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Human - Computer Interaction

Learning Objectives
• Define Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and provide examples.
• Define Graphical User Interface (GUI) and provide examples.
• Define Universal Design Principles and provide examples.
• Define assistive technology and provide examples.
• Identify ways assistive technology can be used to facilitate use of the library by those with special needs.

Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) is the study and design of communication between users and computers.

The area draws on research from both the machine and human side including computer science and social science.

Human-Computer Interaction

Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) research attempts to improve computer usability and meet the needs of users. The goal is to minimize barriers between how humans are able to share their needs and how computers are able to interpret and act on these needs.

In a library setting, HCI is associated with developing effective user interfaces for a wide range of information retrieval activities such as entering search statements and viewing results.

Those interested in HCI are often involved in developing Graphic User Interfaces (GUI).

Graphic User Interfaces

touchA Graphical User Interface (GUI) lets users interact with the computer using pictures and symbols.

Originally, most interaction was done through a text-based interface, however increasingly graphic icons and other visual indicators are used to express needs.

The GUI is generally displayed on the computer screen in a window. In many cases, users may have multiple, overlapping windows displayed all at once. Users may use a mouse, touchpad, keyboard or other device to manipulate the windows.

A GUI is used in many areas in a library from the OPAC to photocopiers and self-service checkouts.

Universal Design Principles

keyboardUniversal design includes a wide range of approaches used to provide aesthetic, usable, and accessible environments. Although often associated with providing access for disabled people, it applies to all people.

Providing access is at the core of a library’s mission. Universal design theories and models ensure that all people are able to access both the physical resources offered by the library as well as the virtual materials such as online resources.

The Principles of Universal Design were developed at North Carolina State University. They include

Assistive and Adaptive Technology

Assistive technology helps individuals with disabilities use computers, mobile devices, and other technology. The term includes both adaptive tools and rehabilitation devices.

While assistive technology such as dictation tools may be used by those with and without a particular disability, adaptive technology is designed specifically to assist disabled individuals.

Assistive Technology

mag glassAssistive technology can be used to facilitate use of the library by those with special needs.

Screen reader software reads screens aloud for those with reading difficulties or those with visual impairments.

Screen magnification tools help to enlarge the computer monitor to make reading easier for visually impaired users.

Speech recognition software allows a computer or mobile device to accept spoken commands or turn dictation into text on the screen.

Conclusion

Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) is the study and design of communication between users and computers. HCI research attempts to improve computer usability and meet the needs of users.

A Graphical User Interface (GUI) lets users interact with the computer using pictures and symbols. A GUI is used in many areas in a library from the OPAC to photocopiers and self-service checkouts.

Universal design includes a wide range of approaches used to provide aesthetic, usable, and accessible environments. While assistive technology such as dictation tools may be used by those with and without a particular disability, adaptive technology is designed specifically to assist disabled individuals.

 


| eduscapes | IUPUI Online Courses | Contact Us | 2014 Annette Lamb (Adapted from earlier s401 materials)

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