Essay: The Importance of HCI in Bridging the Digital Divide

Essay: The Importance of HCI in Bridging the Digital Divide
12/04/2011 Comments Off on Essay: The Importance of HCI in Bridging the Digital Divide Academic Papers on Information Technology,Sample Academic Papers admin

Sample Essay

The research in the field of Human-Computer Interaction has its importance due to a number of reasons. As indicated in the survey conducted by Pew Internet and American Life Project, a significant digital divide exists due to the fact that a large number of the adult participants were not interested in getting online. It was because they considered the computer as a complex object and did not feel enticed enough to use it and recognize the difference it could make in their life (Kibum, 2009).

However, this also indicates the possibility that a simpler interface or an interface which allowed them to interact with the computer in a more natural way could have allowed them to realize the importance of computer as it has been recognized around the world. Hence, it also signifies the importance of a good interface design implying the significance of the study of Human-Computer Interactions which plays a critical role in its design. Alternatively,  a good user interface not only allows the complexity of a computer product to be hidden behind it but also enable the user to communicate with the product in a way that is more understandable. In Industry as well, commercial product maker realize the fact that Technology alone may not win the user acceptance for their products; User interface plays a critical role in the user acceptance (Usernomics Website, 2008). By studying how humans interact with computers as well as the application of this knowledge to computer hardware and software (the study of HCI) ensures an interface which would have greater user acceptance and thus can play a major role in the reduction of the digital divide.

One of the best example that signifies the importance of HCI is in making technology available to people in the third world and underdeveloped countries. Though the current practices in implementation do allow for rapid deployment of Information and Communication technologies, however, there is important consideration which needs to be made to ensure the effective use these technologies in these countries. Among these considerations is the choice of user interface. The lack of development and presentation of technologies in these areas demands that in order to bring change to people’s life by changing their habits and encouraging them to make use of the technology, the interfaces through which these technologies are made available are kept simple or natural as possible. Hence through the use of HCI methodologies and technology, the user interface can be designed as an effective measure to significantly lessen the digital divide present in those countries (Scholtz, Muller, Novick, & Wharton, 1999).

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