People often become frustrated with computers and other digital devices. At some point when using these devices, you are likely to become annoyed that the system did something you didn't want it to do, or you can't figure out how to get the computer to do what you want, but why is that? Humans made computers, so why are computers often so frustrating for humans to use?
Human-computer interaction (HCI) is about trying to make programs useful, usable, and accessible to humans. It goes way beyond choosing layouts, colors, and fonts for an interface. It's strongly influenced by the psychology of how people interact with digital devices, which means understanding many issues about how people behave, how they perceive things, and how they understand things so that they feel that a system is working to help them and not hinder them. By understanding HCI, developers are more likely to create software that is effective and popular. If you ask people if they have ever been frustrated using a computer system, you’ll probably get a clear message that HCI isn’t always done well.
This chapter explores user interfaces, usability, and overall user experience with technology.