Schedule for 05-863/08-763/46-863: Introduction to Human Computer Interaction for Technology Executives (Fall, 2007)

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

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

Schedule and Readings

1 Wed,
Oct 24

1. Why is UI Design Important and Why Is It Difficult?

PowerPoint Slides for Lecture 1 -- updated after lecture; (this links works at CMU; if it asks you for a name and password, then you need to use VPN -- see VPN note above)
Coursecast video of this lecture

Required Readings:

  • Brad A. Myers. "Challenges of HCI Design and Implementation," ACM Interactions. vol. 1, no. 1. January, 1994. pp. 73-83. PDF
  • CD Text, chapter 1
  • Nielsen Text: Chapters 1,  2
Fill out initial questionnaire in class
2 Mon,
Oct 29

2. Discovering what people can't tell you:
Contextual Inquiry and Design Methodology

PowerPoint Slides for Lecture 2 or
Coursecast video of this lecture

Required Readings:

  • CD Text, chapters 5-7
Recommended Readings:
  • Karen Cross, Adrienne Warmack, and Brad Myers. "Lessons Learned: Using Contextual Inquiry Analysis to Improve PDA Control of Presentations". Unpublished.. PDF.

Do Homework 0 in class.

Start on Homework 1.

3 Wed,
Oct 31

3. Contextual Design Methodology, cont.

PowerPoint Slides for Lecture 3 or
Coursecast video of this lecture

Required Readings:

  • CD Text, chapters 8-10
4 Mon,
Nov 5

4. Sketching and Prototyping

PowerPoint Slides for Lecture 4 or
Coursecast video of this lecture

Required Readings:

  • Nielsen's text, chapter 4
  • Bill Buxton, "What Sketches (and Prototypes) Are and Are Not", in CHI 2006 One-Day Workshop on "Sketching" Nurturing Creativity: Commonalities in Art, Design, Engineering and Research, Sunday, April 23, 2006, Montreal, Canada. 2 pages. local pdf.

Recommended Readings:

  • Brad A. Myers. "User Interface Software Tools," ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction. vol. 2, no. 1, March, 1995. pp. 64-103. ACM DL Reference
  • Marc Rettig, "Prototyping for tiny fingers", Communications of the ACM, Volume 37 , Issue 4 (April 1994), Pages: 21 - 27. PDF
  • Brad Myers, Sun Young Park, Yoko Nakano, Greg Mueller, Andrew Ko, "How Designers Design and Prototype Interactive Behaviors". Submitted for publication. Preprint pdf
  • Bill Buxton, Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research, videotape of his talk on "Sketching and Experience Design" at the November 2006 BostonCHI meeting held at Sun Microsystems in Burlington, MA. 1 hr, 26 min. video.
  • Also great is Bill Buxton's brand new book: Bill Buxton. Sketching User Experiences: Getting the Design Right and the Right Design. San Francisco, CA, Morgan Kaufmann. 2007. listing

Turn in Homework 1.
Start on Homework 2.

5 Wed,
Nov 7

5. How to design a good user study

PowerPoint Slides for Lecture 5 or
Coursecast video of this lecture

Required Readings:

Recommended Readings:
  • Kathleen Gomoll, "Some Techniques for Observing Users," From The Art of Human-Computer Interface Design, Brenda Laurel, ed. New York: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, Inc., 1992. pp. 85- 90. PDF


6 Mon,
Nov 12

6. Usability Engineering Process

PowerPoint Slides for Lecture 6 or
Coursecast video of this lecture

Required Readings:

  • CD Text, chapters 2-4
Recommended Readings:
  • John D. Gould and Clayton Lewis. "Designing for usability: key principles and what designers think," Communications of the ACM. Volume 28 , Issue 3 (March 1985), pp. 300 - 311. ACM DL PDF

Turn in Homework 2.
Start on Homework 3.

7 Wed,
Nov 14

7. Overview of VB. Net

Resources for Visual Basic including PowerPoint Slides for Lecture 7 or
Coursecast video of this lecture

Guest lecture by Andrew Ko

8 Mon,
Nov 19

8. Graphic and Interaction Design for User Interfaces

Guest lecture by Prof. Jodi Forlizzi

PDF of Slides for Lecture 8  or
Coursecast video of this lecture

An interface is the link between a user and a product that communicates how a product will be used and creates an experience for the people who will use it. Interaction design is the process of creating and defining product behavior, encompassing both usability and aesthetic dimensions of an artifact, service, or environment.

In this lecture, we will explore issues that pertain to the design of interfaces. Students will become proficient in interface and interaction design fundamentals as applied to visual interfaces, including use of design systems, typography, color, scale, ordering, hierarchy, and repetition. In understand the design process for creating interface designs.

Turn in Homework 3.
Start on Homework 4.

Nov 21

(No class - University Holiday: Thanksgiving)

9 Mon,
Nov 26

9. Evaluation using Heuristic Analysis

PowerPoint Slides for Lecture 9 or
Coursecast video of this lecture

Required Readings:

Recommended Readings:

  • Nielsen Text: Chapter 8
  • Jakob Nielsen, "Guerrilla HCI: Using Discount Usability Engineering to Penetrate the Intimidation Barrier", Cost-Justifying Usability, edited by Randolph G. Bias and Deborah J. Mayhew. On line in html format.
  • Rolf Molich and Jakob Nielsen. "Improving a human-computer dialogue", Communications of the ACM, March 1990. Volume 33 Issue 3. pp. 338 - 348. ACM DL PDF
  • Jakob Nielsen and Rolf Molich. "Heuristic evaluation of user interfaces," Proceedings CHI'90, Human factors in computing systems, 1990. Seattle, Washington ACM DL PDF


10 Wed,
Nov 28

10. Designing for the Web

PowerPoint Slides for Lecture 10 or
Coursecast video of this lecture

Recommended Readings:

  • Nielsen Text: Chapter 11-16

Turn in Homework 4.
Start on Homework 5.

11 Mon,
Dec 3

11. What is Design?

PowerPoint Slides for Lecture 11 or
Coursecast video of this lecture

Recommended Readings:
  • Norman book (all chapters)
12 Wed,
Dec 5

12. International User Interfaces

PowerPoint Slides for Lecture 12 or
Coursecast video of this lecture

Required Readings:

  • Nielsen Text: Chapter 9

Course Evaluation day. Fill out the official FCE at or the Tepper equivalent, and the final questionnaire for this course.

Turn in Homework 5.
Start on Homework 6.

13 Mon,
Dec 10

13: Guest lecture: Interaction Design: Perspective from a local professional

Coursecast video of this lecture

14 Wed,
Dec 12
(last day of class)

14. Class Cancelled (no class)

Turn in Homework 6.



See information about the final

3 hour exam. Three choices of when to take it:

  • Wed. December 12, 1:00PM-4:00PM, Room NSH 3002 (alternative time)
  • Fri. December 14, 1:00PM-4:00PM, Room NSH 3002 (alternative time)
  • Mon. December 17, 1:00PM-4:00PM, Room: MM 103 (official time)

Official CMU Calendar

October 24 W Mini-2 Classes Begin (TSB only)
November 21-23 W-F Thanksgiving Holiday; No Classes
November 26-December 10 M-M Semester & Mini-2 Faculty Course Evaluations (through Dec. 10 at 8 a.m.) (except TSB and HNZ)
December 7 F Semester & Mini-2 Last Day of Classes (except TSB & HNZ/ISM)
December 10-11 M-T Final Examinations (except TSB)
December 12 W Reading Day (except TSB & HNZ/ISM)
December 13-14 Th-F Final Examinations (except TSB)
December 14 F Mini-2 & Semester Last Day of Classes (TSB only)
December 15-19 Sa-W Final Examinations (TSB only)
December 17-18 M-T Final Examinations (except HNZ/ISM)
December 20 Th Final Grades Due by 6 p.m.