CS 565 Spring 2019
Introduction to HCI

Classroom Location: Bat 250 (M,W) and BEXL 321 (F)
Time: a subset of MWF 12:00-1:50pm

Instructor: Prof. Margaret Burnett
E-Mail: burnett@eecs.oregonstate.edu
Office Hours: listed on my home page
Office Hours Location: KEC 3051

TA: Roli Khanna
E-Mail: khannaro@oregonstate.edu
Office Hours: Tuesdays (11 am to 12 noon) and Wednesdays (3 to 4 pm)
Office Hours Location: KEC Atrium


Course Description

In this class, you will learn basic principles of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) for the design and evaluation of software systems. Includes research methods for studying human-machine interactions and user interfaces; design strategies; software evaluation methods; and related guidelines and standards. PREREQS: Grad standing in CS or permission of instructor.

There will be no programming. However, a significant portion of your grade will be based on a team project Here are possible projects to choose from.

Class meeting times

This class will meet an average of only 3 hours per week in the classroom, because the hands-on component will require significant meeting times with your teams as well.

The class sessions will be drawn from Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 12:00-1:50pm. So, that means your schedule needs to allow attending class on any of those times.

The in-classroom sessions are shown on the Schedule below.

Learning Objectives

At the completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Describe HCI design processes.
  2. Discuss HCI design guidelines, their foundations, assumptions, advantages, and weaknesses.
  3. Describe basics of human subjects research.
  4. Complete a basic human subjects research certification form.
  5. Design a user interface based on analysis of human capabilities and needs, and prepare a prototype system.
  6. Evaluate user interfaces using a variety of HCI research methods.
  7. Make an oral presentation that justifies design decisions.

How the course will be conducted, method of instruction

We will run this class as an "HCI clinic". You will act as the "HCI doctors" to apply your emerging skills to healing "HCI patients" -- systems whose UIs probably need improvement. Thus, it is a hands-on course.

To do this, you will be required to work on group projects (~4-person groups) and classwork (in addition to doing readings) outside of class time. This class will also be very interactive. Participation will count towards your final grade, and I want a healthy discussion in each class session.

You are responsible for having done the reading before attending class that day and be ready to participate in the discussion. I may not go over all the reading material in class, preferring to spend that time elaborating or discussing that material with you. This does not mean the assigned reading is not important, or will not be covered in a test.


I have high expectations. Thus, in this class, "A" does not mean "adequate" or "nothing really wrong": instead, it means "excellent". For an A, you should expect to work hard and get the most you can out of the class.

Student performance will be evaluated via projects and assignments, a midterm exam, a final exam, and active participation. Weights will be Projects and assignments 45%, midterm 25%, final 25%, and 5% for participation.

Note: The team receives one grade for the group project. However, allocation of the grade among team members will in some cases not be equal, if team members do not contribute relatively equally to the effort.

Grades as of 5/17, Grades as of 5/22, Grades as of 6/8, Final exam and Participation Grades


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

Classroom Policies

This class is our community.

Every student should feel safe and welcome to contribute in this course, and it is all of our jobs to make sure this is the case. I will try to establish this tone whenever possible, but ultimately the responsibility for cultivating a safe and welcoming community belongs to the students—that means you! Fortunately, forming a safe and welcoming community is not too hard. A good place to start is to recognize (and continually remind yourself) of the following facts:

In addition, the OSU Expectations for Student Conduct apply.

In short, treat your classmates as respected colleagues, support each other when needed, have fun without spoiling it for anyone else, and everybody wins.

Laptops and phones in the class

(1) You are welcome to take notes on your laptop, but this can be distracting to others, so please sit in the back if you do this. (2) If you find yourself trying to keep an eye on your emails and messages during class, know that you are missing out on a lot of information that will eventually prove useful to your project and your grade. As you'll learn in this class, we humans pay a huge cognitive tax when we try to multitask. You'll be better off as a student and a future professional if you learn to wait till after class to check your phone/etc.

Students with Disabilities

Accommodations for students with disabilities are determined and approved by Disability Access Services (DAS). If you, as a student, believe you are eligible for accommodations but have not obtained approval please contact DAS immediately at 541-737-4098 or at http://ds.oregonstate.edu. DAS notifies students and faculty members of approved academic accommodations and coordinates implementation of those accommodations. While not required, students and faculty members are encouraged to discuss details of the implementation of individual accommodations.

Other Resources and Links

Schedule (subject to change)

When Topics Readings Due dates and assignments
Week 1 (4/1-...)
  • M (#1: 1 hour): Brief introduction, Solicitation of team projects, HW #1 assigned. Project pitches by Andrew Anderson, Brijesh Bhuva
  • W (#2, #3: 2 hours): Introduction
    Design, PRICPE
  • F (#4: 1 hour): Project pitches by: Tadesse Zemichael, **TBA**, **TBA**
  • Interaction design and process: Read Rogers handout (retrieve from Canvas): 1.6.1 (goals) and 1.6.3 (affordances).
  • Designing: Read Johnson book: Forward & Intro (pp. ix-xvi).
  • Designing: Read Rogers handout (Canvas): 9.3.top - 9.3.1.
  • T and T: #4 (Uncomprehended element), #9 (Feedback failure)
  • HW #1 due F 4/5, 12:00 noon, on TEACH and also hardcopy (one/team).
  • Week 2 (4/8-...)
  • M (#5, #6: 2 hours)
  • W - no class -
  • F (#7, #8: 2 hours)

  • Topics:
  • Teams and Projects
  • Analytical Evaluation
  • Learning about your users: Interviews
  • Analytical Evaluation (HE, CW, GOMS): Read Rogers handout 15.1-15.2 (pp 505-518) and part of 15.4 (pp 521-524). Retrieve from Canvas.
  • Analytical Evaluation: Read GenderMag-Heuristics document (retrieve from Canvas).
  • T and T: #1 (Invisible element), #2 (Effectively invisible element).
  • Data gathering about users: Read Rogers handout (Canvas): 7-7.4, 7.6-7.6.1.
  • Project 1 (introduction) due F 4/12, 11:30am on TEACH and hardcopy
  • Week 3 (4/15...)
  • M: no class
  • W: no class
  • F: (#9, #10: 2 hours): Learning about your users: Interviews (cont.), Observations
  • Human Perception: From Johnson book, start reading ch 1-4 (pp. 1-48)
  • Project 2 Individual part: Individual Heuristic Evaluations: every individual bring yours to class Friday 4/19, hardcopy AND electronic, and also hand in on TEACH by 11:30am Friday 4/19.
  • Project 2 Team part: Group Heuristic Evaluations due: one per team, turn in on TEACH by 11:30pm Sunday 4/21.
  • Week 4 (4/22...)
  • M (#11, #12: 2 hours)
  • W (#13, #14: 2 hours)
  • F: no class

  • Topics:
  • Analyzing observational data
  • Human Capabilities: Perception, Memory, Mental Models
  • Human Perception: From Johnson book, finish reading ch 1-4 (pp. 1-48)
  • T and T: #20 (Data loss), #25 (Ambiguous home)
  • HW #2 (Human subjects ethics) due Wednesday, 11:30 am on TEACH
  • Start Project #3
  • Week 5 (4/29-...)
  • M: no class
  • W (#15, #16: 2 hours): Human Capabilities (cont.), Concepts & Prototypes
  • F: no class
  • T and T: #6 (Poor grouping), #23 (Wandering element), #24 (Inconsistent appearance, #8 (Memory challenge)
  • Human memory: Read Johnson book, ch 7 (pp. 87-105) & 9 (pp. 121-139)
  • Human thought cycle: Read Johnson book, pp. 116-120 (from ch 8).
  • Work on Project #3
  • Week 6 (5/6-...)
  • M: no class
  • Wed: (#17: 1 hour+): Midterm exam . Bring your TandT card deck.(Here is one sample from CS352 with sample answers. Here is a second sample midterm from CS352. CS352 is the undergrad HCI intro course).
  • F: no class
  • No readings assigned this week
  • Project #3 due Tues 5/7, electronic on TEACH by 11:30am
  • Start Project 4
  • Week 7 (5/13-...)
  • M: no class
  • W (#18-19: 2 hours): Design Gallery. Team posters will be presented at this gallery. You can give feedback to other teams here from Design Gallery #1 (until Sunday 5/19)
  • F (#20: 1 hour): Go over midterms, next steps on project
  • Krug Ch 10, on prioritizing what you find. (CS565's Canvas site)
  • Krug Ch 11-12, on fixing what you've decided to fix (CS565's Canvas site)
  • T and T #18 (Irreversible action), #19 (Unwanted disclosure), and #22 (Variable outcome). Watch out not to introduce these in your emerging prototype.
  • Project #4 due Wed 5/15, electronic on TEACH before midnight.
    Week 8 (5/20...)
  • M (#21, 22: 2 hours)
  • W (#23, 24: 2 hours)
  • F (no class)

  • Topics: Foundations and strategies
  • Human attention and Attention Investment
  • Planning your upcoming evaluation (group activity)
  • Surprise-Explain-Reward
  • Information Foraging Theory
  • Human attention: Read remainder of ch 8 from Johnson book (pp. 107-116)
  • T and T: #3 (Distraction), #5 (Inviting dead end)
  • Surprise/Explain/Reward "Harnessing Curiosity" paper (8 pages)
  • ASAP: Schedule your human for evaluation
  • ASAP: Scan your lo-fi prototype into Mockups and decorate it with hot spots. (See Resources above for useful Mockups resources and free download instructions.)
  • Start Project 5
  • Week 9 (5/27...)
  • M: University Holiday -- but your evaluation should be completed by now.
  • W (#25, 26: 2 hours): Design Gallery #2. Team posters will be presented at this gallery. You can give feedback to other teams here from Design Gallery #2 (until Sunday 6/2)

  • --
    F (#27: 1 hour): Team presentations by
  • WRESTORE (Efrain, Suleman, Abdulkarim)
  • Networking Night (Qi, Wei, Jiaming, Xintong, Yin)
  • You can give feedback here
  • (Optional): Read the Information Scent (Spool) article (Canvas)
  • Project 5 due on 5/27 before midnight
    Week 10 (6/3...) M (#28, 29: 2 hours): Team presentations by
  • Campus Hero (Christoper, Mingyang, Louis, Bowen),
  • AME (Wei-Jen, Yi Xuan, Reem)
  • TAHMO (Yujie, Kun, Muqi, Xingnuo)
  • GenderMag (Alex, Eman, Kajal)
  • You can give feedback here

  • --
  • W (no class)
    F (#30, 31: 2 hours): Team presentations by:
  • HazAdapt-Public (Mariam, Omeed, Arash, Yipeng
  • HazAdapt-Manager (Virginia, Tanmay, Uday, Pallavi)
  • InterACTWEL (Majid, Yufei, Deval, Yuan)
  • You can give feedback here
  • Final remarks
  • (No readings) Final project with final report due Saturday 6/8 by midnight
    Final exam (Tuesday, 6/11, 6:00 pm, in our regular classroom). You can bring your TandT deck and one 4x6 index card.    
  • Comprehensive final exam is on Tues, 6/11, 6:00 pm, in our regular classroom.

  • Margaret M. Burnett
    Date of last update: June 17, 2019