Human Computer Interaction, foundations and new paradigms

Alan Dix

School of Computer Science, University of Birmingham, UK
Talis, Birmingham, UK

Article to appear in JVLC, special issue in Honour of Stefano Levialdi.

Download draft paper (PDF, 1.53M)


This paper explores the roots of human computer interaction as a discipline, the various trends which have marked its development and some of the current and future challenges for research. Human–computer interaction, like any vocational discipline, sits upon three broad foundations: theoretical principles, professional practice and a community of people. As an interdisciplinary field the theoretical roots of HCI encompass a number of other disciplines including psychology and computing, ergonomics, and social sciences; however, it also has theoretical and practical challenges of its own. The evolving internal and external context of HCI computers have become smaller and less costly, this has led to changes in nature of the users and uses of computers, with corresponding impact on society. The paper explores the current challenges of computers from the cloud to digital fabrication and the need to design for solitude. It suggests that HCI cannot just react to the changes around it, but also shape those changes.

Keywords: human–computer interaction; history, ubiquitous computing; cloud-computing; design for solitude; digital fabrication.




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Alan Dix 20/7/2016