05-863/08-763/46-863: Introduction to Human Computer Interaction for Technology Executives* (Fall, 2007)
(formerly 17-770, formerly 08-766)

NOTE: This is an OLD version of the course. Please see the current year's version (Fall, 2010).

*[Taught for Carnegie Mellon University's Tepper School of Business, MBA Track on Technology Leadership which is why the "for Technology Executives" is in the title, but this course is appropriate for anyone with some programming experience who wants a quick introduction to HCI.]
[Tepper students should register for 46-863; all others should register for ISR course number 08-766 or HCII course number 05-863]

Time: Mon+Wed 10:30-11:50am
Room: NSH-1305
Dates: Mini-2, Fall, 2007 (Oct 24 - Dec 12)

(Video replay on Tue+Thu 10:30-11:50 in WeH 4615A with the TAs)

Open to graduate students from all departments who have sufficient computing background (see the prerequisites).
May be available to undergraduates in SCS and Information Systems with permission of the instructor.
Enrollment limited to 30.
[This course is not appropriate for students in the degree programs of the Human Computer Interaction Institute.]

6 units (1 mini course)

Instructor: Professor Brad Myers
Human Computer Interaction Institute

Office: Newell-Simon Hall (NSH) 3517
Phone: x8-5150
E-mail: bam@cs.cmu.edu
WWW: http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~bam

TAs: Jack Beaton
E-mail: jackbeaton@gmail.com
WWW: http://www.jbeaton.com/
Office hours: Tuesdays, 12noon - 1pm in Smith Hall, Room 222
Ajay Prasad
E-mail: ajaei@cmu.edu
WWW: www.ajayprasad.net
Office hours: Saturdays, 12-1 in the Newell Simon Atrium (NSH food court)

(for course add-drop problems)
HCII - 05-863 ISR - 08-763 Tepper - 46-863
Nicole Willis
nicolewi @ cs.cmu.edu
Jennifer M. Lucas
jmlucas @ cs.cmu.edu
Vickie Motz
vmotz @ andrew.cmu.edu

You are looking at the course web page

The URL is: http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~bam/uicourse/08763fall07/index.html

Blackboard site for this course (let us know if you don't have access!)

The Hub's page for 05-863 and 08-763 and 46-863.

Tepper's page for this course

Schedule and Readings

See the schedule of all lecture material, readings, homework and the exam. Includes the list of videos of the lectures available from Coursecast

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 effective for people and organizations. Ease of use and effectiveness are critical to the success of any systems that interact with people, including software systems, home, office and factory appliances, and web applications.

This course provides an overview and introduction to the field of human-computer interaction, with a focus on how it applies to managers, technology executives, and others who will work with HCI professionals. Particular emphasis will be placed on what HCI methods and HCI-trained specialists can bring to design and development teams. The course will introduce students to tools and techniques for creating or improving user interfaces, such as Contextual Inquiry, Heuristic Analysis, and Think-Aloud User Testing. Students at the end of the course will have learned some useful techniques and an understanding of systematic procedures for creating usable and useful designs and systems.



Beyer, H. and Holtzblatt, K., Contextual Design: Defining Customer-Centered Systems. 1998, San Francisco, CA: Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, Inc. ISBN: 1-55860-411-1 (paperback). Author's site; or Amazon

Jakob Nielsen. Usability Engineering. Morgan Kaufmann, San Francisco, 1994. ISBN 0-12-518406-9 (paperback) [updated from the the older hardcover: ISBN 0-12-518405-0]. Author's site; or Amazon


Donald A. Norman, The Design of Everyday Things. Basic Books; 1st Basic edition (September 2002), ISBN: 0-465-06710-7 (paperback) [updated from the original 1988 hardcover version]. Author's site; or Amazon

Useful Resources

Resources for Visual Basic



No background in HCI is expected..




Grades will be based on 6 assignments and a 3-hour final exam. All assignments will be individual (not group). See the homeworks overview page.

Assignment Percent of Final Grade
Homework 0 --
Homework 1 10%
Homework 2 10%
Homework 3 10%
Homework 4 10%
Homework 5 10%
Homework 6 10%
In class participation 10%
Final Exam 30%