This is an OLD version of the course. Please go to the 2013 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 (2010)

"This is a great course. Usability engineering is so important in today’s workplace. The techniques learned in this class will be extrapolated into many facets of life. Professor Myers was extremely helpful and provided the necessary feedback and support to make this course both informative and enjoyable.

"I really enjoyed the course and thought it had more current real world pertinence than other classes I’ve taken in my program.

"A fantastic experience. I would recommend this course highly to students from MISM who are interested in Product development and management.

"I am from ECE & whatever I expected from the course you have helped me in achieving that. Now I know what goes into user interface design. After doing the assignments I have become a better designer as well as a better user of things & interfaces as well. Now whenever I look at any website or interface I intuitively start judging about it & kind of understand how much effort would have been made or not made for making that interface. Thanks for giving me the new perspective of looking at things.

"Great introductory course

"Great course and relevant for a wide variety of people.

"Great course. I love HCI!

"It was interesting course! = )

"The course content is really interesting, the professor is knowledgeable, and the workload is appropriate.


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
4117 Wean Hall
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.