Class notes: Week 2 – fundamental concepts

Tonight in class we defined some fundamental concepts such as:

  • human-computer interaction
  • interface
  • usability
  • user experience
  • emotional impact

I showed you one way of relating concepts to each other through the 3 HCI paradigms: engineering (it should work); human factors (it should work well); and user experience (it should be pleasant to use).  In this view, the engineering paradigm is the fundamental one and the others build on it. But, are there other ways of seeing relationships among these concepts? Which one is bigger? What encompasses what? Can you write or draw relationships among them?

Also, one part of usability is ease of use. Others are learnability, satisfaction, etc. But how does ease of use interact with user experience? Is ease of use always better? I drive a manual transmission (stick shift) car. It’s not as easy to use as an automatic transmission, yet I prefer the user experience of the manual transmission. How can you explain that?

Please use my questions as inspiration for your reflection about class, but feel free to blog about anything else that stood out to you, or in general about what you learned in class today.

Please stay tuned for a blog post about GUI history that I will ask you to read before next class.

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