Micro Challenge #25 – Analysing how HCI contributes to solutions

1 June 2020 - 3 minute read

Welcome to the twenty-fifth of Altitude Foundation’s #MicroChallenges2020

Today’s challenge will expand your understanding of Human-Computer Interaction and its benefits!

What’s a Micro Challenge?

These challenges are short activities to help you develop, revise or refresh your coding skills, posted every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Over the next few weeks, we are running a series of guest challenges, put together by our friend at Newcastle University Open Lab, Megan Venn-Wycherly. You can learn more about her work here and OpenLab here

These challenges work as stand-alone challenges and also as a mini-course which builds together. The first in the series can be found here.

Micro Challenge #25

Our guest challenges are all about Human Computer Interaction. The official definition, from the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) defines HCI as being

A discipline concerned with the design, evaluation and implementation of interactive systems for human use and with the study of the major phenomena surrounding them

You can learn more about Human Computer Interaction and its applications from Challenge #23 and Challenge #24

The Challenge:

Today’s challenge is to:

  • Select a topic area from Education, Health, Environmental Sustainability, or Social Wellbeing
  • Find an existing example of Human Computer Interaction in that area
  • Explain how human-computer interaction helps your chosen technology solve a problem. 

For example, in education, you might think about responsive touch screens as a way of teaching toddlers word recognition. The problem being solved is how to expand toddlers’ vocabulary. It does this by saying a word when the toddlers touches the relevant icon. The technology uses the toddler’s touch to respond; it also uses sound to build links for the toddler between the image and the word. 

This work will form a good basis for the prototype you can develop later in this series of challenges.

Review it:

Consider how you present the information- you can play to your strength or try a new skill using:

  • Text description
  • Diagram
  • Comic strip

It might also be useful, when thinking about HCI, to think about the five senses – which of these are being used to enable the interaction and what is ‘steering’ the computer, If you are looking for inspiration, there are lots of good examples in our CHI challenge post.


  • Complete the challenge for two of the suggested topic areas
  • Share your ideas with Megan @Mwycher on Twitter for feedback and tips on how to take your challenge further. 

Share it

We would love to see what you have created! Please send any pictures, videos, or files of your activities to us – either via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram  using #MicroChallenges2020 or to challenges@altitudefoundation.org. If you are emailing them to us, please let us know if you are happy for us to share your stuff on our social media platforms (with credit, of course). 

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