20-790: Human-Computer Interaction in eCommerce

Taught for Carnegie Mellon University's Institute for eCommerce

Time: Monday, Wednesday, Friday,  10:30am-12:30pm
Dates: Mini-6, Summer, 2004
Room: Wean 5409A&B

Instructor: 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
Office hours: By appointment, or just drop by and see if I'm in.
Secretary: Sue O'Connor
NSH 3526A

TA: Sue Young Chung
E-mail: sueyoung @ cmu.edu
Office hours: Call or email for appointment

Course Web Page

You are looking at the course Web page. The URL is: http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~bam/uicourse/20790summer04/ 

The eCommerce Program's page for this course.

Schedule and Readings

See the schedule of all lecture material, readings, homework and the exam.

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 useful for people and organizations.

This course provides an overview and introduction to the field of human-computer interaction as it applies to electronic commerce. For example, more emphasis will be put on navigation through the Web and online information systems than would be the case in a general HCI course. This course will also differ from more general HCI courses in its emphasis on people's goals and experiences when shopping, maintaining relationships, communicating, and gathering information. The course will introduce students to tools and techniques for creating or improving ecommerce sites, such as contextual inquiry and think-aloud testing. Students at the end of the course will have learned some useful heuristics and an understanding of systematic procedures for creating usable and useful ecommerce designs and systems. After completing this course, students will understand good ecommerce interface design, and how to develop an effective ecommerce site.


Beyer, H. and Holtzblatt, K., Contextual Design: Defining Custom-Centered Systems. 1998, San Francisco, CA: Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, Inc. ISBN: 1-55860-411-1 [Referenced as "CD Text" in the schedule]

Jakob Nielsen. "Designing Web Usability". Indianapolis: New Riders Publishing, 1999. ISBN 1-56205-810-X. [Referenced as "Web Text" in the schedule]


Assignment Percent of Final Grade
Homework 1 5%
Homework 2 15%
Homework 3 10%
Homework 4 15%
Homework 5 30%
Final Exam 25%

Other resources

The Alertbox: Current Issues in Web Usability. A Bi-weekly column by Dr. Jakob Nielsen, principal, Nielsen Norman Group. Subscribe at: http://www.useit.com/alertbox/

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