TU04: Looking Back and Looking Forward: The History and Future of Human-Computer Interaction

Tuesday 23 October 2018
Dr. Jonathan Grudin, Microsoft

Time: 13 – 16.

This half-day course is intended for students, researchers, and developers who are interested in what can be learned from the different fields that contributed to the field of human-computer interaction over the years and where HCI may be headed. The historical review is less of an engineering or conceptual history than an examination of the goals, priorities, and methods that have marked HCI efforts in computer science, human factors, information systems, design, information science, and other fields. We can’t confidently predict the future, but we can identify forces that shaped the present, and trajectories and recurring patterns to keep in mind.

The tutorial draws on material from my 2017 book, From Tool to Partner: The Evolution of Human-Computer Interaction. It was presented as a CHI 2018 90-minute course. If I present it as a half-day tutorial, it will be expanded, with more content on the history of HCI in the Nordic countries, an expanded section on the familiar but insufficiently closely examined effects of Moore’s law and related technology changes, and more on future directions and challenges, as well as more interaction. If someone wishes to co-present, I will expand less.

At the end of the tutorial, attendees will have a sense of the different groups that have contributed to HCI since the dawn of computing and even earlier, how the priorities and methods of each differed, what we might look to them for, and why they have not collaborated more. They should have a sense of some of the issues we will be dealing with, possibly in our own research or development efforts, and certainly in our roles as members of families, organizations, and society. Everyone will arrive knowing that we can expect change; after this course, it should be more evident how this could play out.

More about the presenter can be found at jonathangrudin.com. His most relevant articles can be found under Publications and the History tab. Many universities have a Morgan & Claypool site license making the book free for students and faculty. A full description of the CHI 2018 course is here.