How people can interact with computer? How people are getting trouble with computers?

This question appears in Mumbai University > Human Machine Interaction subject

Marks: 5 M

Year: Dec 11

1 Answer
  • People interact with computers but all computer users do tend to share the following: They tend not to read documentation. They do not understand well the problems the computer can aid in solving. They know little about what information is available to meet their needs.
  • Due to everyday pressures of the office and home, the user does not care about how technically sophisticated a system or website is.
  • The user may even be computer illiterate and possibly even antagonistic (opposing).
  • The user wants to spend time using a computer but learning to use it.
  • The user’s objective is to get some work done, a task performed or a need satisfied.
  • Today many users have also learned to expect certain level of design sophistication.

Getting trouble with computers:

Problems faced by users while using computers are as follows:

i. Use of jargons: Systems often speak in a strange language. Words that are completely alien to the office and home environment or used in different contexts such as file-spec, abend, segment, boot, proliferate etc.

ii. Non-obvious design: Complex or novel design elements are not obvious or not intuitive, but they must nevertheless be mastered.

iii. Fine distinctions: Different actions may accomplish the same thing, depending upon when they are performed or different things may result from the same action. Often these distinctions are minute and difficult to keep track of.

iv. Disparity in problem-solving strategies: When people head down wrong one way paths, they often get entangled in situations like difficult or impossible to get out. Due to which they have to turn off their computer and start again.

v. Design inconsistency: The same action may have different name, for example: ‘save’ and ‘keep’, ‘write’ and ‘list’ etc. The same command may cause different things to happen. The same result may be described differently, for example: ‘not legal’ and ‘not valid’. The same information may be ordered differently on different screens. The result is that system learning becomes an exercise in rote memorization. Meaningful or conceptual learning becomes very difficult.

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