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Human-Computer Interaction Guest Editor's Introduction Disclosure Number: IPCOM000131547D
Original Publication Date: 1982-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Nov-11
Document File: 4 page(s) / 20K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

Ketil Bo: AUTHOR [+3]


The Foundation of Industrial Development Norway

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Human-Computer Interaction Guest Editor's Introduction

Ketil Bo

The Foundation of Industrial Development Norway

A computer-assisted information system consists of three major components: hardware, software, and the user (Figure 1). The intersection of these components is probably the most important part of a successful system -- the human- computer interface. In the user's mind, a computer should be a complement: computers have considerable power for data manipulation, but no creative ability. The speed and accuracy of performing well-defined operations is extremely high compared with human ability, but the user has intuition and experience, which is difficult to build into computer systems. If the database is built efficiently, the computer can store, manipulate, and retrieve huge amounts of detailed information, but the user is usually far better at extracting significant information. The problem, therefore, is to match the attributes of the human with those of the computer system.

Unfortunately, interaction has until recently been one of the more neglected parts of many computer systems. System builders have traditionally focused more on making the system work than on the fact that people need to use it as a tool for problem solving. Moreover, system builders do not easily understand human-computer interaction because it involves so many factors that cannot be pinned down with algorithms.

Computer systems range from simple number crunchers and text editors up to 3-D CAD/CAM systems and complicated real-time flight simulators, and the diversity of users is almost unlimited. We have the naive to the specialist user on one hand and the casual to the frequent user on the other. And as Tom Carey states in "User Differences in Interface Design," a casual user is not always naive. Carey goes on to show how interface designers can deal with this variety of users.

A further complication is that, because of the advances and the cost reduction in microelectronics, future systems will probably not be characterized by their memory size and processing speed. Instead, the human-computer interface and ergonometry will become the major measures, calibrated in very subjective units.

(Image Omitted: Figure 1. A complete computer assisted system.)

To get a better understanding of the problem, we can classify human-computer interaction into

capturing initial data for processing and manipulation,

manipulating information as a real-time dialog between the user and the computer system, and

presenting data and results.

Currently, inpu...