HCI2: Interface Design
Winter 20042 Course Syllabus

The information presented in this syllabus is subject to expansion, change, or adjustment during the quarter.


Name: Christopher A. Egert
Office: Bldg. 70, Room 2515
475 - 4873
cae (*at*) it.rit.edu (or through FirstClass)

Office Hours:

Monday 5PM - 7PM
Wednesday 5PM - 7PM
and by appointment

Teaching Assistant:

Name: Carlo Costino
cac7878 (*at*) rit.edu (or through FirstClass)

Course Web Page:

http://www.it.rit.edu/~cae (follow HCI2 link)

FirstClass Conference:


Course Text and Materials

Required Books
• Required text: Interaction Design: Beyond Human-Computer Interaction. Jennifer Preece, John Wiley and Sons, 2002.
• Selected handouts and materials from the Internet.

Important RIT Deadlines

Last day of add/drop is Monday, December 6, 2004. Last day to withdraw with a grade of "W" is Friday, January 21, 2005. The deadline for withdrawing from a course with a W grade is the end of the 6th week of the quarter. Forms may be obtained from your department office and need your instructor's signature. The completed forms should be returned no later than January 21, 2005.
NOTE: IT department policy states that a student has one quarter to challenge any grade. After that, grades cannot be challenged

Course Description

The design of usable interfaces is based on the principles and theories of Human Computer Interaction. This project-based course is focused on the application of the usability engineering process, including analysis, design, prototyping and testing. Additional topics include: What is Usability, Heuristic Evaluation, Usability Goal Setting, Interaction Design and Styles, Assessment Methods and International User Interfaces. Team projects are required.

Prerequisite Courses

4002-425 (Human Factors) or 2009-323
4002-330 Interactive Digital Media or 4002-231

Course Goals and Objectives

General Course Goals
Ability to apply the principles of HCI to the analysis, design, prototyping and evaluation of usable interfaces Ability to engage in an iterative, user-centered, collaborative engineering process that results in prototypes of genuinely usable and useful interfaces. Appreciation of the importance, and difficulty of usability.

Specific Objectives (Learning Outcomes)
By the end of the course, students should be able to:

• Perform, document, and support a heuristic evaluation of an existing interface by rating the interface's conformance to Jakob Neilsen's usability heuristics, and use pictures or demonstrations to illustrate an interface's virtues and deficiencies.
• Produce appropriate documents and deliverables for each step in an iterative usability engineering lifecycle.
• Work effectively in a small team by collectively assigning and individually adopting roles such as leader and note-taker to create and track action items, support team-members and develop professional deliverables.
• Use personas, scenarios, and task analyses to formulate and write usability goals.
• Devise usability metrics.
• Iteratively design, prototype and usability-test a user interface.
• Develop, perform, and analyze effective usability tests.
• Organize, conduct, and summarize insights from focus groups.
• Produce and present a design process and demonstrate a design prototype in a group presentation using appropriate visuals.
• Constructively and critically articulate lessons-learned from a design cycle and its outcomes.

Course Organization

Group Projects
The majority of the work in this course pertains to large group usability study. Students in each group will be responsible for all phases of usability assessment with their creative idea. Along with the group project, each student will be responsible for individual assignments that relate to the group process. Such assignments may include, but are not limited to journal keeping, inter and intra group collaboration exercises, in-class analysis of theory and practice, as well self and peer critique.

There will be at least one midterm and one final exam for the course. The midterm and final exam will be a comprehensive test based on your theoretical and practical skill gained in the course. The final exam will be given during finals week.

The instructor may give spot quizzes during the course meeting time. Quizzes are meant to test how well the student is keeping up with course material. Since quizzes are unannounced, no make-up quizzes will be given. Quizzes will count towards your participation grade.

A portion of your grade in this course is based upon classroom participation.

As this is an upper-level course, no late assignments will be accepted. Any assignments received after the due date and time will receive a zero..

The course website is located off of my main web page at http://www.it.rit.edu/~cae. This web site has relevant information for this section of the course.

You are required to have a FirstClass account for course communications and for submission of those assignments that must be submitted as files to our FirstClass drop box. Please note that you can install a FirstClass client on your own PC that requires an Internet connection. Alternately, you can connect to the system in a web browser. The URL is firstclass.it.rit.edu/login


The grading scale used along with the grading criteria is as follows:

Component Weight
Exam(s) 20
Heuristic Evaluation Assignment 16
Project 60
Participation and Quizzes 5
Range Grade
>= 90.0% A
>= 80.0% & < 90% B
>= 70.0 % & < 80.0% C
>= 65.0 % & < 70.0% D
< 65.0% F

Course Schedule

Week Topics
1. Course Overview/Design Principles
2. Methodologies/Project Ideas
3. Heuristic Evaluation/Market Research
4. Interfaces
5. Persona/Task Analysis
6. Presentations/Exam
7. Usability Goal setting
8. Prototyping
9. Usability Test/analysis/hypothesis
10. Presentations
11. Final Exam


Academic dishonesty is misrepresenting someone else's work as your own. Academic dishonesty is a serious matter, and can result in an automatic F for the course. Please review the IT department's policy on cheating, located online at http://www.it.rit.edu/policies/dishonesty.html.

If, during the quarter, you ever have any questions about what does or does not constitute academic dishonesty, please come and talk to me.


Any or all of the previous information is subject to change or adjustment during the quarter.

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