How do you measure the effectiveness of Human computer interaction?

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Rosie Normanton Profile
Rosie Normanton answered
Measuring the effectiveness of human computer interaction - HCI - can be complex as it involves many influencing factors, some of which are determined on an emotional level (making it subjective rather than quantitative).

The effectiveness of HCI relates to the usability of a computer system by a human. For a computer to be effective, HCI levels must be high. In simple terms, a computer that is difficult to use is not a good computer.

  • Indicators of the effectiveness of HCI

There are a number of basic indicators you can use to measure the effectiveness of human computer interaction. Firstly, you can measure how long it takes a user to perform a particular task.

To do this, you should use a random sample of people (the larger the better) and assign them to the task. Work out the average mean time it takes a person to complete it from your sample group. Using this, you can compare the HCI level of one computer to another. Of course, a study like this would have to be very thorough to be considered reliable.

You could also measure the learning curve of a particular computer model in the same way. Again, this is subjective, as learning curves vary from person to person. But to carry out a basic test, start with the computer and the computer manual, and see how long it takes you to 'get to grips' with the computer.

Computers with high HCI levels shouldn't take long to get acquainted with. Systems that perform well in this category are often referred to as 'user friendly'.

  • Difficulties in measuring HCI

There are many difficulties associated with measuring HCI. Each person has a different learning pattern, so the length of time it takes to use a system or perform a task varies widely between different members of the population. In addition, computer systems are complex and varied, making it hard to compare two differing models.

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