CS 489/689: Human Computer Interaction

Term and Year of Offering: Fall 2009

Course Number and Title: CS489, Advanced Topics in Computer Science

Instructor

Professor Michael Terry (mterry@cs.uwaterloo.ca)
Office: DC 2118
Office hours: Tuesdays, 11:30-12:30

TAs
Matthew Kay (matthew.kay@gmail.com)
Office: DC 3591
Office hours: Tuesdays, 1:30, and Wednesdays, 2:30

Meeting Time and Location
MC 4060
TR 10:00 - 11:20 AM

Course Description

Human-Computer Interaction teaches the fundamental concepts necessary to create useful and usable computational artifacts. Over the term, students will learn how to design novel computational artifacts that enable a well-defined user group to achieve specific goals more effectively. More specifically, students will learn and directly apply:

A computational artifact could be a desktop computer, a mobile device, an application for an electronic whiteboard, a system embedded in one’s clothing, and so on. The techniques taught in this class will apply equally well to the design and evaluation of all of these various forms of computation.

Course Objectives

After completing this course, students will have the skills and knowledge necessary to gather user requirements through interviews and observations; they will know how to model qualitative data using the modeling techniques of Contextual Design; they will have experience engaging in rapid, iterative prototyping; and they will know how to perform evaluations of their designs using common HCI evaluation techniques, such as think-aloud and heuristic evaluation. Finally, they will be exposed to the primary areas of research within HCI.

Course Overview

Required Text

Recommended Texts

All of the above titles will be on reserve in the Davis Library.

Class Wiki

The class wiki is located at http://crackle.cs.uwaterloo.ca/cs489-09. You must have an account to edit pages (account info given out in class, or email the prof). We will not use newsgroups -- email the prof or a TA with questions about the course or course content, or use the wiki to open up a discussion with the entire class.

Assignments, Projects, and Exams

Human-computer interaction is best learned by practicing it. As such, there are individual assignments and a group project. The group project will have three primary components, including three public poster sessions. There is also a midterm and final.

The grade breakdown is as follows:

You must show sufficient mastery of the material to pass this course. What this means in practice is that you must pass both the final and the group project; failure in either is grounds for failing the course. Please refer to the project overview to get a sense of what the project will entail.

Marking notes:

Latest Changes

Syllabus

Date Theme Readings Lecture Slides Deadlines
9/15/09

Overview of HCI

  • Prototypical HCI process
  • The challenge of designing usable technology

Course Overview

  • Logistics, expectations, marking, project
  Intro  
9/17/09

Goals, History of HCI

  • Goals of HCI
  • What HCI is, isn't
  • History of HCI
  • Paradigms of HCI

CD: Chapter 1

CD: pp. 415-421

CD: Chapter 2

History Wiki intro assignment
9/18/09      

Observation assignment

Project: Create a project group page

         
9/22/09

Human Ethics

  • Gaining consent
  • Ethical considerations, anonymity in data collection

Data Collection Overview

  • Goals of requirements gathering
  • Quantitative vs. qualitative methods
  • Data collection technique overview
CD: Chapter 3

 

Ethics

Project: Initial proposal and contact

9/24/09

Qualitative methods

  • Ethnography
  • Interviewing techniques
  • Methods, guidelines for conducting interviews
  • Importance of non-verbal behavior
  • Live interview demos
CD: Chapters 4, 5 Interviewing

9/25/09       Project: Revised project proposal
         
9/29/09

Observation technique and data coding

  • Theory of situated action
  • Methods, guidelines for conducting field observations
  • Being "the alien"
  • Noting language
  • Coding qualitative data
  • Identifying breakdowns, workarounds, and inefficiencies
  • Live demo of coding
CD: pp 89-102 Coding

 

10/01/09

Modeling work: Flow, sequence, artifact, and physical models

  • Concept of "unpacking" work
  • Importance of multiple representational forms for work
  • Flow and sequence models
  • Concept of distributed cognition
  • Cognitive artifacts
  • Artifact and physical models

CD: pp 107-123

 

Models

Project: Signed consent forms due

         
10/06/09

Modeling work: Cultural model and affinity diagrams

  • The importance of culture in technology design
  • Examples of cultural importance in products
  • Technological and representational determinism
  • Concepts of world view and epistemology
  • Stakeholders
  • Affinity diagrams
  • Tips for an effective poster

 

Affinity Diagram  
10/08/09

Poster Session 1, DC Fish Bowl

 

Project, Part 1 Poster Session
         
10/13/09

Stakeholders, Developing a Vision

 

CD: Chapter 7

CD: pp. 151-163

Vision
10/15/09

Midterm 19:00-20:30, MC 2038

Make-up: 17:00-18:30, DC 2314

     
10/15/09

User environment design, visioning, and brainstorming

  • Designing interaction by considering major work environments
  • How to move from data to design
  • Brainstorming techniques
CD: pp. 163-198 UEDs

 

10/16/09      

Project, Part 1 Paper Due

Group Evaluation Form

       

 

10/20/09

Design process overview

  • Design process guidelines
  • Designing at various levels of granularity
  • Concept of a design space
  • Storyboarding
  • Video prototyping
  • Scenarios
CD: Chapters 11, 12 Design Overview  
10/22/09

Paper and physical prototyping

  • Using low-fidelity media versus interface builders
  • Considering representational determinism
  • Prototyping physical interfaces for computational artifacts
CD: Chapter 14 Design
         
10/27/09

Interaction design

  • Affordances
  • Mapping
  • Feedback
  • Visibility
  • Constraints
  • Interaction cycle
  • Mental models
CD: Chapter 15 More Design  
10/29/09

Interaction design

  • Gulfs
  • Customizability
  • Errors
CD: Chapters 17, 18 Senses

 

10/30/09       Project Checkpoint: Problem Refinement and UED's
         
11/03/09

Senses, Memory, and Physical Constraints

CD: Chapter 19 Evaluation

 

11/05/09

Poster Session 2, DC Fish Bowl

  Project, Part 2 Poster Session
         
11/10/09

Moving Design Forward

Evaluation

  • Evaluation paradigms
  • Evaluation plans
  (See link above)  
11/12/09

Experimental studies

  • Experimental study design
  • Within- and between-subjects designs

Discount evaluation techniques

  • Heuristic evaluation
  • Cognitive walkthrough
  • Think aloud
  (See link above)  
11/13/09       Project, Part 2 Write-up Due
         
11/17/09

Input modalities

  • Text input
  • Pointer input
  • Typical rates
  • Fitt's Law

Natural and intelligent input

  • Pen
  • Voice
  • Multi-modal
  • Intelligent user interfaces
  • Typical rates
  • Issues
  Input  
11/19/09

Output modalities

  • Visual displays
  • Auditory displays
  • Ambient and peripheral displays
Visual composition
  • Gestalt principles
   
         
11/24/09

Rich interaction possibilities

  • Haptic feedback
  • Tangible user interfaces
  • Peripheral displays

Accessibility

  • The challenges and opportunities for accessibility
  Gestalt

Project Checkpoint: Evaluation

11/26/09

Design critiques

  • How to hold a design critique
 
         
12/01/09

Poster session 3, DC Fish Bowl

   
12/03/09

 

HCI research

  • Ubicomp
  • CSCW
  • Information visualization

HCI beyond Waterloo

    Project Part 3, Poster Session

Now due 12/07/09

Final Report Due by 5PM     Project Part 3, Final Report Due
         
  Final exam      

 

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