CS 449

Spring 2016


Human-Computer Interaction teaches the fundamental issues that underlie the creation and evaluation of usable and useful computational artifacts. Over the term, students will learn how to design novel computational artifacts that enable a well-defined user group to achieve specific goals more effectively than via current means. More specifically, students will learn and directly apply: Students will also be introduced to major threads of HCI research.

Course Structure

As an experiment this semester, this course is being conducted using a flipped classroom model. Class will typically meet once per week on the dates indicated. In-class time will consist of:
  1. A brief multiple choice quiz on the screencast topics
  2. A brief overview of the topics, including time for questions and discussion
  3. An in-class exercise activity focused on the material in the course
The rationale for this structure is primarily pedagogical: This course has always been designed as one where the flipped classroom model would work well, but the process of creating teaching materials and exercises has been prohibitive in the past.

Because this is an experiment, it may be the case that the course would work best using another model. In mid-June, we will revisit the course structure via an anonymous survey and make a decision as to offering format for the remainder of the term.

Course Administrivia

Instructor: Edward Lank
Office Hours: Tuesday/Thursday, 11:30 - 12:15. Other times TBD.
TAs: Edmund Liu
Textbook: Contextual Design by Beyer and Holtzblatt
Additional References:
  • Rapid Contextual Design by Holtzblatt et al.
  • Interaction Design by Preece et al.
  • Designing Interactive Systems by Benyon, Tuner and Turner
Course Piazza: Linked here
Course Outline (University Senate Requirement) Tentative



Planned Class Exercise

Screen Cast Topics




May 3 Course Intro Lecture N/A Slides Ideo Video
May 17 Interviewing Exercise
  • Contextual Inquiry: Data Collection
  • Human Subjects at Waterloo
  • Work Modeling
May 24 Design Critiques 1
  • Consolidation
  • Observations/Coding
  • Contextual Design, Chapters 6 - 9
  • Interaction Design, Chapter 7
May 26 No quiz!
Design Critiques 2
May 31 Poster Session 1
June 14 Brainstorming Exercise
  • Task Analysis/Other Views of CI
  • Visioning and Brainstorming
  • UED
Designing Interactive Systems, Chapter 20
June 21 Lo-Fi Prototypes/UEDs
  • Prototyping
  • Screen Design/Interaction Design Patterns
  • Evaluation
  • Contextual Design, Chapter 17-18
  • Interaction Design, Chapter 8
June 28 No quiz!
Design Critiques 2
June 30 Poster Session 2
July 5 ThinkAloud Exercise
  • Evaluation
  • History
  • User Action/Affordance Language
slides (1)
slides (2) Interleaved with (1)
slides (3)
  • Contextual Design, Chapter 17-18
  • Interaction Design, Chapter 8
July 14 Affect/Humans
  • Affect in Design
  • Humans
slides (Affect)
slides (Humans)
July 19 Design Critiques
July 21 Final Poster Session
See course slides for Assignment 1 and 2 description.