‘Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) is concerned with the usability, its evaluation, and implementation of interactive systems for human use and with the study of major phenomena surrounding them’ (ACM SIGCHI 1992:5). This definition is broadly adopted in HCI literature both explicitly (Preece et al. 1994) and implicitly (e.g. Dix et al. 1998, Schneiderman 1998, Newman and Lamming 1995). Decomposing this definition, four specific areas of HCI research emerge, all engaged with interactive computing systems for human use. In the following, I briefly outline these and their individual key activities, usability, and skills acquisition while interacting within a system.
1. Evaluation of interactive computing systems “is concerned with the process of system-antically collecting data that informs us about what it is like for a particular user or group to use a product for a particular task in a certain type of environment” (Preece et al. 2002:317). The primary activity within this focus is usability data collection and analysis.
2. The study of surrounding phenomena addresses issues such as “how the introduction of computers will influence work practices” or “how to make sense of what is going on when people communicate with each other or with machines” (Preece et al. 1994:39-41). The primary activity within this focus is the conduction of user studies. AAR1
The belief in skill acquisition is that learning principles will show how the Human-Computer Interaction is performed well, how a novice becomes the expert and how the structure of different problem domains is mapped onto different behavior within a System. Basically, the goal of skills acquisition is to use a learning theory to account for differences in behavior by differences in experience (Mac Whinney, in press; Pinker, 1984; Wexler & Culicover, 1980). A learning theory places an enormous constraint on these theoretical accounts because the theoretical structure proposed to encode the domain knowledge underlying the performance must be capable of being acquired (J. R. Anderson, 1976).
1.1 Usability & Skill Acquisition
There are certain interactions that users regularly perform within a system when they are at a public place, library, train or office. Understanding their manners and routines are to identify the relationship among context, user and product, making it possible to draw conclusions as: the user “x” always uses the product “y” in a way “n” in the context “k”. Having this knowledge allows us to predict the user’s interaction in regard with usability of that system. As a result, we can enhance usability and develop a system using MVP approaches thus give users a good experience and business return of investment. In software engineering, usability is the degree to which a software can be used by specified consumers to achieve quantified objectives with effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction in a quantified context of use. (ISO 9241-11, ISO, Geneva, 1998).