This is an OLD version of the course. Please go to the 2011 page instead!

What is this course for?

This course provides an overview and introduction to the field of human-computer interaction, with an emphasis on what HCI methods and HCI-trained specialists can bring to design and development teams for all kinds of products. The course will introduce students to tools and techniques for creating or improving user interfaces, such as Contextual Inquiry, Rapid Prototyping, 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. Everyone from non-programmers to expert programmers are welcome.

What is HCI?

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 and phone applications.

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Who is this course for?

Open to graduate students from all departments who are interested in a quick introduction to HCI. Required course in the Technology Leadership MBA Track. Approved as an elective in INI, MSE, IS, MSIT, and other Master’s programs. May be available to undergraduates with permission of the instructor.

[Please Note: This course is NOT appropriate for students in the degree programs of the Human-Computer Interaction Institute.]

Read anonymous evaluation comments from previous years here.

Anonymous Course Evaluations

(These are from the official CMU On-line Course Evaluations for this course.)

Last year (2009)

"Super course! Excellent homeworks. We learned a lot! The prof. is amazing."

"This is an excellent course for introducing the methodologies in HCI. This course helped me realize my creative side in designing systems and evaluating and critiquing systems. Looking forward to taking many more courses in the HCI Institute."

"The course structure and materials were excellent. There was a large amount of material to cover, and the well thought out structure of the class made it possible. The "progressive" nature of the homework assignments were great. Having each homework assignment build upon the previous one enabled some great learning experience and tied everything together really well. The work load was very high (much higher than average), but all the work was relevant and interesting. Professor Myers is very knowledgeable in HCI and presents interesting lectures. His feedback on homework assignments was very thorough and demonstrated a high-level of involvement in facilitating learning. It's obvious he cares about his students. The reading list was very informative and relevant. The guest lecturers were great. Can't think of anything bad to say. No weaknesses, unless you consider a heavy workload a bad thing."

"A very good thing about the course is that the class videos are available which can be referred to later for doing the assignments and understanding the concepts in case of any difficulty."

Previous years

"The class was very interesting. I got to know more about how to design systems taking the user into consideration and how to design user interfaces that would give the user a better experience while using the system."

"Very good introduction to HCI."

"Course materials are good and the instructor is also good."


For course add and drop problems, please contact the administrators from the following departments:

HCII (05-863) ISR (08-763) Tepper (46-863)
Nicole Willis
nicolewi @ cs
300 S.Craig, #229
Linda Francona
laf20 @ cs
Smith Hall, 231A
Vickie Motz
vmotz @ andrew

This course is listed on the Hub under 05-863 and 08-763 and 46-863. This course is also on Blackboard.