI was found in 1980s and has rapidly expanded for three decades, attracting professionals from many other disciplines and diverse concepts.

Until 1970s, the humans who interacted with systems were IT professionals, but this changed disruptively with the emergence of personal computing around 1980, which includes personal software or platforms like programming, text editors, spreadsheets or games which made the world a potential computer user.

When it comes to the basic interactions of computer systems, the graphical objects were the first observed, and then the mouse pointer and the Windows were demonstrated. This early interactions were growing steadily for two decades which included the Drawing Program with the help of mouse, Text Editing Programs and Spreadsheet were one of those popular interactions.
During the late 1980s, the project Multi-Media was concerned with the computer graphics and text in it but not the video yet. 3D systems and multiuser software architectures were coming up to attract more users. The progress of HCI can be described in many perspectives:

Figure 2 Systems Revolutions
(BeingHuman, 2008)

2.1 Command Based Systems

The early interactions between human and computer systems were only command based. The systems were limited on the text based commands those only processed by the computer systems, even its logical or arithmetic and directory based storage facility was available.
When it comes to these computer systems, they were heavy and large in sizes. Only few users were available who were able to work on these systems, not all were able to understand these commands. The memory space was low and the language to interact with the systems was difficult.

Figure 3 Systems Revolutions
(BeingHuman, 2008)

2.2 GUI Based Systems

The new updates for computer systems were better Operating System with Graphical User Interface (GUI) which was found quite useful for users. The system was attracting users to interact as it holds more programs than before like drawing tool, better look for spreadsheets and text editors. One of finest point of this update was use of Mouse in a better way to that user can interact well with the system. During the 1990s, the GUI based systems were becoming the first choice of users to work on. Most of the users were willing to adapt new systems as those were more convenient and dynamic.
These systems were small in size, they were able to place anywhere in a small room because of portable size. Between 1990s and 2000, the up-gradation for the program in these systems was faster than before. New technologies were there to attract people and easier interface came for people to perform more in less time on one or more systems.

Figure 4 Systems Revolutions
(BeingHuman, 2008)

2.3 Touch Based Systems

The touch based systems having an electronic display which itself detects the presence of a user within a limited area. These systems come up in a wide range yet expensive. Touch based systems provides user a real easy environment to use, the information is displayed on the monitor and a user can request using a finger or hand, though the system accepts the request from the same equipment and provides the output on same or multiple equipments.
Now at current stage, there are touch based equipments which are small in sizes and as many can keep these equipments anywhere with them because of small size. This era of HCI is vast and is looking to spread more.

2.4 Voice Based Systems

The voice based systems works on the technology Speech Recognition which understand the human speech and converts it to computer language. In early days, these systems were not accurate but able to understand common grammar of users and provide the output over that. The research for this technique is still going on, to reach the maximum number of grammar and to operate upon that in digital world.
Now-a-days, the systems adapting this technique are being used as security systems or body analysis by doctors and by the robotics systems as well.

3. H.C.I Looking Forward

At present a human is addicted to live the life with the use of modern equipments, cannot live without mobile phones, laptops, internet etc. Without these necessaries no user can survive now. The innovations are not going to stop, so every user is eager to adapt new technology. Multiple users can communicate together, convey messages to each other in interval of seconds, share photos, videos etc.
Now-a-days open source is one of growing part of any technologies; it is basically a term that is being involved in each and every new aspects of technology. It says whatever you can think, that thinking can be applied on any technology which can be called Open Source.

Figure 5 Working on Arduino Board Through Computer System by the User
(Kalra, 2010)

The interaction is not only between one human and one machine, it has gone far. The human can interact with multiple devices to perform multiple tasks. This phase can involve anything from low-tech methods such as paper prototypes and sketches, to more hi-tech and robust systems ready for long-term field testing Whereas, before, much of the building within HCI has been essentially software-based, entailing the development of say, an interface for a desktop or a mobile device, as we move forward to 2020, what we build may be more hybrid It may require both development of the software interface plus novel amalgams of hardware. For instance, cameras may be used as an input mode, rather than a keyboard it might, as another example, involve the creation of everyday objects such as furniture, or parts of the built environment such as special walls or floors. It might even involve no interface at all in the traditional sense. For example, micro-payment devices simply require proximity and no interaction – touching, clicking or pointing – at all.

Figure 6 Commands by User to Arduino Board through Computer System
(Kalra, 2010)

Some interactions are distributed across different parts of a physical-digital ecosystem consisting of various devices and interconnecting sub-systems. Others have no interface in the sense that they are embedded within the everyday world and are not recognisable as computers. This does not mean that HCI research avoids building such systems. To the contrary, if these systems pertain to human values of some sort, then HCI must endeavour to explore and research them whatever their form. The complexity of such hybrid systems might seem to imply that building them would be a slow, laborious process. It certainly would be if doing so required what one might call engineered quality. Instead, it will often mean building technologies which are sufficiently robust to test and explore the concept in question, and little more. If it turns out the concept appeals (according to whatever value is appropriate) then more polished engineering of the device or system will come later.


CARROLL, J. Human Computer Interaction [WWW] (18th January, 2011)

MYERS, B. 1996. A Brief History of Human Computer Interaction Technology. [WWW] (18th January, 2011)

DIX, A. JANET,F. ABOWD,G. BEALE,R. Human-Computer-Interaction. [WWW] (19th January, 2011)

COEN, M. The Future of Human Interaction. [WWW] (19th January, 2011)

KALRA, P. Arduino Workshop (Programming). [WWW] (19th January, 2011)

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