ICS 667 Advanced HCI Design Methods (3 credits) Advanced analytical
and empirical methods for the design and evaluation of usable,
useful, and robust human-computer interfaces. Students will apply
selected methodologies to a major system design project. Pre:
463 or 465; or consent.
During the past decade, human-computer interaction (HCI) has emerged
as a major area of computer science, leading to advances in analytic
and empirical methodologies for human interfaces to computer systems.
Hands-on experience with these methodologies is important because
the majority of the software code in a typical application is for
the user interface, and because productivity losses due to poorly
designed human-computer interfaces cost many millions each year.
In this course, students will learn analytical and empirical methods
for the design and evaluation of usable, useful, and robust human-computer
systems. Human-computer systems span the range from individual software
applications to networked groupware systems and interactive web
sites. Presently the course focuses on a comparison between scenario-based
design methods as advocated by Rosson & Carroll and usage-centered
(model-based) design techniques as advocated by Constantine &
Lockwood, with consideration of alternatives such as Extreme Programming.
In all cases there is a strong emphasis on involvement of users
Students will learn selected methodologies through (1) readings;
(2) in-class or online demonstrations and discussions; (3) small
individual assignments in which the methodologies are tried on a
test design problem; and (4) application of selected methodologies
to a semester-long system design project, which will be underaken
In the process, we will explore issues such as whether it is best
to design using abstractions that are then refined towards implementations
versus design by rapid generation and revision of implementations
(which may be visual designs or functioning prototypes).Design representations
may be abstract with respect to the context of use and/or implementation
choices. We will pay particular attention to how the various design
representations support design conversations with users, other designers,
and other stakeholders; expose design issues early and facilitate
refinement; and serve as a record of design decisions and a specification
for implementations. We will also emphasize iterative evaluation
and refinement. You will draw your own conclusions about which techniques
This is a 600-level, 3-credit course. The prerequisite is ICS 463
Introduction to Human Computer Interaction (or the graduate version,
ICS 664), or ICS 465 Introduction to Hypermedia (or the graduate
version, ICS 665), or consent of the instructor. This prerequisite
ensures that students will have been exposed to the basic concepts
of human interface design.
Relationship to Other ICS Courses
This course complements our existing ICS 664 Human Computer Interaction
with a hands-on design and evaluation methodology course. ICS 664
focuses on studies of human performance in designing and using
information systems, emphasizing theoretical background from relevant
disciplines. LIS 677 Human Dimension in Information Systems is
similar to ICS 664 but with a focus on information retrieval systems;
it does not directly address the methodologies covered by 667.
ICS 665 User Interfaces and Hypermedia focuses on technological
considerations in the implementation of interfaces. ICS 667 is
distinguished from these courses in emphasizing the application
of specific design and evaluation methodologies in the context
of a major design project.
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