CS 419/519 Inclusive Design: Fall 2016
Special Topics (Research Methods in HCI)

Instructor: Dr. Burnett
My Office: KEC 3051
E-Mail: mylastname @ eecs ...
Dr. Burnett's Office Hours are listed on my home page
In addition, the TA's Office Hours are: Tuesdays at 10:00 and Wednesdays at 12:00. Via Google Hangouts. Please add sanandaa@oregonstate.edu.
Class location: FURM 105

Course Description

The course is a special topics course in HCI: Inclusive Design using personas. Inclusive design has a strong business case: designing software that works for more customers than before has a wider potential market. The challenge is to find ways to design inclusively without having to have a separate design for each differently abled customer. One intellectual tool that can help with this is personas. Personas' use in HCI and User Experience jobs/fields is widespread in industry, so these skills should be useful from both HCI research and practice. Personas are also a cornerstone in some companies' software requirements and design processes, so these skills should also be useful to students heading for Software Engineering careers.

This is the first pilot of a course on Inclusive Design. We expect it to become a regular course starting next year.

Course objectives

This is a research methods course, focusing on inclusive design and all aspects of Persona creating, use, and issemination. The goals are that by the end of this course, you will be able to:
  1. Describe inclusive design.
  2. Identify problems with a design's inclusiveness.
  3. Describe the persona lifecycle.
  4. Apply each phase of the persona lifecycle to the creation of your own persona and to...
  5. ...using that persona in an inclusive design process.

Readings/assignments schedule


Senior or grad standing in Computer Science. If you have previously taken HCI course(s), it/they will be very helpful.

How the course will be conducted, method of instruction

You'll actually do a persona-based inclusive design project, with a team. I'm anticipating little or no programming in this course. There will be some lectures by me, but probably fewer than half of the classes will be like this. Some of the class will be studio style, with teams critiquing each others' work, and based on team presentations in which the class jointly provides feedback on some aspect of a team's project. In short, it will be highly interactive. Due to the interactive style, class size is limited.


There will be a number of interim assignments, and a final presentation of your project. There will also be a midterm exam (sample). We will not have an actual final exam, but we will meet on final exams day for final project presentations.

I have high expectations, and expect performance worthy of advanced students in computer science. Thus, in this class, "A" does not mean "adequate" or "nothing wrong" -- it means "excellent". For an A, you should expect to dig deep and get the most you can out of the class.


Grades to date as of: 11/8/16, 11/28/16, 12/11/16.


  1. Required: ISBN/SKU 978-0-12-381418-0, Tamara Adlin and John Pruitt, The Essential Persona Lifecycle: Your Guide to Building and Using Personas, 2010, Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann/Elsevier. (Available new or used at Amazon as a print book or Kindle book, and at the Elsevier Store as a print book or e-book (for desktop or laptop).)

We will also have selected readings from other sources, but you don't have to buy those.

Other Resources

Margaret M. Burnett
Date of last update: Nov. 28, 2016