Human Computer Interaction (CS 466)

The point of departure for this course is the design of everyday things. It will be shown that the principles underlying the design of such artifacts also apply to the design of the digital media/interactive systems/software. It will then be shown how concepts such as usability and utility may be defined and operationalised, and how the user centered design process may contribute to the achievement of optimal results from a usability and utility perspective. After this, the user interface development process also known as User-centered design (UCD) process will be discussed in detail. The group project is the focal point of this course and will be based on the UCD process.

Course Objectives

At this end of this course, students should:

  • Be aware of Interface Design/Usability Engineering as a field
  • Have read and understood major HCI theories and design principles
  • Have gone through three major phases (User research, Design and Evaluation) of user-centered design cycle
  • Be able to apply theories and design principles during the product design process
  • Have some ideas for how to deal with real-world constraints for building effective user interfaces and applications (apps).
Learning Outcomes

Students will gain a hands-on experience with the user interface design process (user research, design, development and evaluation). After taking this course, students will be able to critique everyday user interfaces, and challenge their own ‘design intuition’. Students will also have an idea about understanding users’ problems, designing usable user interfaces and evaluating these user interfaces with end users.

  • Enabling Knowledge: Understating the key HCI theories and design principles for designing user-friendly solutions
  • Critical Thinking and Analysis: Ability to observe users in their working environment and analyze their work practices/usage behavior in a creative and critical manner to identify (possible) problems
  • Problem Solving: Ability to design and implement digital interactive systems in a creative manner to solve everyday users’ problems, based on in-depth analysis of users’ needs
  • Communication: Ability to explain their ideas to diverse stakeholders (end users, team members, business manager and technical managers)
  • Responsibility: Ability to apply relevant ethical considerations while conducting user research, designing user centered technologies and evaluating end products, particularly while working with special user groups i.e. children, elderly, and patients.