As interfaces como artefatos mediadores e sua evolução em um programa de leitura em língua inglesa a distância
BARSOTTI, Carla. As interfaces como artefatos mediadores e sua evolução em um programa de leitura em língua inglesa a distância. 2002. Dissertação (Mestrado em Tecnologia e Sociedade) - Universidade Tecnológica Federal do Paraná, Curitiba, 2002.
With the purpose of contributing for a better understanding of the elements involved in the human computer interaction process, as well as improving the communication channel in distance education, this dissertation aimed at verifying if the computer interfaces of a distance English language reading course via web can mediate the human activity in a friendly way. A descriptive investigation of the evolution of those interfaces was held, searching for an analytic perspective through the approximation of the activity theory and the concepts of gender, utterance and dialogism. The focus on qualitative analysis and the researcher’s participation as a user made possible to observe the comprehension problems, obscure messages and errors, resulting from the computer interface usage. The goals of this research were satisfactorily achieved because of the comprehension of the usage relation between the computer application and the user. Despite the limitations faced during the research, it was possible to accomplish the pilot program ‘Auto instrução em Leitura em Inglês via rede para pós-graduandos’ computer interface analysis and its evolution into the course ‘Ensino auto-direcionado de leitura em inglês’. Through the comparative analysis of interfaces and with the help of the theoretical concepts presented, it was confirmed that the communicative functions are expressed by several kinds of languages. These functions, in spite of being directed to the plural user, acquire idiosyncratic meanings resulting from the interaction between the user and the interface. It was proven that the computer interfaces represent for the user the artifact usage conditions and the way actions can be taken, through the support or prevention of some operations. The interfaces are composed of several representations with communicative capacity and have as a main role to promote and facilitate the relation between the user and an object. However, inefficient interface representations cause difficulties to the user leading him to run inappropriate or unwanted operations which result, sometimes, in the prevention of actions, or breakdowns. It was proven that the interfaces of the pilot project underwent modifications which indicate the evolution of some of its characteristics and the maintenance of others. It was observed that the media potentialities turned to be better exploited in the course, assigning a greater degree of friendliness to the interfaces and facilitating the HCI process. It was concluded that the degree of interfaces friendliness depends not only on their design, but also on the previous knowledge of their users. The latter need computer interfaces that communicate their purpose and are self explanatory, functional, efficient and friendly. Their attention can thus be kept on the task to be accomplished and not on the artifact operation. Based on the results obtained it can be stated that the computer artifacts, besides needing specialists from several areas for their development, require constant reevaluation for activity can modify their usage. The designer, once aware of the characteristics and possibilities of the hipermediatic gender, can promote the user’s responsive comprehension. This way designers and users will be able to use the existing resources in a more adequate way.