Models of interaction

In the previous chapter, we learned that humans and computers are complex. Their ways of communication and perception are different. For a successful interaction between these two, an effective translation of information through an interface is required. Models of interaction can help us better understand how interaction and translation of information occurs, what difficulties can arise, and how to prevent them.

Before diving into the models of interaction, let’s first take a look at some common terms used in these models.

  • Domain: The area of knowledge, work, and expertise under study
  • Goal: The desired output
  • Task: The set of actions or operations to be performed to achieve the goal
  • Intention: A specific action or operation of a task required to meet the goal
  • Core language: The language used by the system
  • Task language: The language used by the user

Example: One task in a document writing domain can be to write a paragraph using a specific font and style. The goal would be to write a center aligned paragraph using black text color, font size 14, and font style Arial. The intentions may include selecting font size, selecting text color, etc. The task language will be the language used by the user to define actions such as “select font-size,” “select text color,” etc. The core language will be the language the system is using on its backend to perform each function.

Note: Interaction models focus on interactions from the perspective of a single user. In a multiple user environment such as a videoconference, other users are part of the system from one user’s perspective.

Norman’s model of interaction

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