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Human Computer Interface (HCI)

Human-Computer Interface (HCI)

HCI is defined as socio-technological disciplines that bring the power of communications and computer systems to individuals in a way and form that is useful and accessible in our learning, leisure activities, communication, and work (Carroll, 2002).

HCI is important for nontechnical people because it helps them use the program or app they are opening. Without HCI, we would never know how to use most programs or applications for the intended purpose. Almost every computer on the planet has a screen, a keyboard, and a mouse, all of which are excellent tools for human-computer interaction.

My computer’s software of choice is Microsoft Word. Microsoft Word is a dependable authoring program that can create and share documents by combining a comprehensive set of writing tools with the simple Microsoft Office Fluent interface (Bernstein, 2015). Microsoft Word’s menus and ribbons are all consistent. It caters to everyone’s abilities and provides useful feedback. Microsoft Word prevents errors by informing the user if changed settings will result in future issues. Furthermore, it allows for simple action reversal by automatically saving your work, providing undo and redo buttons, and allowing you to move back and forth between edits. Finally, it reduces short-term memory load because the interface is self-explanatory, so the user does not need to retain information to use the interface’s basic functions. 2009 (Stockmeyer)

However, some software enhancements, such as the ability to use the classic menu bar, would have been a welcome addition. There are no options for changing the styles of the toolbars and ribbons; you can attach or delete toolbars but never change or regress their appearance.


Bernstein, M. S., Little, G., Miller, R. C., Hartmann, B., Ackerman, M. S., Karger, D. R., … & Panovich, K. (2015). Soylent: a word processor with a crowd inside. Communications of the ACM, 58(8), 85-94.

Carroll, J. M. (Ed.). (2002). Human-computer interaction in the new millennium. Addison- Wesley Professional.

Stockmeyer, N. O. (2009). Using Microsoft Word’s readability program.


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For this assignment use Jakob Nielson’s examples of Heuristics to review either the Maryland MVA website ( or the White House website (

In this assignment, you will imagine that you are one of the experts being called to do an evaluation of one of the websites.

Human-Computer Interface (HCI)

Human-Computer Interface (HCI)

Nielson speaks about Heuristics in this (video) and more on the subject for your use in this assignment can be found here and here. More resources on the subject can be found here.

What should be in your report:

On this Bb Discussion Board section, post a PDF report that includes the following:

1. Provide a defense as to why the website does or does not meet the heuristics covered. You may provide a table of the list of the heuristics with a yes or no next to the heuristic title to denote whether the heuristic is achieved in your opinion. But you must provide commentary and defend your stance. Your assignment should be 2-3 pages in length.

2. Provide screenshots that help illustrate your points (if screenshots are not possible, provide


3. Also provide recommendations on what you would propose to help the website meet the heuristics based on your knowledge gained through the class and beyond.

The primary goal of the assignment is that you thoughtfully defend a rationale for why the system meets the heuristic requirements. Keep the following in mind:

Your document should be well-organized, easy to read, and free of typos and formatting errors.
In your analysis, focus on a few of the feature(s) or aspect(s) of the user interface. You should only journey down through 3 levels maximum of the website, that way you are not overloaded with examples. For instance, the homepage>about us>Staff>Bios would be three levels down from the homepage.
Try to avoid using words like “intuitive” and “user-friendly” and be as precise as possible in your explanation of why the website does or does not meet the heuristics. Use your knowledge of the Laws of UX and the modules that we have covered in the close thus far and make explicit reference to them.
For example, avoid saying that it simply “looks nice” Use your critical thinking, knowledge, and skillful eye to explain what makes it look that way. Don’t just say the interface “doesn’t make sense.” Explain what specifically makes it so.
You may also use the following as a rubric to assist you:
Overall severity rating on a scale of 0–4
0 = I don’t agree that this is a usability problem at all
1 = Cosmetic problem only: need not be fixed unless extra time is available on the project 2 = Minor usability problem: fixing this should be given low priority
3 = Major usability problem: important to fix, so should be given high priority
4 = Usability catastrophe: imperative to fix this before the product can be released (Nielsen)

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