The University of Sussex

An introduction to Human Computer Interaction

Mike Sharples

Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) is the study of the ways people interact with and through computers. It grew out of work on human factors (the US term) or ergonomics (the European term) with the intellectual aim of analysing tasks that people perform with computers, and the practical concerns of designing more usable and reliable computer systems. As computers have infiltrated homes and businesses, so the scope of HCI has broadened to include the cognitive, social and organizational aspects of computer use. HCI can provide techniques to model people's interactions with computers, guidelines for software design, methods to compare the usability of computer systems, and ways to study the effect of introducing new technology into organizations. The chapter covers the background to HCI, interaction with computers, computer-mediated communication, the psychology of computer use, models of human-computer interaction, computer system design and evaluation, and the social and organizational aspects of computer use.

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