Anthropology-Based Computing

Putting the Human in Human-Computer Interaction

  • John N.A. Brown

Part of the Human–Computer Interaction Series book series (HCIS)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxvii
  2. Everything You Always Wanted to Know About the Evolution of Computerized Technology, But Were Afraid to Ask

  3. Anthropology-Based Computing: Bringing It All Together, for the First Time

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 119-121
    2. John N. A. Brown
      Pages 123-135
    3. John N. A. Brown
      Pages 137-149
    4. John N. A. Brown
      Pages 151-162
  4. Citizen Science: Simple Solutions to Improve the Way Your Technology Treats You

  5. Back Matter
    Pages 241-243

About this book


We have always built tools to improve our productivity and help us lead better lives; however we find ourselves constantly battling against our new computerized tools, making us less productive and putting our health and our lives at risk. This book looks at Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) from a truly human-centred perspective; focusing on human physiology and psychology rather than the motley series of brilliant innovations, glorified mistakes, and cross-generational habits that comprise the computer-centred HCI that we practice today.

This three-part guide argues that human interest and calm technology need to be at the heart of HCI. It begins by exposing the inherent dangers in past and present HCI. Using his past experiences within Anthropology, Linguistics, Education, Ergonomics, Human Factors, and Computer Science the author introduces and explores the theory of ‘Anthropology-Based Computing’ (ABC) as well as a new ideas like Dynamic Environmental Focus (DEF), a new model of General Human Interaction (GHI), and a new triune model of the brain: Brown’s Representation of Anthropogenic Interaction in Natural Settings (BRAINS). Detailed illustrations show how HCI can be improved by considering how human bodies and brains actually work. The final part is a series of simple illustrated experiments, each applying an aspect of ABC to improve the way our computers and computerized devices treat us.

Anthropology-Based Computing is written for those who work with computers, not just those who work on them. Students and researchers in Design and Psychology, and Computer Scientists as well, will benefit from seeing what is missing from the devices that are already in place, why that is, and how to make the practical changes that will immediately improve the physiological and psychological experience of using phones, on-board navigation systems, and the countless other computers we use at work and at home today and will continue to use in the future.


Anthropology-Based Computing Calm Technology Ergonomics HCI Human Factors

Authors and affiliations

  • John N.A. Brown
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Informatics SystemsAlpen-Adria Universität Klagenfurt KlagenfurtAustria

Bibliographic information