Every year, we find that advancements in technology have made equipment and gadgets more accessible and functional for people to use, and this is thanks to the progress made in the field of ‘human-computer interaction’ or commonly referred to as HCI.
Prominent examples can be found in consumer electronics, such as personal assistant apps in smartphones that require voice interaction; virtual reality (VR) headsets for VR-driven games; and ‘wearables’ like exercise wristbands for fitness tracking.
HCI is a socio-technological field that looks at the design and execution of the interface between humans and computer systems in both hardware and software, including mobile devices and applications.
Combining knowledge and skills from a wide range of disciplines like computer science, behavioural sciences and design, HCI aims to provide analyses that can contribute to the development of a usable system that is able to conduct various human activities and meet its users’ satisfaction.
Unlike many IT fields, HCI practitioners prioritise users in their studies and system design, particularly in their requirements, abilities and preferences, among many other factors, as poor human-computer interface can badly affect users in carrying out their tasks.
Thus, HCI systems are highly valuable across many industries, be it healthcare, manufacturing, energy, education or even entertainment.
Technology developed with HCI processes and principles has the potential of improving users’ quality of life; for instance, more user-friendly products and services are becoming available for the disabled.
From an economic perspective, HCI technologies developed through innovation and creativity can lead to new products, services and systems, subsequently modernising industries and boosting a country’s competitiveness and overall socioeconomic progress.
With technology becoming central in our lives, demand for skilled IT professionals capable of creating user-friendly, meaningful technologies has been on the rise around the world, including Sarawak.
It is no surprise then that Yayasan Sarawak now offers loans and scholarships for HCI research, reflecting Sarawak’s intent on developing scientifically- and technically-strong human capital as part of its digital transformation agenda.
If you find yourself interested in HCI, take note that this field involves becoming a ‘translator’ in communicating the needs of users to software developers.
This means possessing strong research and data interpretation skills, having a great understanding of the workings of different technologies and systems, and staying updated with the latest scientific and technological advancement.
Being proficient in HCI can lead you into a number of career paths, such as user experience (UX) designer, interaction designer, usability analyst, information architect, and user researcher.
Most importantly though, you will need to have the drive to solve problems, experiment with new ideas and develop fresh experiences that empower people to thrive in their everyday lives through technology.
This is a weekly column by SarawakYES! – an initiative driven by Faradale Media-M Sdn Bhd and supported by Angkatan Zaman Mansang (AZAM) Sarawak – to provide advice and stories on the topics of education and careers to support Sarawakians seeking to achieve their dreams. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
This article first appeared on The Borneo Post, visit this link: http://bit.ly/2ByPCHd