Introduction to Human-Computer Interaction: Lecture Review

The lecture that I reviewed was Lesson 1.1: Introduction to HCI from the Human-Computer Interaction I: Fundamentals & Design Principles course from edX. The course is also the course taught for credit at Georgia Tech as CS6750.

As this is a course offered on edX, if the course is completed they will give out a certificate of completion. It’s a self-paced online course, and has five sections each with several lessons.

The lecture was good. I think I did get a better understanding of what HCI is, and got a better understanding of the difference between HCI and UI design, UX design, Human Factors engineering.

One main idea the instructors I thought emphasized was that HCI is in everything (Joyner, 2019). Do I agree? It sounds exaggerated but the instructor makes a good argument. The main argument is that everything is interconnected now because of technology so all those technologies that are being used has HCI incorporated into it. For example, IoT.

Here is an overview and summary of the topics that are discussed in the course.


  • The first two topics were short but basically talked about the human and computer aspect of HCI.


  • Goal of HCI is to let users spend as much time as possible thinking about the task instead of thinking about the interface.
  • This section gave a simple definition of what the goal of HCI strives to achieve, and gives a lot of clarity too.

The HCI Space

  • HCI is a huge field, which a lot of places offer entire degrees, masters, and PhDs.
  • HCI concepts crosses over in other areas such as human factors, UI, and UX.

HCI in the Big Picture

  • After learning more about HCI, people find out that there’s more that they didn’t know about HCI.

HCI vs. Human Factors

  • HCI is interested in designing interactions between people and computers whereas human factors is interested in designing interactions between people, and products, systems or devices.
  • As computers are becoming ubiquitous so is HCI.
  • Based on the examples provided such as smartwatches, Tesla, IoT, HCI will play a big part in what used to be a space human factors engineering were interested in. Now HCI will be almost everywhere as well.

HCI vs. User Interface Design

  • Many of the concepts covered in HCI were originally developed in the context of UI design.
  • In HCI, more general methods that apply to any interface is discussed.
  • There were good examples of UI design. For example, menus on a Mac are always at the top of the screen whereas for Windows they are grouped with the individual window.

HCI vs. User Experience Design

  • Relationship between HCI and User Experience design is closer.
  • HCI is about understanding the interactions between humans and computers.
  • UX is about dictating interactions between users and computers.
  • Clarified what User Experience Design is and how it is different with HCI. UX is a subset of HCI. However, the results of UX designs can increase the understanding of HCI.

HCI vs. Psychology

  • Human factors engineering is a merger of engineering and psychology.
  • In HCI, the engineering takes the form of software engineering.
  • We use our understanding of psychology, of human perception, of cognition to inform the way we design interfaces.
  • We then use our evaluations of those interfaces to reflect on our understanding of psychology itself.
  • It’s evident from this that there is a lot of psychology involved in HCI, and we can learn a lot about psychology from HCI as well.

HCI: Research and Design

  • The heart of HCI is research and design.
  • There is a cycle between research and design, and there is constant feedback going back and forth.
  • HCI ensures that the design really helps the user because of how much research is involved.


Joyner, D. (2019, August 16). Human-Computer Interaction I: Fundamentals & Design Principles [Video]. edX. Retrieved on March 20, 2020 from https://courses.edx.org/courses/course-v1:GTx+HCIxI+2T2019/course/