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Multidisciplinarity of HCI

Multidisciplinarity of HCI
“…it no longer makes sense to regard HCI as a speciality of computer science; HCI has grown to be broader, larger and much more diverse than computer science.
HCI expanded from its initial focus on individual and generic user behaviour to include social and organizational computing, accessibility for the elderly, the cognitively and physically impaired, and for all people, and the widest possible spectrum of human experiences and activities.
It expanded from desktop office applications to games, learning and education, commerce, health and medical applications, emergency planning and response, and systems to support collaboration and community.
It expanded from early graphical user interfaces to include myriad interaction techniques and devices, multi-modal interactions, tool support for model-based user interface specification, and a host of emerging ubiquitous, handheld and context-aware interactions.”

— John M. Carroll, author and a founder of the field of human-computer interaction.

HCI is in a purple circle in the centre, surrounded by arrows pointing outwards to yellow circles. In the yellow circles are: Ethnography, Computer Science, Psychology, Language, Sociology, Ergonomics and Human factors, Semiotics, Design.

Human-computer interaction (HCI) is thus a multidisciplinary subject that focuses on information design and user experience. It combines expertise from computer science, information science, decision theory, cognitive psychology, behavioural science, and design to understand and facilitate better interactions between users and machines.

It combines theories and practices from several fields including computer science, cognitive and behavioural psychology, anthropology, sociology, ergonomics, industrial design, and more.

HCI is defined by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction (SIGCHI) as “a discipline concerned with the design, evaluation, and implementation of interactive computing systems for human use and with the study of the major phenomenon surrounding them”.

The combination of theories and practices from a number of different fields makes HCI a unique field with many different sub-communities or specializations such as Participatory Design (PD), Cognitive Engineering, Cognitive Theories and Models, Design Theory and Complexity, and Design Rationale. In recent, HCI has extended its territories to cover Decision Theory so it seems to tackle the AI’s automatic decision-making approach that can hamper human values.

Three boxes with a combined arrow towards the Facebook logo (Useable "Facebook" Design). The first box is labelled 'Psychology': Easy to use. The second box is labelled 'Computer Science': Interfaces, Visualisations. The third box is labelled 'Design': Pleasant to use.

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