By such as text editors and spreadsheets, and interactive

 

 

By
Nehi Okungbowa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction

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Although the
original academic home for HCI was computer science, and its original focus was
on personal productivity applications, mainly text editing and spreadsheets,
the field has constantly diversified and outgrown all boundaries (Bannon, 1991).
It quickly expanded to encompass visualization, information systems,
collaborative systems, the system development process, and many areas of
design. HCI is taught now in many departments/faculties that address
information technology, including psychology, design, communication studies,
cognitive science, information science, science and technology studies,
geographical sciences, management information systems, and industrial,
manufacturing, and systems engineering. HCI research and practice draws upon
and integrates all of these perspectives.

Human-computer
interaction (HCI) is an area of research and practice that emerged in the early
1980s, initially as a specialty area in computer science embracing cognitive
science and human factors engineering. HCI has expanded rapidly and steadily
for three decades, attracting professionals from many other disciplines and
incorporating diverse concepts and approaches (Byrne, Wood,
Sukaviriya, Foley, & Kieras, 1994). To a
considerable extent, HCI now aggregates a collection of semi-autonomous fields
of research and practice in human-centered informatics. However, the continuing
synthesis of disparate conceptions and approaches to science and practice in
HCI has produced a dramatic example of how different epistemologies and
paradigms can be reconciled and integrated in a vibrant and productive
intellectual project.

Empirical
Software development relies heavily on iterative prototyping and empirical
testing

Interactive
systems were the key to progressing beyond early achievements (Shackel, 1997).
These diverse forces of need and opportunity converged around 1980, focusing a
huge burst of human energy and creating a highly visible interdisciplinary
project.

The goal of
interaction design is to create products that enable the user to achieve their
objectives in the best way possible.

Until the late
1970s, the only humans who interacted with computers were information technology
professionals and dedicated hobbyists. This changed disruptively with the
emergence of personal computing in the later 1970s. Personal computing,
including both personal software (productivity applications, such as text
editors and spreadsheets, and interactive computer games) and personal computer
platforms (operating systems, programming languages, and hardware), made
everyone in the world a potential computer user, and vividly highlighted the
deficiencies of computers with respect to usability for those who wanted to use
computers as tools (Zhang,
Nah & Preece, 2004)

The challenge of
personal computing became manifest at an opportune time. The broad project of
cognitive science, which incorporated cognitive psychology, artificial
intelligence, linguistics, cognitive anthropology, and the philosophy of mind,
had formed at the end of the 1970s. Part of the programme of cognitive science
was to articulate systematic and scientifically informed applications to be
known as “cognitive engineering”. Thus, at just the point when
personal computing presented the practical need for HCI, cognitive science
presented people, concepts, skills, and a vision for addressing such needs
through an ambitious synthesis of science and engineering. HCI was one of the first
examples of cognitive engineering (Byrne et al., 1994).

In general, user
experience is simply how people feel when they use a product or service. In
most cases, that product will be a website or an application of some form.
Every instance of human-object interaction has an associated user experience,
but, in general, UX practitioners are interested in the relationship between
human users and computers and computer-based products, such as websites,
applications and systems.

Usability encompasses
the following aspects: functionality, efficiency, effectiveness, satisfaction, special
users, specific goals, and specific context of users. Usability refers to the
quality of the interaction in terms of parameters such as time taken to perform
tasks, number of errors made, and time to become competent users (Zhang et al., 2004).
Alternatively, usability is a quality attribute that assesses how easy user
interfaces are to use. The usability evaluation stage is an effective method by
which a software development team can establish the positive and negative
aspects of its prototype releases, and make the required changes before the
system is delivered to the target users. From the user’s perspective, usability
is considered a very important aspect in the development process as it can mean
the difference between performing and completing a task in a successful way
without any frustration is not highlighted in website design, then users will
become very frustrated working with it.

 

For example,
according to Nielsen Shackel (1997), people will leave the
website:

(a) If it is
difficult to use;

(b) If the users
get lost on a website;

 (c) The information is hard to read;

(d) it does not
answer users’ key questions;

(e) and lastly,
if the homepage fails to defi ne the purpose and the goals of the website.

” Usability
rules the web. Simply stated, if the customer cannot find a product, then he
will not buy it. In addition, the web is the ultimate customer-empowering
environment. He who clicks the mouse gets to decide everything. It is so easy
to go elsewhere; all the competitors in the world are but a mouse-click away” (Dix, Finlay, Abowd
& Bealle, 2004). The causal framework of usability
to shows a relationship between task, user and system characteristics as
independent variables and user reaction as dependent variable.  Various principles need to be followed in
order to support usability, making systems

These principles
are

• Learnability:
by which new users can begin effective interaction and achieve maximal
performance;

• Flexibility:
the multiplicity of ways the user and system exchange information;

• Robustness:
the level of support provided to the user in determining successful achievement
and assessment of goals;

• Efficiency:
once the user learns about the system can perform the tasks;

• Memorability:
how easily the user will remember the system functions, after a

period time of
not using it;

The goal of
interaction design is to create products that enable the user to achieve their
objectives in the best way possible.

The interaction
between a user and a product often involves elements like aesthetics, motion,
sound, space et. Aspects of interaction design: words-, button labels- should
be meaningful and easy to understand, visual representations – images,
topography and icons should supplement words to communicate with users,
physical objects or space- what physical objects do users interact with the
system? Is it accessible from a smartphone? Appearance- does it give a clue
about the product (Smith
& Green, 1980). Interaction designers develop
wireframes or protypes to layout interaction in the product.

 

Interactive Prototype
for Hospitalrun Redesign: User Reflection

 

Patient:
Register and book an appointment

The traditional approach to seeking
appointment with doctors is one of the few things that I had wished could be
done differently. Having to literally travel and visit the place hoping that
you would actually find fi the place is on or even if the doctor is available
was considerably a challenge, especially if a person has to travel a longer
distance. The problem deepens when a patient fails to even secure an
appointment with the doctor due to a long outside the premise, which sometimes
leave patients an attended to due to time limitations. However, with this
online booking, I feel like finally someone has answered my wish. I can now
interact and have my issues addressed whilst at home before the actual visit,
which is also guaranteed following the fact that I can schedule appointment
with the doctor based on certain grounds that are within the doctor’s as well
as my calendar.

The interface, right from the ‘register’
to within various pages, it was relatively simple and clear, which made it easy
to go through and complete the process of booking an appointment online.
Navigation is an aspect that I have always considered crucial when it comes to
webpages due to the fact that I find it demoralising having to deal with
complex designs. However, just as it would happen to quite a number of other
people, I tend to look for information relatively fast, for which was perfectly
accounted by the clear, concise, and easily understood navigation within the
webpage; it was relatively easy to locate an option that prompts for new
booking.

Even though booking an appointment may
have relatively easy, which I notice upon completing it, I realised that I
could have spent less time going through the whole process could there be
guidelines that direct new users through various navigations. Having options
that employ previous search histories and relevant patient records to obtain
patient-specific recommendations and direct new users about how to book an
appointment based on what he or she is looking for would be make the entire
process simple for users. However, I think the ‘popup’ window with appointment
from was an integral feature that redirects the attention of the user from the
congested surface with relatively many pages to differentiate to a simple one
page that only prompt for answers. In conclusion, registering and booking
appointment was made easy by navigations that were clear, concise and easily
understandable.

Doctor:
logging in the system and reviewing patient records then requesting for more
information

There are many factors that were
definitely considered to produce such good level of clarity and simplicity,
amongst other features that the design offers to users. The development
factors, including platform constraints, tool kits and components libraries,
which are normally oriented towards improving visual communication, produced an
interface design that has more quality feature regarding visibility. Right from
the ‘log in’ platform, the design of the pages is organised; there is
consistency, well organised screen layout, relationships between various pages
and navigability are some of the factors that I noticed to have improved the
organisation of interface. Regarding consistency, the design features good
internal, external, and real-world consistencies that feature different kinds
of items and behaviour that have their own special appearance. The colour use
in most parts of the design provide not only visual effects, but also
real-world consistence in which users can relate features of the design with
real-world experiences, observation and perception. For example, whilst sending
a message to a patient that had booked an appointment early and inquire for
more information, the severity colours; green, yellow, and red; induces the
perception of urgency and importance in the minds of users at both ends to
optimise the accuracy and reliability of information that is sent and received.
I believe that this is one of the features that make the design more productive
in clinical context.

Besides the screen layout of the
interface that made it easy to locate various feature due to its use of a grid
structure, standardised layout, and group related layout, I think the clear, consistent,
and strong relationships between various elements made location of menus and
dialogue boxes relatively easy. Due to this screen layout, I was able to easily
locate information about patient bookings with respect to dates and time that
made it very simple to understand issues for which these patients seek
solutions and respond appropriately with optimised ease. Navigability
techniques that feature in the interface also improved its usability. With
‘popup window’, dialogue boxes, bulleted items, and well-structured forms and
tables, the interface an initial focus on patients for the viewer’s attention,
direct attention to important or secondary items that further simplifies
navigation and make the entire process simpler. For example, after navigating
and locating a booking about a patient, clicking on the view provides a popup
window that offers information in table form and then allow for commencing a
messaging conversation with the patient. Therefore, I think logging into the
interface, reviewing patient’s information and inquiring for more information
was relatively simple due to various features in the interface design that I
have mentioned earlier in this and the previous paragraph.

Patient
Administrator: logging in the system and viewing patient record history

 As a patient administrator, good
administrative record keeping practices are some of the areas that I consider
crucial to the overall task or responsibility completion. To improve patients’
experience as well services that are offered to them, it is imperative that
track records are kept appropriately to inform nay necessary adjustment to
their plans. Also, a good record keeping practice makes it relatively easy to
hold people accountable and responsible for their actions, which then optimise
the level of efforts that they put into serving patients. As I was logging into
the patient administrator system, I realised that having records about a
patient in a central location is not only the positive side of the system but
also the fact that it was relatively easy to locate various items and dialogue
boxes and navigate various pages. Navigability techniques that feature in the
interface also improved its usability. The dialogue boxes, bulleted items, and
well-structured forms and tables, allowed the interface initial focus on a
patient, directed my attention to important or peripheral items that further
simplified navigation and made the entire process simple.

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Bannon,
L. (1991).  “From Human Factors to Human
Actors: The Role of Psychology and

 
Human–Computer Interaction Studies in System Design,” Design at Work, J. Greenbaum and

Byrne, M. D., Wood, S. D., Sukaviriya, P., Foley, J. D., &
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Booth P (1989). An introduction to human-computer
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Dix, A., Finlay, J., Abowd, G., & Bealle, R. (2004). Human–computer interaction (3rd ed.).
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Head, AJ (1999). Design wise. Medford: Thomas H Hogan
Sr.

Shackel, B. (1997).  “Human–Computer Interaction: Whence and
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Zhang, P.,
Nah, F.F.-H. and Preece, P. (2004).  “HCI
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     Systems,” Behaviour and Information
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Smith, H and Green, T (1980). Human
Interaction with Computers, Academic
Press

McCracken DD, Wolfe RJ (2004). User-centered website
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Education Inc.

Norman DA (1986). Seven-stage model of (individual)
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Preece J, Rogers Y, Benyon D, Holland S, Carey T (1994). Human
computer interaction.

Wokingham: Addison- Wesley. p5-p47