05-863/08-763/46-863: Introduction to Human Computer Interaction for Technology Executives* in Fall 2009
(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 any student 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: Monday & Wednesday 1:30pm 2:50pm
Room: NSH-1305
Dates: Mini-2, Fall, 2009 (Oct 21, 2009 - Dec 2009)

Open to graduate students from all departments who have sufficient computing background (see the prerequisites).
Required course in the Technology Leadership MBA Track.
Approved as an elective in INI, MSE, IS, and other Master's programs.
May be available to undergraduates in SCS and Information Systems with permission of the instructor.
[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: Andrea Irwin
airwin @ andrew.cmu.edu
Office Hours: Wed, 12:30pm-1:30pm
in NSH 3501
Zhiquan ("ZQ") Yeo
zyeo @ andrew.cmu.edu
Office Hours: Sun, 7:00pm-8:00pm
in NSH 3001

(for course add-drop problems)
HCII - 05-863 ISR - 08-763 Tepper - 46-863
Nicole Willis
nicolewi @ cs.cmu.edu
office: 300 S. Craig, Rm 229
Linda Francona
laf20 @ cs.cmu.edu
office: 231A Smith Hall
Vickie Motz
vmotz @ andrew.cmu.edu

You are looking at the course web page

The URL is: http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~bam/uicourse/08763fall09/index.html

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

This course is also on Blackboard

Tepper's page for the technology leadership track

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.

Some Evaluation Comments from 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."



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


None. Assignments will involve user testing, paper prototyping, and implementing a working design, using some computational medium. However, you can select how to implement your solutions, and you can choose whether to use Visual Basic .Net, Flash, or even HTML with an editor like Adobe Dreamweaver.

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 12%
Homework 2 12%
Homework 3 12%
Homework 4 12%
Homework 5 12%
Homework 6 10%
Final Exam 30%