Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) is the forerunner of UX that focuses on enhancing the usability of a product. It ensures that the product is simple, accessible, and useful for the user. It’s the duty of HCI professionals to make the product adaptable for users of all cultures and backgrounds by accounting for human values. When asking what is HCI, start by learning its basic applications before its practical implementation. Here I have shared how you can create a product that incorporates HCI even if you don’t have much knowledge of this field.
Understand the User
You are creating the product for the user. Its usability can’t be enhanced if you don’t know who is going to use it. Do research to learn as much about your target audience as possible. Conduct surveys if needed to get inside their minds. You should know what is too simple for them and what is too technical. How they think and how they prefer to use your product will help you determine what sense to use. The experts in the UX space , Adobe XD advises that “it’s possible to utilize one or more human senses to form the basis of a UI, such as tactile UI (touch), visual UI (sight), and auditory UI (sound). HCI practitioners’ job is to find the optimal combination that fits the purpose of the product.”
Use Value Sensitive Design
Value Sensitive Design, or commonly known as VSD, is an approach to determine what is usable and intuitive for the end-user. It comprises three steps to understand the values of the target audience.
Start by forming a concept of needs and expectations of the end-user from your product.
Research, observe, and use the relevant experience to define what the user will prefer.
Ensure that the design of the product will support and not hinder the values of the user.
Start with GOMS
GOMS is short for Goals, Operators, Methods, Selection Rules. It’s a Human Information Processing model for mapping the interaction of humans with a computer. Follow all four processes to decide user goals, sub-goals, interaction, and methods to design a user-friendly product.
Define its Use
Be very clear on how your product will be used. Usually, a product has only two types of user interactions. If the user has to tap a button, it will be considered direct interaction. Clicking and typing are examples of indirect interactions. Most technologies of today use all platforms to expand their audience. It’s important to understand both before designing the interface.
Carefully Plan Placements
The most important part of the interaction is the placement of each feature. All good websites and apps have everything in easy access of the user. They don’t have to worry about navigating every time they want to use a feature. Identify the most important functions and set them in one-click access for the user.
Make Each Feature Self-Descriptive
The user shouldn’t have to think about the purpose of each button or operation. Make everything self-explanatory so the user knows what to expect from it. All apps where you accidentally deleted something are an example of bad HCI where they couldn’t follow this rule. These expectations should be set with the design as well as the copy. For example, buttons should have widely understood symbols with acknowledged color conventions and a clear copy.