DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2987-3.ch001


This first chapter provides an overview of and an introduction to the book.
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1. Towards Improving The Human-Computer Interactions

An effective, ubiquitous computerization of all spheres of human activities can be achieved only in conditions of interactions of a human with computerized environments in forms which are similar to (natural) interactions of the human with a natural environment (with the physical world). In this case, both types of interactions (natural and artificial) will be intertwined enriching each other in an implemented work.

Now, existing forms of human-computer interactions are far from the naturalness, and such the state of affairs is a source of different problems one of which is an incredibly low level of the success (about 40%) in designing the systems with an intensive use of the software.

The extremely low degree of success in developments of such systems is an important reason for searching new approaches to the designing in this subject area. One of such approaches can be connected with taking into account not only software intensity but also the intensive use of knowledge and experience in conditions of human-intensive systems. Additional intensities are directly related to the designing of systems because, in such a work, the team of designers has to creatively use the workflows with complicated toolkits that also belong to this class of systems. The integral result of these intensities is a high complexity of the environment with which the designer forced to interact.

There are many kinds of complexity definitions caused by numerous kinds of its manifestations but, in any case, the complexity characterizes a view on a system with numerous elements and numerous forms of relationships among the elements. In the general explaining, the complexity expresses a measure that estimates a difficulty for a human interacting with a presentation of a corresponding system or its part with definite objectives. One of the most important of these objectives is the achievement of necessary understanding.

The system or its any component is complex if the designer (interacting with the system) does not have sufficient resources for the achievement of the necessary level of understanding or achieving the other planned aims. In most general case, the complexity or simplicity is a function of three variables ‒ time, accuracy (variety) and volume of information. The complex system is being produced more difficulty, than the simple system. The typical way to reduce the complexity is a division of a complicated system on parts taking into account a useful set of its architectural views. In this case, designers of the system usually try to achieve a satisfactory degree of the complexity at the conceptual stage of their work.

Among other approaches that facilitate reducing the indicated complexity, one can notice the use of mature technologies of software engineering and methods and means applied in science. Last seven years, combining of these approaches is the basic goal of research and development (R&D) in the subject area SEMAT (Software Engineering Methods and Theory).

In normative documents of SEMAT, a way of working used by a team of designers is marked as a very important essence. There “way-of-working” as a notion is defined as “the tailored set of practices and tools used by the team to guide and support their work.” Similar sets of practices must include subsets of units oriented on an empirical maintenance of human activity.

The above leads to following assertions:

  • 1.

    We need new ways of increasing the naturalness of human-computer interactions (HCI) that must be coordinated with effective, ubiquitous computerization of all spheres of human activities.

  • 2.

    One of the perspective directions for searching the indicated ways can be bound with including the experiential abilities in Human-Computer Interactions.

These ways will positively develop the subject area of Human Computer Interactions. In particular, they will facilitate increasing the successfulness of designing the SIS of any nature.

In this book, we present results of our long-term research that concerns the real-time use of question-answer interactions (QA-interactions) of designers with accessible experience in developing the systems. Accessible experience is understood as combining the natural experience of the working team and models of experience created during the process of designing. For including the use of an integrated experience into the design process, we have developed a question-answer approach and precedent-oriented approach.

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