CIS 524 Computer Interaction and Design

Strayer University

This paper will examine the invention and growth of crowdsourcing in the field of interface design. It will show the development processes in human computer interaction, HCI by comparing design interfaces. By describing the impact that crowdsourcing has had on the field of interface design, I will analyze and discuss at least three (3) benefits of incorporating crowdsourcing in a design project. I will analyze and discuss at least three (3) challenges of incorporating crowdsourcing in a design project. It will also propose a solution for generating interest in a design project from an online community. Suggest a solution for evaluating the skill set and quality of the code submitted by potentially unknown users. Describe how crowdsourcing may affect the budget and timeline of a design project. Assess crowdsourcing in regard to the legal, societal, and ethical issues it raises, and suggest methods to alleviate these concerns. And it will describe legal, societal, and ethical issues in HCI design and crowdsourcing.

Before 1970 there were few people that had contact to computers. Those that had access were government, scientist or professionals. There was a vast number of users so there was no need to consider what the consumer wanted, Computers were room size and very expensive. (A Brief History of Human-Computer Interaction. 2019). Consumers were interested in personal computers in the mid 1970’s, 1975, the first personal computers, were released came as kits the MITS Altair 8800, then later the IMSAI 8080, an Altair clone.

The next year, 1976, Apple, (Jobs and Wozniak) released their 1st kit computer, the Apple I. The Apple I didn’t have a keyboard, power supply, or enclosure to the assembled motherboard, around the 6502 processor. That same year a 5.2 floppy disk was added.

In 1979, Apple released the Apple 11 was released. It was color, had slot expansion slots and a floppy drive.

Human computer interaction is believed to be traced back indirectly in 1979 when VisiCalc introduced users to visual manipulation of data. It was spreadsheet that users could do calculations and results on the same screen with the use of spread sheets.

In 1982, The (U.S.) National Bureau of Standards conference, on “Human Factors in Computer Systems, was the beginning of designing software that people would actually want to use.

The Beginning

Natural-language interface is an interface that allows you to speak directly to a computer, or type in a question. Siri, Alexia, Google, are all-natural language interfaces. Easy to use. Don’t have to know ow to write code. Its great if it understands you. One pitfall it sometimes it does not recognize your command. That can be due to the user’s dialect, accent, or even knowledge on how to ask or pronounce a command.

Question-and-answer interfaces, the computer displays a question and the user inputs the answer. QAI are typically testing options, for example at the DMV, Real-estate test, etc. (Types of User Interface. 2017)

Menus, form-fill interfaces, the computer provides a visual form on the screen and the user types in the requested information. This would be the type of interface that are generally on.

Command-language interfaces are when the user enter a command into the program. This is rarely used.

Graphical user interfaces (GUIs), this is using menus to interact with the computer. For example, Windows uses a variety of Web interfaces for use on the Internet.

Interfaces are two parts: the computer’s part-the language and the users’ part -the action. (Toledo, 2017)

There are three common methods of determining if users are frustrated with an interface:


  • Analysis and review of the interfaces by experts. They attempt to judge the usability from the user’s perspective.
  • Small test groups test and review random pages or scenarios of the interface.
  • The third method is to do mothing and rely on the designers and product creators to decide if there are areas for improvement (Rotolo, Rotolo, Rotolo, Gautam, David, Gautam, Gautam. 2017.)

The interface may also be reviewed by crowdsourcing. Harnessing human computation through crowdsourcing offers an alternative approach to solving complex problems, especially those that are relatively easy for humans but difficult for computers (Davis, (2016). In 2006 author Jeff Howe of Wired Magazine coined the word Crowdsourcing (the process of using an open call contest or a ‘crowd’ of people to get something done), but the process of crowdsourcing was invented as early as 1714.Oct 28, 2010.

In 1714, the British Government was stuck for a solution to what they called “The Longitude Problem” which made sailing difficult and perilous (killing 1,000s of seamen every year). Seeking innovation, the British Government offered £20,000 for people to invent a solution (£20,000 in 1714 is around $4.7 million dollars in 2010). This is possibly the first ever example of crowdsourcing. The contest, considered almost unsolvable, was won by John Harrison, the son of a carpenter. Harrison invented the ‘marine chronometer’ (i.e. an accurate, vacuum sealed pocket watch). The aristocrats were hesitant to award Harrison the prize but eventually paid him the £20,000. This example of crowdsourcing is a fantastic one because it highlights one of the principles of crowdsourcing – innovation and creativity can come from anywhere. (Davis, 2016)


Crowdsourcing in the field of interface design has grown rapidly over the years. No drought by the increase in internet traffic, and internet communities. People crowdsource for various reasons., for money, for community, for a sense of purpose. They perform tasks traditionally performed by specific individuals and spreads them out among the group of people or a community. These assignments are usually done through an open call (Ambati, Vogel, & Carbonell, 2012).

Examine the overall Impact of crowdsourcing. This needed content relative to what it is changing in the performance and delivery of interfaces such as the effects on quality, costs, quantity, speed, project development, and usability.


Some benefits of incorporating crowdsourcing in a design project are:


  • It is valuable market research at an affordable rate. Budget friendly, increase customer satisfaction, and increase profits. Crowdsourcing provide access to more testing without outsourcing. Outsourcing cost are more expensive. There is no need for salaries, benefits, taxes.
  • With crowdsourcing there are many designers available 24 hours-a-day. There is no need for managers, each is an independent contractor.
  • Build up customer contacts that can be contacted later. Crowdsourcing give access to a diverse test group.
    • The participants can create buzz around your brand (Thieringer, 2019,) Tap into your sources and have them vote on the winning selection, the participants will be excited about the process.

Don’t let the advantages make you think it is all advantages. There are also several disadvantages

Choosing the Right Crowd

  • Conventionality can be compromised. Due to the crowd not being necessarily loyal to your brand, Information may be put out.
  • Then entire project may not have been tested. Because there is no ties to the participants, not all of the results are true.
  • Schedule may be put at risk if participants aren’t serious (Advantages and Disadvantages of Crowdsourcing: QualiTest.) Testers may have barriers with scheduling and or language.

One of the problems in crowdsourcing is choosing the right crowd. In order to attempt to choose the right crowdsourcing team, there must be some guideline and qualifying questions going in. Once you chose the correct crowdsourcing quality is the next objective. Standard procedures and code of conduct, and expectations should be in place. The third challenge is keeping the vision clear. Again, that is imperative the vision is communicated in the terms. The fourth challenge is controlling the crowd, have clearly defined rules, expectations, and accountability standards (McCarty, 2019)

Make it the Buzz.

To create a buzz about your project, you would have to initiate a plan. Thoroughly proposed a solution for generating interest in your design project from an online community. Address how and what would generate interest in your project, what would draw participants? Why would it bring them? How would you convince people to want to work on your project instead of someone else’s’? To create a buzz about a project it is best to set up an online community during the market research and continue to proactively have a presence. Also have social media presence. The top six social sites, Facebook, Instagram, Tweeter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Pinterest should be used. Offer a prize for winners of certain activities, such as a scavenger hunt, twitter tag etc.

What makes someone decide they want to participate in crowdsourcing. Most participate because they want to solve a problem, Others’ want to be part of the conversation and some people want to give back. And of course some want the pay. t has been found (Hars and Ou 2002) (Lakhani and Wolf 2005) (Roberts, Hann et al. 2006) (Bonaccorsi and Rossi 2004) that users contribute to such systems predominantly for two reasons: (1) to find their tribe (i.e. get connected with people who share their interests) and (2) to become a hero (have a substantive positive impact on the community they identify with) (Klein and Iandoli, 2008)

Choosing the Crowd.

Success of the plan depends upon choosing the right crowd. Many brands have established their own communities, from tradesmen in the business, employees, scientist, etc. Companies such as DeWalt, and Samsung have their own communities. Most innovative companies. Lego’s latest competition has offered 1% shares of sale of the winners’ ideas. The most affective way to crowd source is contest. The prize will need to be substantial enough to bring out the best contenders. The rules and regulations will need to be specific (Boudreau, 2019.)


Crowdsourcing save money. No recruiting, hiring process. No training, no benefits, no employees to deal with. It’s all pay per use. Labor cost are reduced. Crowdsourcing saves money on overhead. Elimination space utilities. Reduces traditional expenses. Minimal management, no need to pay

Legal, Societal and Ethical Issues.

The fine print of outsourcing is if the outsource employees are fairly paid, Are there any HIPA laws being violated. Are any corporate franchises being violated? Are there moral obligations to investigate the outsourcing company’s treatment of their employees Thoroughly assessed crowdsourcing in regard to the legal, societal, and ethical issues it raises and thoroughly suggested methods to alleviate these concerns (Williamson, & Williamson, 2016).

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