It’s nearly forty years since Card, Moran & Newell published their book “The Psychology of Human-Computer Interaction,” which provides a strong theoretical foundation for the engineering of user interfaces. Over these 40 years, HCI has substantially changed the world – our productivity, the ways that we interact with one another, and the cultures that we live in have all been shaped by the outcomes of HCI research. Due to this success, current HCI research projects are fabulously diverse, with each individual project typically addressing a specific issue, such as the needs of a particular set of users, or scrutinizing a new device. But increased specialisation can reduce generalisability of findings, especially when findings are not connected to the human attributes that contribute to them.
In this talk, I will describe a number of my group’s studies that broadly follow Card, Moran & Newell’s approach, treating HCI as applied psychology. The studies are presented as examples of four broad categories of human phenomena: studies of motor coordination, leading to improved interfaces for scrolling; studies of user decisions, leading to faster interfaces for command invocation and file retrieval; studies of skill development, leading to power UIs for desktop control and text entry; and studies on the role of cognitive biases in user decisions and user experience. The goal of the talk is to demonstrate how close attention to underlying human phenomena can help identify worthwhile research projects, improve interaction, and (hopefully) enhance the generalisability of research findings.
Andy Cockburn is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand, where he directs the Human Computer Interaction Lab.
His research focuses on designing, evaluating and modelling user interfaces, with a focus on understanding and exploiting specific underlying human factors. His contributions include many interface designs that use human spatial memory to support expertise development in basic tasks such as file retrieval, command invocation, window switching, and scrolling.
Dr. Cockburn has served on the Editorial Boards of ACM ToCHI, the Human-Computer Interaction Journal, the International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, Interacting with Computers, and Foundations and Trends in Human-Computer Interaction. He was papers co-chair for CHI 2014 and 2015, and technical program co-chair for CHI 2020. He was inducted to the CHI Academy in 2015.