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People and Computers in the Workplace Lecture 1: Introduction PowerPoint Presentation
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People and Computers in the Workplace Lecture 1: Introduction

People and Computers in the Workplace Lecture 1: Introduction

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People and Computers in the Workplace Lecture 1: Introduction

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  1. People and Computers in the WorkplaceLecture 1: Introduction Dr Shaaron Ainsworth

  2. PCW: Course Aims • Psychology of the Digital world • By the end of the course, you should • Understand why psychologists should be involved in designing new technologies • Understand the major theories and how these can be applied to the design of computer systems • Know how to apply evaluation methods • Explain the importance of interface design • Be aware of the social and organisational impact of new technologies. • Consider how new technologies such as virtual environments, WWW, internet, teleworking, MOOS impact on people and society. People and Computers in the Workplace

  3. Session Structure • This subject combines the theoretical with the practical which is reflected in the course structure. • Each session consists of two parts: • A more formal introduction to an area given by me. This should last between 40 and 80 mins depending on the topic. • Exercises will given out at the end of each lecture. Working in groups you will try these and then give a short presentation back to class in the second half of each session. • (see next slide) • Slides will be available after the lecture as a web presentation and pdf handouts at via my home page. People and Computers in the Workplace

  4. Last year topics included • Communication Diaries: analysing whether their was a relationship between modes of communication and social and task factors • Communicating complex information at a distance: Comparing teaching someone a complex dance routine using email or mobile phones • Analysing email: Emails either between group members or outside in terms of the breakdowns that occur and how they are repaired • MSN: use MSN to write a presentation on the use of MSN. • Design new metaphors for Interacting with computers • Conversing with computers; get your news from an artificial news reader. • Explore whether Clippy could ever be useful People and Computers in the Workplace

  5. Course Structure People and Computers in the Workplace

  6. Course Reading • Recommended Reading • Core text: Preece et al (2002) Interaction Design: Beyond Human-Computer Interaction. John Wiley & sons. • Norman, D.A. (1998) The design of everyday things. This is informative and amusing! • Shneiderman, B. (1998) Designing the user interface. Addison-Wesley. Another good general textbook, more focussed than Preece. People and Computers in the Workplace

  7. RecommendedMore Specialist Books • Preece, J. et al (1994) Human Computer Interaction. Addison-Wesley. This is a good textbook but a bit dated noq. • Dix, A. et al (1997) Human Computer Interaction. Prentice-Hall. An alternative to Preece’s HCI. • Card, S.K., Moran, T.P. and Newell, A. (1983) The psychology of human computer interaction , Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. • Landauer, T.K. (1995) The trouble with computers . MIT Press. • Norman, D.A. & Draper, S. (1986) User centred system design . Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Ch 3 by Norman is particularly nice. • Naughton, J. (1999) A brief history of the future. A readable account of the development of the internet by the Observer's reviewer. • Booth, P. (1989) An introduction to human-computer interaction. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. A little dated in places but still covered some topics particularly well. • Lewis, C., & Rieman, J. (1993). Task-centered user interface design -- A practical introduction. • Gardiner, M. & Christie, B. (1987) Applying cognitive psychology to user interface design . Wiley. People and Computers in the Workplace

  8. Resources • and • • The following journals held at Nottingham are used: • Behaviour and Information Technology • Human Computer Interaction • International Journal of Human Computer Studies • Handbook of human computer interaction , M. Helander (Ed), Elsevier Science Publishers. 1st & 2nd editions (Jub) • Baecker, R. et al (1996) Readings in human-computer interaction: towards the year 2000 Morgan Kaufman. A collection of famous papers (Jub) People and Computers in the Workplace

  9. Course Exam (2004) • To understand how people interact with technologies, we must first understand the context of this interaction. Assess the theoretical and empirical foundations of this claim • User centred design removes the need for time consuming cognitive task analysis. Defend or refute this statement. • You have been commissioned to evaluate a new generation mobile phone. Describe how you would fulfil this commission, justifying your choice of methodology. • Is it better to interact with computational devices through direct manipulation or by conversing with agents? • A science fiction writer describes humans in the future as socially isolated without skills at human interaction. Discuss why this view fails to take into account the wide range of ways that computers facilitate communication. • Users tend to resist new technologies, they rarely meets their performance objectives and the wider organisational impact can be profound and unsettling. Is such a gloomy view of the installation of new technologies into the workplace justified? People and Computers in the Workplace

  10. Exam Report (2005) • Feedback on C8CXCE (People and Computers in the workplace) • Overall performance on the exam this year was good with a high proportion of first class marks and upper second class marks. There was evidence of reading both set texts and beyond into independently sourced material. • All students completed two questions. No single question stood out as the most popular. Relatively few students chose to answer question 1 and of those that did some did not answer it well, failing to focus on the specific theoretical claims and instead including too broad a range of material. • The most consistent problem was that a number of answers failed to address the question. Instead some students produced prepared responses rather than adapting them to the particular aspect of a topic under discussion. This was particularly apparent on a question which asked students to evaluate a website. Far too many answers to this question used material and readings presented only in lecture 4 (evaluation) rather than integrating this with lecture 8 (world wide web People and Computers in the Workplace

  11. Student Evaluation of Module 2004 C8CXCE is a third year undergraduate course taken by students studying either psychology, or Masters in Information Technology. 35 students took the module. Teaching took place in 209. The primary objective of the course is to enable students to understand how psychology can contribute to the design, delivery and evaluation of computational technologies in work place situations; more informally summarised as psychology in digital life. The module is taught in a single two-hour session. The first half of the session consists of formal presentation of material and the second consists of students presentations based on exercises set the previous week. • Overall, the quality of the module is judged to be between good(42%) and excellent (58%) or a score of 4.58. High points include • enthusiasm (Good (26%); Excellent (74%)) • wider relevance of subject to practical issues (Good (21%); Excellent (79%)) • introduction (Good (29%); Excellent (71%)) • overheads (Good (36%); Excellent (64%)), • SEM scores did not reveal any significant aspects of the course that should be improved this year. People and Computers in the Workplace

  12. Course Outcomes • Theoretical knowledge of HCI • Practical experience in applying it. • Practise in giving presentations – good for constructing arguments, producing visual displays and losing fear of public speaking. • Team working skills – always good for the C.V. • Human factors is highly marketable. The interface between psychology and technology is one of the growth industry of the next few years. • 2 previous students employed in human factor – 3 given fully funded masters places to study HCI in the last two years, 4 taking courses this year: 1 at the New Nottingham MSc in Advanced Interactive Technologies. People and Computers in the Workplace

  13. PCW Lecturer • Dr Shaaron Ainsworth • Relevant Research • The role of the interface in learning technologies • User-centred design of intelligent tutoring systems. • Other job – Principle Investigator Learning Sciences Research Institute (a joint venture between psychology, computer science, and education) • Office Hours - Friday 10 till11 am • Office – 316 • Telephone – 15314 • Email – People and Computers in the Workplace

  14. PCW students • PCW is not just for students who are “geeks” and “anoraks”. • Real computer phobes will probably hate it but you don’t need to be a programmer, loved AI or Cog Modelling to do well. • Students who enjoy applying psychology to new situations will like this course. • Students who want to remember a lot of facts and then regurgitate in the exam will not. • Students who enjoy group work tend to like the course. • Diploma students tend to do well People and Computers in the Workplace

  15. Today • Introduction • What is HCI and Interaction Design • Why is it important? • Who does it and what in particular do psychologists do? • Next week’s exercises • Case study of a relevant example. People and Computers in the Workplace

  16. What is HCI? • “HCI is the study of people, computer technology and the ways they influence each other.” (Dix et al 1998). • “HCIis concerned with the design, evaluation and implementation of interactive computing systems for human use and with the study of major phenomena surrounding them” (ACM SIGCHI, 1992, p.6) • “Interaction design is the design of spaces for human communication and interaction”. Winograd (1997). People and Computers in the Workplace

  17. Disciplines Contributing to Human-computer Interaction Cognitive Psychology/Science Computer Science Social & Organisational Psychology ArtificialIntelligence HCI Ergonomics Sociology People and Computers in the Workplace

  18. Usability Shneiderman(1998) lists 5 central objectives: • Time to learn. • Should be fast for typical members of a community. • Speed of performance. • High speed of user task performance. • Error rate. • Should be low and consist of non-fatal errors. • Retention. • People should not forget how to use the system. • Subjective satisfaction. • Users should like it! • Unfortunately, many of these trade-off, for particular users and particular tasks. People and Computers in the Workplace

  19. Systems That Are Not Usable Cause: • • User frustration and rejection – leading to limited use of systems or avoidance all together. • Decrease in the use of functions. • “How many programs to you use on your washing machine?” • Increased errors – costly or even life threatening in safety critical systems such as air-traffic control, medical systems or nuclear power stations. People and Computers in the Workplace

  20. Three Mile Island IncidentMarch 28, 1979 • What started as a minor malfunction in the system which feeds water to the steam generators ended as the largest commercial nuclear accident in the USA. • Errors in information – signals indicated the reverse of the truth • Poor placement of information – a caution tag fitted to one system obscured the reading from another control system. • Information overload – too much going on. 1500 alarms in either visual or auditory modalities • Poor controls – a single acknowledge button silenced all alarms rather than allowed individual control. • These systems are still being designed with mistakes often being blamed on operators rather than on the design of the system. Poor interfaces can lead to disaster People and Computers in the Workplace

  21. Exercise: How are new technologies changing everyday experience? • Looking for 5 volunteers: There will be prize next week ! • Take the Recommended Reading list (Slide 7). In 20 minutes or less, find out the price and availability of first three books by • Visiting Blackwell Bookshop (Portland Building) • Ringing Blackwell Bookshop (ext 15056) • Using an internet bookshop such as or • Use a general purpose search engine: or • Using a dedicated internet shopping search engine such as or • Report back with slide of prices, availability, description of experience, analysis of experience and subjective commentary on anything that contributes to assessing this mode of shopping. • Presentations in PowerPoint and should last between 5 and 7 minutes. Questions are encouraged. Chair will be strict on time People and Computers in the Workplace

  22. Case Study: Kegworth • The following video shows what can happen when the interface between human and machine goes wrong. • Watch it and keep a note of • What factors contributed to the disaster • how any cognitive psychology that you know explains/could have helped prevent this from happening? • how social psychology that you know explains/could have helped prevent this from happening? • How could HCI specialists intervene to prevent this from happening again? • Also see another example in short loan • Stephen Flowers, 1996, Software failure: Management failure, pp. 47-93. J. Wiley, Chichester [under Ritter London Ambulance Service] People and Computers in the Workplace

  23. Reading for this week • Winograd’s essay on interaction design • Chapter 1 of Preece ID (2002) • Human-computer interaction: Background and issues (R.S. Nickerson, T.K. Landauer) in Handbook of human computer interaction (2nd) • Chapter 1 and 2 of Preece HCI (1994) People and Computers in the Workplace