History and Development of Computer Interfaces

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Human computer interaction is an area of study and practice that originated in 1980s, first as a specialty is in computer science that embraced human factor engineering and cognitive science. Humana computer interface has widened steadily and rapidly for more than three decades, attracting computer experts from different disciplines and co-opting myriad ideologies and concepts. To a great extend, human computer interface haw involves a group of semi-autonomous fields of study and practices in human-centered informatics. Though, the concept has continuous inclusion of different conceptions and approaches to practice and science in human computer interaction (Dix, 2009). The study on human computer interface has been profoundly successful, and has basically revolutionized computing field. For instance the Microsoft iniquitous graphical interface Windows 95, is Macintosh-based, which is based, which in turn based on early studies.

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For 1970s, the only individuals who interacted with the computer e professionals in the information human computer interface field and extreme hobbyists. The evolution interfered with the introduction of personal computers three decades ago. The personal computers entails both personal software for productivity packages like spreadsheet and word processors, and computer games, evolved how people perceives the computers and computing environment such as the programming language, operating systems and hardware, enable everyone this world a possible computer user, and clearly highlighted the weaknesses of computer in regards to usability for individuals who needed the computer as a everyday tool.

The personal computer issues manifested at the best time when wide project of cognitive science, which entailed artificial intelligence, cognitive psychology philosophy, anthropology and linguistic. Part of the package of cognitive science was to articulate scientifically and systematic informed packages called cognitive engineering hence, when the personal computing concept presented favorable personal computing, the practical requires human computer interaction, cognitive science presented concepts, people, skills and vision for solving the requirements via the ambitious synthesis of engineering and science. HCI represent a perfect cognitive engineering (MacKenzie 1992).

This was enabled by analogue evolution in engineering and design places next to human computer interaction, and often overlap with human computer interface., precisely human factor engineering and documentation development. Human factors have created task-analytic and empirical techniques and methods for evaluating human-computer interactions in areas like manufacturing and aviation, and was shifting to solve interactive system area where human users often puts huge issue-solving discretion. Development of documentation was shifting past it previous functionality of creating systemic technical explanation towards cognitive approaches including theories of reading writing and media with user tests that is empirical. Documents and other information required to be applied.

Other historically knows evolutions added to the creation of human computer interface. Software engineering suffered from huge software complexity or crisis four decades ago was starting to concentrate on requirements that are non functional, including maintainability and usability, and on empirical programming and software development procedures that depended mostly on empirical and prototyping testing. Information retrieval and computer graphics had started in 1970s, and greatly evolve to realize that systems that were interactive were the fundamental of processing more than the previous achievements. All evolution in the field of computer science was pointing to a single conclusion. The computing way forward involved comprehending and empowering the computer users. These diverse forces of opportunities and requirements met in 1980, concentrating an enormous human efforts and building a interdisciplinary project that are visible.

This part of the essay covers the phases that computer interface has undergone from the initial method, direct manipulation, mouse pointing device and windows; most of its crucial manipulation areas, like the drawing, spreadsheet and text editing; the developing human computer interface that will possibly have great implication on computer interface like multimedia, 3D an d gesture recognition the development technologies used in creating these interface like interface management systems, interface builders and toolkits.

1.2 Profile and HCI developerThe initial direct manipulation interface is a human computer interface where objects that are visible on the screen are directly manipulated using a pointing device. This human computer interface was developed and demonstrated in 1963 by Ivan Sutherman when he was doing his phD masters in MIT. The thesis named sketchpad supported the object manipulation human computer interface using a light-pen, the human computer interface entailed holding objects, shifting them, using constraints. The idea contained the myriad important interface ideas. This interface system was developed at Lincohn labs with aid of from NSF and Air Force. This human computer interface was later embraced by William Newman who created direct manipulation of graphics, and started light handles which is a graphical potentiometer, which was in form of a wicket. This computer interface used iconic representations, gesture recognition and dynamic menu that has items chosen with a pointing device. The icon was later popularized by Smith and all it became the basis of interaction techniques. Direct manipulation interface was envisioned by Alan Kay of Xerox PARC in a 1977 article about the "Dynabook" and the first commercial system to use direct manipulation were the apple Liza, Macintosh and Xerox. The term direct manipulation was adopted by Ben Shneiderman when was a student in the Maryland University in 1982 and singled out the features and incepting the psychological foundation.

The Mouse

The developers of the mouse took place in Stanford research lab in 1965 as part and parcel of the NASA, ARPA and Rome ADC funded project as an affordable replacement of the light-pens. Then Xerox PARC later makes the use of mouse famous in 1970. It was also used in Xerox star IN 1981, Apple Macintosh, Apple Lisa and PERQ (Newell, 1985).


This was started in England by NLS in 1965, though it had been early demonstrated in system like COPILOT and EMACS text editors in Stanford. Alan Kay comceptualized the idea of having multiple windows overlapping in 1968 in his PhD thesis and it was not until 1974 in his smalltalk project. It was then adopted by different companies land came up with different machines using windows. This included Cedar windows manager developed by Xerox PARC then Andrew windows manager used in Carnegie Mellon University's Information Human computer interface Center (1983, funded by IBM). The major commercial system using windows were Xerox Star (1981), the Apple Lisa (1982), and significantly the Apple Macintosh (1984).

Text editing

This human computer interface was proposed by Engalbart at the Stanford Research Lab. He later started a word processor that had automatic word wrap, user-defined macros, search and replace, text scrolling feature and move copy and delete features, and other features.stanfort TVEdit (1965), became the first display editor based on CRT to be used. It had hypertext editing system contained screen formatting and editing of random-sized string using a light pen. NLS came up with other editing features which were based on mouse in 1968. TECO from Massachusetts institute of human computer interface became the first dcreen editor in 1967 then followed by EMAC in 2974. Then Xerox PARC became the first what you see is what you get (WYSIWYG) editor formatter. It was developed by Butler Lampson and Charles Simonyi, who had conceptualized the idea since 1970. The first WYSIWYG editors to come to market was Star, LisaWrite and then MacWrite.


The hypertext idea,where documents are linked to related documents, is attributed to Vannevar Bush's famous MEMEX idea in 1945. Ted Nelson named it "hypertext" in 1965. Engelbart's NLS system in Stanford Research Laboratories in 1965 increased the utilization of hypertext. The "NLS Journal" [10, p. 212] became the first on-line journals, and it included full linking of articles (1970). The Hypertext Editing System in general was designed by Andy van Dam, Ted Nelson, and two students at Brown University (funding from IBM) and was distributed massively. The article from University of Vermont's PROMIS (1976) became the first Hypertext system released to the end users. It was used to connect patient care information and patient at the medical center in University of Vermont. The CMU, ZOG project (1977) was the second hypertext system. Ben Shneiderman's Hyperties was the first system which highlighted entities in the text could be and you are referred to a different page (1983, Univ. of Maryland). The idea was brought to a wide audience by HyperCard from Apple (1988). There have been a lot of hypertext systems lately. Tim Berners-Lee applied the hypertext idea to build the World Wide Web in 1990 at the government-funded European Particle Physics Laboratory (CERN). Mosaic which is the first commonhypertext browser for the World-Wide Web was created at the University of Illinois' National Center for Supercomputer Applications (NCSA).

The diagram below shows the development of computer interface:

Human computer interface as a threat to privacy

The purpose of this part of the research assay is examine the technological implication on peoples private live. It take a socio-ethical approach with specific concentration on the impacts on the professional on the information human computer interface field. It is indisputable that we are living in information age which can be termed as the an era driven by information human computer interface. This is attributed to the technological development. The key features of this generation accounted by the number of knowledge workers, global opening up and internationalization.

Technological progress is partially true. Human computer interface matters to physical, biological and material conditions of mankinds live. Lynn White, a famous historian attributed the emergence of feudal society. As a mere cause-and-effect explanation of historical changes, it signifies oversimplification of technological determination progress. Technological change is considered one out of many factors: cultural, economic, and political and others. It is foolish to expect technological social effect to be simpler if the biological and physical effects of human computer interface are complex and contested. A complex simple cause-and-effect technological progress is never a suitable candidate of social change theory

1.3 Man versus Technology

The technological development brings about a lot of juridical and ethical issues which are majorly attributed to aspects like right to access information which is personal which is greatly affected or threatened by unlimited information flow and reservation of intellectual property right as a protection of economic interest.

The ethical issue in this essay relates to the individual privacy right of late has been largely threatened by human computer interface. Specific emphasis id geared to issues that the ethical problems have to information technologist.

Although human computer interface has great influence of the way information is gathered, stored, retrieved or disseminated, the key ethical issue is in relation to accessibility or inaccessibility and how information is manipulated. It brings about the chances of g...

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