ICS 463: Intro to Human-Computer Interaction Design, Spring 2006

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This course provides an introduction to the design of usable interfaces and the relationship of user interface design to human cognitive and ergonomic factors and the social contexts within which computer systems are used. Students will receive an introduction to the theory of Human Computer Interaction while applying this theory to a design project.

Role of Programming:

Students will be required to design, implement and evaluate the interface for a simple application. What "implement" means depends on the goals and needs of the project as well as your skills. You could use a traditional programming language, a scripting language, multimedia authoring tools, or a web site editor. No particular programming language is required.

The implementation must be sufficiently complete to enable some form of empirical evaluation by having users test the interface.

Role of Writing:

One of the biggest challenges is remembering that half of what we do is the design work and the other half is the communication of that design work. The clients almost never bridge the gap for us; we need to bridge it. -- Gitta Salomon

This course seeks to expand students' conception of software design as a component of the design of socio-cognitive technical systems. Writing natural language documents is as important as writing code in this kind of work. The software professional engaged in interface design and testing will need to communicate and collaborate effectively with colleagues and customers. Hence, achieving quality in technical writing is itself an appropriate objective of this course, which has been designated Writing-Intensive.


Tuesdays 12:00-2:400 POST 126 (and possibly elsewhere when we need a workable room for projects).

We will also make use of computer-mediated communication: see disCourse.