Chapter 3

Interaction Elements

Interaction occurs when a human performs a task using computing technology of some sort. The “performs a task” aspect forms the interaction. The task is often goal-oriented, such as sending e-mail, burning a CD, programming a thermostat, or entering a destination in a global positioning system (GPS). But sometimes there is no specific goal. Just browsing the web or chatting with friends on a social networking site is sufficient to qualify as a task. If the user is engaged in any activity with computing technology, interaction is taking place.

In this chapter, elements of human-computer interaction are examined. The topics do not comprehensively span the field of HCI. Instead, the topics are selective and focus ...

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