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History of hci

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Personal perspectives on the history of the field of Human Computer Interaction

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History of hci

  1. 1. History of HCI Personal Perspective John C. Thomas HCIC 2005, Feb. 6th
  2. 2. River-crossing Problem <ul><li>Subjects who begin problem in state X </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Behave </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interpret </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recall </li></ul></ul><ul><li>That state very differently from subjects who move to state X </li></ul><ul><li>Thomas, J.C. (1974). An analysis of behavior in the hobbits-orcs problem. Cognitive Psychology 6 , pp. 257-269. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Memory Tales and Trails Time 1 Time N Time of Critical Event Framing filter
  4. 4. Memory Tales and Trails Time 1 Time N Time of Critical Event Framing filter
  5. 5. Oh, that’s what happened <ul><li>i.e., some coherent story, given our filters for framing reality </li></ul><ul><li>If 2004 had turned out differently, then the history of HCI from, say, 1974 to 1984 would also have turned out differently. </li></ul>
  6. 6. “ Actual” History looks more like this: Web of causality Complex Colorful Chaotic Multi-faceted Emergent Open to interpretation
  7. 7. Panel Predictions: CHI 86 Human Computer Interaction in the Year 2000 <ul><li>Bill Buxton: More fluid interaction as with musical instruments; no for speech </li></ul><ul><li>Ben Shneiderman: Direct manipulation; team cooperation mediated by computer </li></ul><ul><li>Thomas Malone: Better support for groups; more emphasis on motivation </li></ul><ul><li>Tom Landauer: New modes of interaction, expansion in tasks supported, increased bandwidth, virtually free memory and transmission hardware; need for filtering, representation methods, and query methods. </li></ul><ul><li>John Thomas: more focus on motivation, greater number of “implicit” interfaces, wider physical bandwidth & ambient displays </li></ul><ul><li>Bill Curtis: (cop-out): technology transfer is a major stumbling block (so one can’t really predict); Ender’s Game scenario </li></ul><ul><li>John Seeley Brown: More emphasis on collaboration (John didn’t show up) </li></ul>Web? Oops
  8. 8. Usability Engineering in the Year 2020 <ul><li>In Jacob Neilsen, Advances in Human-Computer Interaction 5 (1995) </li></ul><ul><li>Trends: cheaper BW, HW and more ubiquitous interaction with computers </li></ul><ul><li>Both increased centralization and decentralization of power </li></ul><ul><li>Institutions will make more decisions on the basis of cost/benefit (not just cost) </li></ul><ul><li>HCI sub-specialists proliferate based on users, tasks, technologies, context, system, & method </li></ul><ul><li>Two new specialties: Animal-Computer Interaction and Computer-Computer Interaction (as social interactors ). </li></ul><ul><li>Progress on multiple methodologies </li></ul><ul><li>Ubiquity of human-computer interaction </li></ul>Web? Fait accomplis
  9. 9. Personal Interaction Methods with Computers <ul><li>University of Michigan 1967 teletype/time-sharing (first program) </li></ul><ul><li>University of Michigan 1969 punch cards (Mangled Deck) </li></ul><ul><li>University of Michigan 1971 “race” via phone to find integral with time-sharing; PDP-1 “space war” </li></ul><ul><li>Dissertation subjects run on 2260 displays, 20 lines of EBCDIC text </li></ul><ul><li>Debugging with hexadecimal disk dumps </li></ul>
  10. 13. Personal History (Cont.) <ul><li>Harvard Med School, 1971, PDP-8 paper tape (corrections), 4K memory, 70 millisecond cycle time </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Most machine instructions took three cycles; a few took two cycles; thought about this in programming </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Harvard Med School, 1973, mag tape, 8K memory (Watergate Hearings) </li></ul><ul><li>Handheld HP calculator $475 </li></ul>
  11. 14. Bootstrap program entered via toggle switches in octal PDP-8 Console
  12. 15. Personal History (Cont.) <ul><li>IBM Research, 1973, teletype </li></ul><ul><li>IBM Research, 1974, CRT green screen </li></ul><ul><li>IBM Research, 1974 Query By Example </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pencil & Paper prototype; algorithm development; translation vs. production; </li></ul></ul><ul><li>IBM Research, 1975, “Wizard of Oz” studies of natural language input for “automatic programming” </li></ul><ul><li>Psychology of Design (1976-1979) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Spectrum of Techniques </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(*Designers should do some work on the design of psychologists) </li></ul></ul>
  13. 16. Personal History (Cont.) <ul><li>Corporate Headquarters (1980-1982) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Job: Trying to get IBM to pay more attention to usability (largely as a result of the report Clayton alluded to) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Computer Interaction: none. I wrote drafts with typewriter or dictated tapes  assistant used 5520 word processor </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lab Director: “No problem. My secretary loves it.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Debate: Can you prove the cost effectiveness of color displays? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Speech Synthesis (1983-1985) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal Computer + Dectalk + mainframe </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Motivation (1986) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Used “story” to explain basic SNA </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Carroll & Thomas “Fun” SIGCHI Bull (1988) </li></ul>
  14. 17. Personal HCI continued <ul><li>Early 1980’s debate: would an individual ever have need for a mip and a meg? </li></ul><ul><li>Two different “standards” in two parts of IBM combined  UI guidelines </li></ul><ul><li>To support or not support? Research debate. </li></ul><ul><li>Standards came back to bite me at NYNEX </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Object – Action MUST be used </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Expert Systems, Machine Vision, Speech Recognition, Robotics, HCI, Intelligent Tutoring Systems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1986 to 1998 used UNIX and SUN Spark stations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Alice introduced for “Ease of Use”  lab-wide rebellion </li></ul></ul>
  15. 18. Personal History (cont.) <ul><li>IBM Research – Stories and Storytelling (1999-2001) </li></ul><ul><li>Dynamic Assembly of Learning Objects (2001-2003) </li></ul><ul><li>Tools for Consultants (2004--) </li></ul><ul><li>Technology: Thinkpad; now with 75 Gig hard-drive; wireless LAN at home and work; tools being developed in SQUEAK (atop smalltalk) </li></ul><ul><li>Methods: Participant observation in the field; examination of artifacts; remote observation and interviews </li></ul>
  16. 19. What has changed? <ul><li>Cheaper, faster, smaller technology </li></ul><ul><li>More modes of interaction possible </li></ul><ul><li>Greater scope of users </li></ul><ul><li>Greater scope of contexts </li></ul><ul><li>Greater scope of tasks </li></ul><ul><li>Greater knowledge about what works: widgets to methods </li></ul><ul><li>In knowledge work, more multi-tasking & faster expected turn-around </li></ul><ul><li>Move from usability lab to field study or “remote viewing” </li></ul><ul><li>Move from “hypothesis testing” to “continuous improvement” </li></ul>
  17. 20. We don’t hear much anymore about (from CHI 86): <ul><li>Moles </li></ul><ul><li>FPL </li></ul><ul><li>Document Retrieval Programs </li></ul><ul><li>Tiled vs. Overlapping Windows (Tiled better) </li></ul><ul><li>Text editing </li></ul><ul><li>Transfer of Training </li></ul><ul><li>How to format source code </li></ul><ul><li>Whether color displays are worth the expense </li></ul>
  18. 21. However, we do still hear a lot about: <ul><li>Input devices </li></ul><ul><li>Easy programming languages </li></ul><ul><li>Information retrieval </li></ul><ul><li>Windows </li></ul><ul><li>Office tasks </li></ul><ul><li>Aging </li></ul><ul><li>Universal Access </li></ul><ul><li>Measuring usability </li></ul><ul><li>Speech I/O </li></ul><ul><li>Formal modeling </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration support </li></ul><ul><li>Visualization </li></ul>
  19. 22. As well as…. <ul><li>Robotics </li></ul><ul><li>3D </li></ul><ul><li>Ambient computing </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile computing </li></ul><ul><li>Trust </li></ul><ul><li>The Web </li></ul><ul><li>Games </li></ul><ul><li>VR </li></ul><ul><li>Patterns </li></ul>
  20. 23. Is HCI history progressive or cyclical ? <ul><li>Progressive: In preparation for this trip, I called to request an upgrade and interacted with AA purely by voice without a hitch; the ASR, the synthesis, and the dialogue structure were all excellent. </li></ul>
  21. 24. Is HCI history progressive or cyclical ? <ul><li>Cyclical: Every friggin’ time we try to get a project funded from a new senior manager, we have to educate them about HCI --- AGAIN! It isn’t just how big the stupid icons should be!! ARGH! </li></ul>

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