The history of Human-Computer Interaction: a summary


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  • PERIODIZATION HCI RESEARCH :three parallel movements – Either you describe it metaphorically in terms of waves, paradigms or circlesOr you can draw the parallels with art history
  • PERIODIZATION HCI RESEARCH :three parallel movements – Either you describe it metaphorically in terms of waves, paradigms or circlesOr you can draw the parallels with art historyCLASSICAL ARTGreeks&Romans, formal representation of human form. Adhering to artistic principles & rules laid down by painters and sculptorsTraining to be come artistHCI: cognitive theories were being imported in a rigorous and constrained wayMODERN ARTthe previous classical traditions were thrown aside in the spirit of new ideasHCI: a more broader palette of approaches and uses of theoryCONTEMPORARY ARTVariety of typesMore self conscious and socially consciousConcerning with culture and political developments of timeHCI: more value-led HC, drawing from a range of societal-based perspectives.
  • (cf before the early ‘80s: early computing  people were employed in three roles, management, programming and operation. Reducing operator burden was a key focus. Then gradually, as computers became more reliable and capable, programming became a central activity. Context 1980-1985:discretionary use comes into focus.Less expensive computers, markets for non-technological hands-on users who would get little or no formal training, who are not computer specialists. Users who would have a choice of using the computer (cf. computer at the workplace where the computer is only used indirectly , as a tool in their everyday work where to some extent users can decide which features they use, can ignore some injunctions… more discretionary use for home computer). Cognitive psychology was the driving forceWhy? The realization that most computer systems being developed were difficult to learn, difficult to use and did not enable the users to carry out the tasks in the way they wanted.Therefore cognitive psychology should provide the body of knowledge research methods and findings to reverse this trend and inform the design of easy learn and use computer systems
  • First view on users = human factorsThe human often reduced to being another system component, with certain (limited) characteristicsCognitive approachHuman as information processorInteraction between single user and computer“Human factors”
  • HCI theoriesEarly ‘80s _ First wave HCI (70’s-80’s)Theories about human memory (basic research): were useful for the provision of explanations of the capabilities and limitations of users (related to e.g. Memory, attention, perception , learning etc)Information processing theories and models used as a basis from which to develop design principles, methods, analytic tools and prescriptive advice for the design of computer interfaces. e.g.. Gestalt principles law of proximity, similarity, closure, continuity , figure ground often problematic when interpreted regardless of context or tasks e.g. Miller’s theory about memory only 7+- chunks of informationCognitive modeling: model the cognition that is assumed to happen when a user caries out its tasksSome have a predictive element others are more prescriptive (and often proven to be more successful in their utility in practice, such as e.g. Heuristic evaluations and cognitive walkthroughs)e.g. Hutchins et al. gulfs of execution and evaluation gulfs between the mental representation held in our minds and users’ goals versus the physical components and states of the system. The gulf of execution is the degree to which the interaction possibilities of an artifact, a computer system or likewise correspond to the intentions of the person and what that person perceives is possible to do with the artifact/application/etc. In other words, the gulf of execution is the difference between the intentions of the users and what the system allows them to do or how well the system supports those actions (Norman 1988). the gulf of evaluation is the difficulty of assessing the state of the system and how well the artifact supports the discovery and interpretation of that state (Norman 1991). e.g. Norman’s theory of action , e.g. Card et al.’s ‘model human processor’ see next slide - they even go further by providing a basis from which to make quantitative predictions about use performance, eg predictive model GOMS GOMS (Goals Operators Methods Selection rules), KLM (Keystroke Level Model), Fitt’s law, Hick’s law, …Criticisms:Inadequacies of classical cognitive theories for informing system design because too high-levelE.g. the theories were too low-level, restricted in their scope and failed to deal with real world contexts (lack of relevance)
  • Can be analysed in the same manner as the information processing of technology- Rigid guidelines, controlled experiments, formal methods, user modelling, …Typical standard way of representing user requirements in the functional requirements specification document
  • context- 1985-1995: graphical user interfaces succeeded (instead of the constrained command- and form based interaction)Hence, active topics of research including command naming, text editing and the psychology of programming were quickly abandoned; Also maturation of local area networks and internet  hence CHI’s focus shifted from individual productivity to a quest for killer apps that would appeal to groups (expanded its focus to include collaboration support (Computer Supported Cooperative Work)
  • View on users: from human factors to human actorsEmphasis of the holistic nature of the 3) person acting in a settingSocial contextGroups working with collection of applicationsWork settings and communities of practice“Human actors”
  • Alternative cognitive approachesDistributed cognition: Draws on cognitive science, but beyond the individualArguing that cognitive processes do not occur strictly inside the mind but rather are distributed across multiple individuals and artifacts in HCI focus on the ways that information gets represented across various media via cognitive process that span individuals, artifacts and organizations. E.g. Air traffic control, navigationExternal cognition: - External cognition is concerned with explaining the cognitive processes involved when we interact with different external representations. A main goal is to explicate the cognitive benefits of using different representations for different cognitive activities and the processes involved. The main one include: externalizing to reduce memory load (e.g. birthday calendar which helps you to remind date, to do something, and when –by a present in time) computational offloading (using a tool to help computation, e.g. pen and paper to solve math problem annotating and cognitive tracing (e.g. resp. modifying a course book by underlining or creating different piles of object according to nature of the work to be done changesEcological psychology: how the environment affects human action and perceptionE.g. Gibson which view has been adopted by Norman 1988, Gaver 1991, Kirsch 2001etc. Especially known for the imported concepts in HCI : constraints :how the structures in the external world guide people’s actions rather than their internal cognitive processesand affordances: refer to attributes of objects that allow people to know how to use them, it depends on the relationship between user and object (no stable object property) : give a clue. E.g. Steering wheel, door bell. Turn to the social-situated action: Lucy Suchman(sociology/cultural anthropology) - her theory came as a critical response to the dominant ‘planning’ paradigm (cf. Goal, sub goals = planning towards a plan of operations  execution). - According to her, such a plan is too stable, objective. Instead, what is needed is a model of interaction with the world. A plan is only ONE of the features that guides our behaviour but there are many more contextual features of the setting that guide our actions: actions are thus situated. Ethnomethodology : Harold Garfinkeldescriptive accounts of the informal aspects of work (via a bottom up approach that accounts for members’ working practices) to complement the formal methods, the abstract theorizing, and models of software engineering and in so doing, begin to address some of the ‘messiness’ of human technology design, which cognitive theories have not been able to adequately address. The goal was to understand how social reality was achieved, how people made it work, how stable and orderly social facts and relations can arise out of the independent actions of individuals, via the commonsensemethods by which people manage and organize their everyday behaviour. Te.g. typical example: conversation analysis: what thus ‘hello’ constitute as meaningCSCWfocuses on the social and organizational aspects of computing. Mainly concerned with how computer technologies could be designed to support collaborative working practices. How can computer be developed to ameliorate the negative aspects of group working while enhancing or extending the positive aspects.
  • Grounded TheoryIs not a theory per se, but an approachHelps researchers to develop theory from the systematic analysis and interpretation of empirical dataActivity Theory (from Soviet psychology) see Leontiev 1978: unifying theoretical framework, trying to both provide the rigor of the scientific method of traditional cognitive science while taking into account social and contextual aspects. Provides a hierarchical model of activity (operations actions and activities)Defines : An activity includes a subject (with intention to perform a purposeful activity –need gratification-), an object (toward the activity is directed) andmediating artifacts(through which the activity is carried out)Object can be physical reality (e.g. Mouse) or social reality (friendship or authority or ideal objects ‘I want to become a surgeon’). Through resistance and affordances, objects constrain and direct what we do. Mediating artifacts can be physical (e.g. Tools, diagrams) or cognitive or cultural (e.g. Language or history In HCI computing technologies as the artifacts mediating human activity. (the tools that mediate between people and the world S- O) no properties of subject and object exist before and beyond activity, activity is the unit of analysisDifference with first wave as one might say that there is the same unit of analysis as AT (nl. The interaction between user and system) in first wave it is more lower level limited to tasks in terms of functionality rather than meaning for subject. In AT the scope is extended from tasks to a meaningful context, the boundary of the ‘objective world’ is not limited to the user interface. AT also focused on real life use of technology rather than abstract, formal representationsAT also accounts for developmental changes (e.. Going from novice to expert user)Hybrid theoriesDo an attempt to synthesize a diversity of concepts from diferent theories and disciplines
  • MethodsResearch aims relating to the establishment of a comprehensive psychological theoretical framework based on formal experiments were no longer relevant. The urgent need was to identify the most pressing problems and find satisfactory rather than optimal solutions via faster and less precise assessment methods.1. Ethnography = detailed understanding of culture through intensive long term involvement ‘thick descriptions’ often based upon participant-observation. Describing what they do AND what they experience in doing it (the why and how)2. Quick and dirty: standard lab experimentation is too limited and costly and time consuming. What is needed are quick and dirty methods that can give rapid feedback to designers about the utility and usability of their products: the usabilityGeneral:More attention to the processof design (iterations instead of design that proceeds from a set of fixed requirements without interaction and without involvement of the users)from individual to groups (support office workers in their activities rather than building office automation systems)from the laboratory to the workplace (less experimental, more attention to contextual cues, in situ studies)from novice to experts (not only focusing at the ‘naive’ first time learners)from analysis to design (not only analysing systems after they have been built, but also know how to build new: design science: “design is where the action is” (Allen Newell)from user requirements specifications (cf. Measurable usability criteria, usability engineering) to iterative prototyping
  • MODERN HCI acknowledges the importance of considering other aspects besides the internal cognitive processing of a single user (notably the social context, the external environment, the artifacts and the interaction) and coordination between these during HCI interactionsFor instance there is a difference between work processes (the formalized or regulated procedures) versus work practice (the informal but nonetheless routine mechanisms by which the processes are put into practice everyday in a dynamic way)Movie InfoDirector Bent Hamer's comedy drama SalmerFraKjkkenet (Kitchen Stories) is based on the real-life social experiments conducted in Sweden during the 1950s. In the years following WWII, a research institute sets out to modernize the home kitchen by observing a handful of rural Norwegian bachelors. In the small town of Landstad, middle-aged Isak (Joachim Calmeyer) is one such research subject who regrets ever agreeing to participate in the study. Nevertheless, he is observed by Folke (Tomas Norstrm), and the two develop a strange friendship until the observer becomes sick. This causes a problem with Folke's boss (ReineBrynolfsson) and Isak's friend Grant (BjrnFloberg). ~ Andrea LeVasseur, RoviPG, 1 hr. 35 min. Drama, Art House & International, ComedyDirected By: Bent HamerWritten By: JörgenBergmark, Bent HamerIn Theaters: Feb 20, 2004 LimitedOn DVD: Dec 14, 2004IFC FilmsSee also youtube for examples:! Computer History - A British View - Part 1 of 3
  • Societal and economic reasons: Admittedly, to develop a post-materialistic (i.e., experiential) orientation may require sufficient food, clothing, and shelter (Inglehart 1997; Maslow 1954). This is the gist of Charlie Bucket's dilemma: choosing a frivolous one-day experience in a chocolate factory over supporting his family with food and clothing seems almost immoral. ***Technological reasonsComputer users in organizations were no longer ‘almost slaves’ devoted to maximizing compute ruse. Embrace of the Internet created more porous organizational boundaries. Employees download free software such as instant messaging clients, music players and weblogs tools inside the firewall despite IT concerns about productivity and security. These are not the high overhead applications of the past. Another change over time is that home use of software has reduced employee patience with poor interactive software at work.Arrival and rapid pace of technological developments in the last few years (new interaction paradigms thanks to wireless technologies, handheld computers, wearable, pervasive technologies, tracking devices). High increase potential places to embed computational devices, even in private spaces e.g. domestic life and personal hygiene. Prevailing desktop paradigm with GUI and WIMP interfaces now being superseded By new paradigms, e.g. ubiquitous computing, pervasive environments and everyday computing. Cf. Mark Weiser’s vision computers to disappear into the environment in a way that we would no longer be aware of them. Similarly pervasive environments allow people access and interact with information any place and any time using a seamless integration of technologies. Mark Weiser 91, 94: “the real power ofubiquitous computing comes not from any one of these devices – it emerges from the interaction of all of them”Mark Weiser ‘91, ‘94: “what is the metaphor for the computer of the future  one that makes the computer invisible, so ubiquitous that no one will notice the computer’s presenceMore focus at discretionary use of the moment: instant messaging, weblogs, collaboration technology, ubiquitous computing, social computing. Human discretions involves aesthetic preferences and invites marketing and no rational persuasion.***metaphorCharlie en the chocolate factory : golden ticket The seemingly negative stance towards the materialistic is an indication of a post-materialistic culture. Ronald Inglehart (1997) argued that societies in sustained periods of material wealth become increasingly interested in values such as personal improvementDecried as superficial and consumerist in the 80ties and 90ties of the last century, we now witness a version of the Experience Society which favours meaningful engagement to earning money and begins to dissociate experience and expenditure.Though the transformation to a post-materialistic experience society has been recognized by business, as indicated by books such as The Experience Economy (Pine & Gilmore, 1999) or Experiential Marketing (Schmitt 1999), it still struggles with making sense of it. A good example is the music industry. …This is the challenge we face: Experience or User Experience is not about technology, industrial design, or interfaces. It is about creating a meaningful experience through a device.Experiences are no longer supposed to be available at exotic places only (not only the ‘golden ticket’). They can be close by: a day out in the sun, working the garden, a barbecue with friends, or a trip to the local flea market. In the foreword to the 2005 edition of his book, Gerhard Schulze (2005, p IX) mentions some signifiers of the new millennium's Experience Society: deceleration instead of acceleration, less instead of more, uniqueness instead of standardisation, concentration instead of diversion, and making instead of consuming.
  • View on user: human crafter or human satisfactor- Human crafter: Meta-design theory emphasizes that designers can never anticipate all future uses of their system, as users shape their environments in response to emerging needs; systems should therefore be designed to adapt to future conditions in the hands of end users. Advances in technology introduced a divide between the skilled producers and unskilled consumers of technology, and between design time and use time. As our technological environments increase in complexity, meta-designers must provide the flexibility for users to create and shape their own tools. Cf. Maceli, 2011 (CHI conference)More empowered users-human satisfactor(cf. Cockton, 2008): hedonic Private and public environments - The home, everyday lives - Culture, emotion and experience - Non-work, non-purposeful, non-rationalValues that go further than efficiency or effectiveness, more linked to life goals : how can people pursue healthier, more enjouyable meaningful and enjoyable lifestylesNovice users: the steady flow of new hardware, software features, applications and systems insures that initial and early use of digital technology is always present which raises new research issues.
  • Note first ‘turn’, or the first change in the framing of HCI was coined in the 90s with the turn to the socialTURN TO EMOTIONS AND QUALITIESFocus on emotion-related phenomena (pleasure, fun, flow)General understanding of emotions, based on fundamental theories Focus on qualities such as aesthetics, symbolic (hedonics) or motivational aspectsTURN TO DESIGNAs a more theoretical concern, Trend towards more critical reflection: how to think about interaction design  creative HCI: there is’nt one preferred interpretation of a system, but multiple. how to be accountable (responsible) for what you examine and design and howHow to create design spaces within which people could communicate through, design spaces that promote certain life values and be informed by theories from e.g. philosophy TURN TO CULTURECultural study, relying on a repertoire of interpretative schemes. In HCI, interaction criticisms.
  • MethodsExploratory methods – seeking inspiration from use e.g. , cultural probes, narratives, experience prototyping, …From user-centered to user-involved design: look on users not simply as objects of study, but as active agents within the design process itself.
  • 20sec - 1: 50Further: 3:45 – 5:448:32-9:00Last: 27Kony= war criminal in ugandaGoal to see him capturedMakes use of the power of the people, through technology, twitter, geotagging, youtube, Children kidnapped and forced to kill 2710 minutes
  • The history of Human-Computer Interaction: a summary

    1. 1. THE HISTORY OF HCI THEORYIntroductory slides to the course Human-Computer Interaction @ KU Leuven, Belgium Bieke Zaman can be inspired by these slides, but please give me the credits
    4. 4. CONTEXT• Early ’80s• Discretionary use• Command and form-based interactions• Difficult to learn, difficult to use
    5. 5. A (passive) system component • Limited attention span, faulty memory • De-personalised • unmotivated Single user Often novice userHUMAN FACTOR
    6. 6. CLASSICAL HCI THEORIESCONTRIBUTIONS COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY• Basic research: that helps to explain capabilities and limitations users• Applied basic research: Prescriptive advice for interface designCOGNITIVE MODELING• Models the cognition that is assumed to happen when a user caries out tasks• Predictive or prescriptive
    7. 7. CLASSICAL HCI METHODSASSUMPTIONUsers can be analysed in the same manner asthe information processing of technology• Controlled lab experiments• User modeling• Rigid guidelines• User requirements
    9. 9. CONTEXT• Late ’80s, early ‘90s• Graphical user interfaces (GUIs) succeeded• Maturation of local area networks (LANs) & ¢ internet
    10. 10. 1. An active autonomous agent • capable of regulating and controlling behaviour • With individual ¢ motivation 2. Member of community of workers, often expert users 1. Acting in a settingHUMAN ACTOR
    11. 11. MODERN HCI THEORIESALTERNATIVE COGNITIVE APPROACHES• Distributed Cognition• External cognition• Ecological Psychology ¢SOCIAL APPROACHES• Situated Action• Ethnomethodology and ethnography• CSCW theories
    12. 12. MODERN HCI THEORIESOTHER IMPORTANT APPROACHES• Grounded Theory• Activity Theory• Hybrid theories ¢
    13. 13. MODERN HCI METHODSETHNOGRAPHY• Intensive, long term involvement• Participant-observations - contextual inquiries• Thick descriptions: – why and how – accounting for unpredictable factors – Focus on interactivity and how cognition is distributed ¢ (rather than modelling what happens inside the head) – How the environment affects action & perceptionQUICK AND DIRTY METHODS• Rapid prototyping• Iterative (co-)design & evaluations
    14. 14. ¢
    16. 16. CONTEXT• Mid to late 2000s• Societal and economic changes – Post-materialism -> experiental orientation• Technological evolutions – Internet! ¢ – Home use – New interaction paradigms, embedded computation – Discretionary use of the moment
    17. 17. 1. Users as designers 2. People who want to be satisfied – also in non-work, non- purposeful & non- rational settings ¢ – Value-driven, life goals 3. People who continuously engage in new, initial technology HUMAN CRAFTER experiencesHUMAN SATISFACTOR
    18. 18. CONTEMPORARY HCI THEORIESTURN TO EMOTIONS AND QUALITIES• Emotions, aesthetics, hedonics, motivationsTURN TO DESIGN• Critical reflection, accountability ¢• Creative HCI, interpretively flexible designTURN TO CULTURE• Interpretative schemes, cultural study
    19. 19. CONTEMPORARY HCI THEORIESTURN TO THE WILD• Studying and designing in the wild• Augment people & places ¢TURN TO EMBODIMENT• Interaction as practical engagement with the social and physical• Technology and practice cannot be separated• Perception and action cannot be separated either
    20. 20. CONTEMPORARY HCI METHODSEXPLORATORY, CREATIVE METHODS• Inspiration seeking ¢PARTICIPATORY METHODS• User involvement• Co-design, accounting for human values
    21. 21. CONTEMPORARY HCI FRAMINGSOCIALLY AWARE AND RESPONSIBLE RESEARCH• aiming for life goals that reach beyond the pragmatic or hedonic• incl. health, well-being, climate change, ¢ feminism, multiculturalism, globalization, world peace and povertyUCD STARTS BY UNDERSTANDING• … the human values that the technology will be designed to serve
    22. 22. INVISIBLE CHILDREN____________________