Human Computer Interaction

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Human Computer Interaction

Human Computer Interaction (commonly referred to as HCI) researches the design and use of computer technology, focused on the interfaces between people (users) and computers. Researchers in the field of HCI both observe the ways in which humans interact with computers and design technologies that let humans interact with computers in novel ways.

As a field of research, human-computer interaction is situated at the intersection of computer science, behavioral sciences, design, media studies, and several other fields of study.

Humans interact with computers in many ways, and the interface between humans and the computers they use is crucial to facilitating this interaction. Desktop applications, internet browsers, handheld computers, and computer kiosks make use of the prevalent graphical user interfaces (GUI) of today. Voice user interfaces (VUI) are used for speech recognition and synthesizing systems, and the emerging multi-modal and gestalt User Interfaces (GUI) allow humans to engage with embodied character agents in a way that cannot be achieved with other interface paradigms. The growth in human-computer interaction field has been in the quality of interaction, and in different branching in its history. Instead of designing regular interfaces, the different research branches have had a different focus on the concepts of multimodality rather than unimodality, intelligent adaptive interfaces rather than command/action based ones, and finally active rather than passive interfaces.

Programs in human computer interaction combine theories from computer science, ergonomics, psychology, cognitive sciences, and linguistics.

Disciplines similar to human computer interaction include robotics, materials engineering, or user experience design.


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