HCI: Human and Computer Interaction Essay

Interaction is the communication between a user and some device or system - HCI: Human and Computer Interaction Essay introduction. Frameworks provide a way to create what the interaction between the user and a device should be. It allows us to test and resolve any issues during this interaction process. Testing can be performed as whole and not just as individual components (Helm, 2008). The execution/evaluation action cycle (EEAC) provides results from a user’s point of view of an interface. It consists of four part, goals, execution, world, and evaluation. Goal is the objective that the user is trying to achieve.

Execution is the action being performed to achieve the goal that has been set. While world is where the goal is trying to be achieved in. The evaluation part takes the results from the execution and interprets them to see if the goal that was set was achieved. The Abowd and Beale interaction framework (IF) includes the communication between the system and the user through the interface (Helm, 2008). It consists of four parts, system, user, input, and output. The user inputs into the interface, this is called an input language.

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The system then translates the language to one the system can understand, this is called core language. Once translated the system carries out the actions that the user has performed. The results are then translated to an output language that the user can interpret. The results of the action are then interpreted by the user to see if they achieved the result the user was looking for. Each of these frameworks provide us the general understanding of the interaction between digital devices and there users. They identify the major components involved and allow for a well-rounded evaluation.

Part 2 – Device Assessment For my device assessment, I have chosen the BlackBerry Bold 9930 smartphone. The primary function of this device is to be a cell phone combined with a computer: it provides the ability to surf the internet, send emails, play music, and take photographs. Let’s start with the basic action of placing a phone call. At first glance, I should select the phone icon then dial the number I want call. This action will be accomplished by navigating to the phone icon using the touchpad and selecting it.

Then using the keyboard, I will enter the phone number I wish to call and press the send button. When performing this action, the interpreted mappings did work as expected. It did require a few extra steps physically to accomplish this action. Overall the expected state and the actual state were the same. Now let’s take a look at the action of browsing the internet. My initial interpretations of the mappings to complete this action are as follows: I will select the internet browser icon and then enter my web address using the keyboard. This should take me to the web page I want to go to.

The physical interaction is accomplished by using the selector pad to select the internet browser icon and selecting it. Then using the keyboard, the web address destination is entered into the address bar and enter is pressed. The interpreted state and the actual state did produce the same results. The interpreted mappings and the physical mappings did have an unexpected result that could not be seen through my initial interpretation. While typing in the web address, the browsers provide a drop-down list of possible addresses I was trying to reach. I just scrolled down and selected the address I was entering.

This did save some time in achieving the end result and removed the possibility of any typing mistakes I may have made. It did take some extra physical mappings but, it removed human error from completing the action. Part 3 Evaluation The Blackberry Bold 9930 uses an interaction style called menu-based interface. This interface uses a combination of hierarchal and network menus that present the user with a list of functions that can be performed by the device. Hierarchal menus provide a drill-down structure to achieve the users end goal (Helm, 2008).

This is highly effective for a user who is unfamiliar with the device and is learning how to use it. As the user becomes more familiar with the device, it offers a series of network menus for faster access to the users end goal. This device is small and compact and designed to achieve specific goals. The screen is small and does not have a lot of room for manipulation of the interface. The interface is setup to be manipulated by a beginner user, but offers the functionality for your more advanced users. The menus provide the options to be recognized instead of having to be memorized like command-line interfaces.

This is especially helpful for your users who have never used this device before. The use of menus cuts down on the number of errors that occur, while providing an easy way to back out when an error is made. My personal opinion is that this device runs optimally using a menu=based interface. Due to its size, functionality, and purpose I could not see this device using any other interaction style.

References

Helm, S. (2008). The Resonant Interface: HCI Foundations for Interaction Design. United States: Pearson Education, Inc.

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