Human-Computer Interaction in eCommerce
Summer, 2001

Taught for Carnegie Mellon University's Institute for eCommerce

Time: Wed&Fri, 1:30pm - 3:00pm
Dates: June 25 - August 10, 2001
Room: Simon Auditorium, GSIA

Instructor: Brad Myers
Human Computer Interaction Institute

Office: Newell-Simon Hall (NSH) 3601 (see map)
Phone: x8-5150
Office hours: By appointment, or just drop by and see if I'm in.
Secretary: Ava Cruse,
NSH 3526A

TA: Joonhwan Lee
Office: NSH 2502
Phone: 8-8827
Office hours: By appointment, or just drop by and see if I'm in.

Course Web Page

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Schedule and Readings

See the schedule of all lecture material, readings, homework and the exam.

The homeworks are described on a different page.

Course Abstract

Human computer interaction (HCI) is an interdisciplinary field in which computer scientists, engineers, psychologists, social scientists, and design professionals play important roles. The goal of this field is to solve real problems in the design and use of technology, making computer-based systems easier to use and more useful for people and organizations.

This course provides an overview and introduction to the field of human-computer interaction as it applies to electronic commerce. For example, more emphasis will be put on navigation through the Web and online information systems than would be the case in a general HCI course. This course will also differ from more general HCI courses in its emphasis on people's goals and experiences when shopping, maintaining relationships, communicating, and gathering information. The course will introduce students to tools and techniques for creating or improving ecommerce sites, such as contextual inquiry and think-aloud testing. Students at the end of the course will have learned some useful heuristics and an understanding of systematic procedures for creating usable and useful ecommerce designs and systems. After completing this course, students will understand good ecommerce interface design, and how to develop an effective ecommerce site.


Jakob Nielsen. "Usability Engineering". Boston: Academic Press, Inc. 1993. ISBN 0-12-518406-9 (paperback) or ISBN 0-12-518405-0 (hardcover). [Referenced as "UE Text" in the schedule]

Jakob Nielsen. "Designing Web Usability". Indianapolis: New Riders Publishing, 1999. ISBN 1-56205-810-X. [Referenced as "Web Text" in the schedule]


Assignment Percent of Final Grade
Homework 1 10%
Homework 2 10%
Homework 3 10%
Homework 4 15%
Homework 5 30%
Final Exam 25%

Other resources

The Alertbox: Current Issues in Web Usability. A Bi-weekly column by Dr. Jakob Nielsen, principal, Nielsen Norman Group. Subscribe at:

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