Schedule of Readings and Assignment Deadlines

This is still provisional and will change

Last update 8/28/02

Readings posted are those that you are expected to do before the Monday class that occurs on that date. It will be assumed that you have read the assigned readings and are able to discuss them and build on them for the in-class activities.

Week 1 8/26

First day of class: Weds 8/28. This is actually a Monday class.
No Readings assigned
Bring an electronic gadget to class for us to analyze.

Week 2 9/2

9/2 Labor Day. No Classes
Aims:  The business case for HCI design. Introducing the aims of the course, the way of working, collaborative learning and working, coursework, activities, flexibility.

S. Dray. The Importance of designing usable systems. interactions 1995 2(1) pp 17-19.
D. Orenstein. Is software too hard to use? Computerworld: August 1999 (re'printed' in CNN)
Katie Hafner. Comforts of Home Yield to Tyranny of Digital Gizmos NY Times: April 28, 2002. (free registration required) Also available at:

Week 3 9/9

Aims:  User centred design. Introductory concepts. Basics of user observations.

J. Nielsen. Usability Engineering. Chapter 1: Executive Summary. pp 1-21
C. Rowland Usability Matters. Webreview. March 10, 2000.

Assignment 1a due 9/16 (NB. if you have big problems getting volunteers email me)

Week 4 9/16

Aims:  Web pages as examples of interface design.

This consists of various short relevant articles. Read those that look interesting to you. Pay particular attention to the ones in bold (those that have been most popular). Be prepared to summarise and explain the readings in class (different people will have chosen different articles to study).

Assignment 1b: choose your site by 9/18

Week 5 9/23

Aims:  Concepts in web page design. Issues, trade-offs.

P.J. Lynch Web Style Guide
Select appropriate chapters that will help you with your assignment. Split the reading with other group members

Week 6 9/30

Aims:  Introduction to design & prototyping.

Readings Browse through these and choose a couple to study more closely

Additional resources about the mechanics of creating web pages

Assignment 1b Version 1.0 due  9/30

Week 7 10/7

Aims:  Historical Overview.

Nielsen Chapter 3

Assignment 1c due 10/7

Week 8 10/14

Aims:  User-Centered Design

C. Lewis & J. Rieman Task-Centered User Interface Design: A Practical Introduction. Forward & Chapter 1

Group response to 1c comments due 10/14

Week 9 10/21

Aims:  Methods for evaluating systems without users: Heuristic Evaluation

Nielsen Chapter 5
M. Levi & F. Conrad. A Heuristic Evaluation of a World Wide Web Prototype. Interactions 1996 3(4) 51-61.

Improved version(s) of assignment 1b in the light of the 1c comments should be posted by 10/21 at the latest

Week 10 10/28

Aims:  Methods for evaluating systems without users: Cognitive Walkthrough

Lewis & Rieman 4 (omitting 4.2).
D.E. Rowley and D.G. Rhoades The Cognitive Jogthrough: A Fast-Paced User Interface Evaluation Procedure. Proceedings, CHI `92. 389-395.

Assignment 2a due 10/28

Week 11 11/4

Aims:  Observing users

Nielsen Chapter 6
Lewis & Rieman Chapter 5

Assignment 2b due 11/4

Week 12  11/11

Aims:  The design process

Lewis & Rieman Chapters 2 & 3
Nielsen Chapter 4

Assignment 2c First version due 11/11

Week 13  11/18

Aims:  Discount Usability Engineering

Nielsen Chapter 7
M.B. Butler "Getting To Know Your Users" Interactions 1996 3(1) pp23-30

Thanksgiving Break

Week 14  12/2

Aims:  Building better interfaces
C. Milligan & M. Murdock. "Testing with kids & teens at IOMEGA" Interactions 1996 3(5) pp51-57

Week 15  12/9

Aims:  Bringing it all together. What we have covered, what we haven't. How to proceed from here as an information professional


Presentations of prototypes

Assignments 1b & 2c Final Versions due 12/18
Assignment 3 due 12/20

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