Designing Pragmatic Experiences

ISTA 416/516 S2014
When / Where: Tu+Th 2-3:15 / Education 308
Announcements / Questions: Piazza
Homework / Grades: D2L

Instructor, Dr. Angus Forbes
Tu 3:30-4:30 + W 3-4, Gould-Simpson 809 (office) or 813 (creative coding lab)

Assistant, Dr. Ronak Etemadpour
W 9:00-11:00, Gould-Simpson 825 (office) or 813 (creative coding lab)


The field of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) encompasses the design, implementation, and evaluation of interactive computing systems. This course will provide a survey of HCI theory and practice. It will address the presentation of information and the design of interaction from a human-centered perspective, looking at relevant perceptive, cognitive, and social factors influential in the design process. It will motivate practical design guidelines for information presentation through studies of consistency, memory, and interpretation. Technological concerns will be examined that include interaction styles, devices, constraints, affordances, and metaphors. Theories, principles and design guidelines will be surveyed for both classical and emerging interaction paradigms, with case studies from practical application scenarios. Both quantitative and qualitative evaluation strategies will be discussed. This course is co-convened: Upper-level undergraduates and graduate students are encouraged to enroll. Graduate students will be expected to complete more substantial projects and will be given more in-depth reading assignments.

Designing with the Mind in Mind, Johnson [online]
Measuring the User Experience, Tullis and Albert [online]
Sketching User Experiences: The Workbook, Greenberg, Carpendale, Marquardt, and Buxton [online]
The Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction, Soegaard and Dam, editors [online]

Module 1: Design Thinking

Module 2: Evaluation Methods

Module 3: Novel Interactions

Module 4: Projects

The final project will involve the creation and evaluation of a novel interaction technique using the technology of your choice. Group projects (consisting of 3 or less students) are encouraged, but it must be clear who is responsible for which aspects fo the projects; each student will be graded individually. Gradauate students are expected to produce and document a project that could conceivably be accepted as a poster (or paper) to an HCI conference.

Grading will be based on your contribution to discussions and critique sessions, the thoughtful and timely completion of writing/sketching/documentation assignments, and especially the creation of one or more human-computer interaction projects. There will also be intermittent quizzes to test your knowledge of the assigned reading materials. In lieu of a final examination, the last class will be used to present final projects. The breakdown of your grades is based on three main components: Assignments = 25%; Quizzes = 15%; Participation = 10%; Project = 50%. Late assignments will not be accepted; missed quizzes can not be made-up.

Attendance is required. Any student missing more than four classes for any reason will not pass the course. You can use these four absences as you like, for sick days, holidays, or special events observed by organized religions (for students who show affiliation with that particular religion), or those pre-approved by the UA Dean of Students (or Dean’s designee).

No social media in class; no eating in class (gum or coffee is okay); no texting or phone calls in class; comply with the Student Code of Academic Integrity; don't threaten other students; disabled students must register with Disability Resources and be identified to the course instructor through the University’s online process so that I can use reasonable accommodations; information contained in the course syllabus, other than the grade and absence policies, may be subject to change withreasonable advance notice, as deemed appropriate by the instructor.