Fall 2006»CSIS 672

CSIS 672

Human Computer Interaction


Section 90: MW 5:30-6:45pm / LONG 221


Introduction to human computer interaction and user interface development. Topics include definitions of Human-Computer Interaction, importance of good interfaces, psychological foundations, user-interface design examples, interaction models and dialog types for interfaces, user interface life-cycle, user-centered design and task-analysis, prototyping and the iterative design cycle, prototyping tools and environments, user interface implementation, and interface quality and methods of evaluation.

This course stresses the importance of good interfaces and the relationship of user interface design to human-computer interaction. It is intended to provide an adequate basis in software design and implementation for user interfaces. There will be content on both the issues and engineering process for user interface development.

Prerequisites: Each student must have completed CSCI 230 (Data Structures and Algorithms) or an equivalent or higher course, or have permission of the instructor. Minimally, each student should have strong background in software development, data structures, and algorithms; also strong background in a high-level programming language such as C/C++, Java, Python, or MS Visual Basic.

Test Dates

  • Test 1: Wednesday, September 27, 2006
  • Test 2: Monday, November 13, 2006
  • Final: 7:30-10:30pm, Wednesday, December 13, 2006



  • Spolsky, J. (2001), User Interface Design for Programmers, on-line version of book published by Apress – Springer-Verlag, ISBN: 1893115941.
  • Lewis, C. and Rieman, J. (1994), Task-Centered User Interface Design - A Practical Introduction.
  • Phillips, D., "Cockpit Confusion Found in Crash of Cypriot Plane", New York Times, September 7, 2005.
  • Jacob Nielsen's usability pointers
    • Usability 101 -- How to define usability? How, when, and where can you improve it? Why should you care? This overview answers these basic questions.
    • Ten Usability Heuristics -- Ten general principles for user interface design.
    • Utility vs. Usability -- WAP Backlash: SMS is more successful than WAP because it has higher utility even though it has almost as low usability.
    • R.I.P. WYSIWYG -- Macintosh-style interaction design has reached its limits. A new paradigm, called results-oriented UI, might well be the way to empower users in the future.
    • Progressive disclosure defers advanced or rarely used features to a secondary screen, making applications easier to learn and less error-prone, whereas staged disclosure provides a linear sequence of options, with a subset displayed at each step. Both are strategies to manage the profusion of features and options in modern user interfaces.
  • Pogue, D., "Some Phones Are Just, Well, Phones", New York Times, September 28, 2006.
  • Critchley, S., "Designing Musical Instruments for Flow", O'Reilly Digital Media, December 29, 2004. (If you ask musicians what they value most about making music, most of them will say — in some form or another — flow. Flow is that wonderful sense of being lost in your work, when "work" becomes joy. Time disappears, and so do distraction, anxiety, and just about everything else, yielding to a pure unity of creator and creation. So wouldn't it be strange if many of today's musical instruments were designed to prevent or destroy flow?)
  • B. Manaris, V. MacGyvers, and M. Lagoudakis, "A Listening Keyboard for Users with Motor Impairments—A Usability Study," International Journal of Speech Technology 5(4), pp. 371-388, Dec. 2002. (This usability study shows that speech interaction with an ideal listening keyboard is better for users with permanent or task-induced motor impairments than conventional modes for alphanumeric input (37% better task completion time; 74% better typing rate; 63% better error rate). Results are shown relevent to alphanumeric input on mobile devices, such as PDAs, cellular phones, and personal organizers.)
  • Paper prototypes
  • Wikipedia, Fitt's Law, Hick's Law, and Power Law of Practice.
  • Kay, A. "The Early History of Smalltalk", ACM SIGPLAN Notices, Volume 28, Number 3, March 1993.