T05: Overview of Human Information Processing for HCI

Sunday, 15 July 2018, 13:30 – 17:30


Kim-Phuong L. Vu (short bio)

California State University Long Beach, USA

Robert W. Proctor (short bio)

Purdue University, USA



One objective of this tutorial is to provide an overview of fundamental concepts and findings concerning human information processing. Another is to relate contemporary knowledge of human information processing to issues of relevance to HCI.


Content and benefits:

Human-system interaction is fundamentally an information-processing task. The human information-processing approach is based on the idea that human performance, from displayed information to a response, is a function of several distinct processes. The nature of these processes, how they are arranged, and the factors that influence how quickly and accurately a particular process operates, can be discovered through appropriate research methods. Because information-processing analyses are used in HCI in several ways, it is beneficial to be familiar with basics of the approach and specific applications to HCI.

Basic facts and theories about information-processing capabilities are taken into consideration when designing interfaces and tasks. The first part of this tutorial will review a selection of classic and recent findings on such topics as attention, memory, decision-making, and action selection, and discuss their relevance for HCI.

Information-processing methods are used in HCI to conduct empirical studies evaluating the cognitive requirements of various tasks in which a human interacts with a system. The second part of the tutorial will describe developments in empirical methods for studying human information processing, and provide examples of how they can be applied to HCI.


Target Audience:

This introductory tutorial is geared toward human factors and HCI professionals who do not have much background in human information processing and want to learn about basic principles of human information processing and what they have to offer HCI. It should be of interest to computer scientists, industrial designers, and engineers who want to improve their designs by incorporating information-processing principles.

Bio Sketches of Presenters:

Kim-Phuong L. Vu is Professor of Psychology at California State University, Long Beach. She is Associate Director of the Center for Usability in Design and Accessibility and of the Center for Human Factors in Advanced Aeronautics Technologies at CSULB. Dr. Vu has over 100 publications in areas relating to human performance, human factors, and human-computer interaction. She is co-author of the book Stimulus-Response Compatibility Principles: Data, Theory, and Application and co-editor of the Handbook of Human Factors in Web Design (2nd ed.). Dr. Vu is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association: Division 21, Applied Experimental and Engineering Psychology and the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.

Robert W. Proctor is Distinguished Professor of Psychological Sciences at Purdue University, with a courtesy appointment in the School of Industrial Engineering. Dr. Proctor teaches courses in Human Factors in Engineering, Human Information Processing, Attention, and Perception and Action. He is faculty advisor of the Purdue Student Chapter of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. Dr. Proctor's research focuses on basic and applied aspects of human performance. He has published over 250 articles on human performance and is co-author the books Human Factors in Simple and Complex Systems, Skill Acquisition and Human Performance, Stimulus-Response Compatibility Principles: Data, Theory, and Application, and Attention: Theory and Practice. He is Fellow of the American Psychological Association: Division 21, Applied Experimental and Engineering Psychology and the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.