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Elective Courses: Human Computer Interface

Human Computer Interface

The study of the usability requirements specification in software development. Analysis of the human factors in the software design process. Covers the metrics for usability attributes, interface design techniques, and interface evaluation. Application of design techniques to the software design process. Additional topics, interaction styles, user-interface protoyping, and quality management.


  • To define the importance of human computer interface in software design
  • To describe the general usability principles of a system
  • To describe the three categories of interaction styles
  • To describe the general usability principles of a system
  • To describe the three categories of interaction styles
  • To explain the general design principles for developing an interactive system
  • To explain why user analysis is important and to discuss the basic analysis methods which do not require prototyping
  • To explain interface prototyping and describe the methods of evaluation
  • To explain interface evaluation and describe the metrics used to measure usability


  • To expose the significance of usability from a user's perspective.
  • To gain awareness of human capabilities and how that impacts interaction.
  • To gain experience in applying HCI evaluation and modelling techniques to improve the software design process


Week 1

  • 1 Human Characteristics
  • 2 Computers
  • 3 Direct Manipulation

Week 2

  • 4 Key-Modal and Linguistic
  • 5 Usability Paradigms and Principles
  • 6 Design Guidelines

Week 3

  • 7 Guidelines for the design of effective displays
  • 8 Guidelines for the use of color
  • 9 Interviews and Questionnaires

Week 4

  • 10 Usability Specification
  • 11 Usability Validation and Verification
  • 12 Cognitive Walkthrough

Week 5

  • 13 GOMS Model
  • 14 Heuristic Evaluation
  • 15 Interface Prototyping

Week 6

  • 16 Programming Toolkit : Visual Basic (windows based)
  • 17 Programming Toolkit : Visual Java (web based)
  • 18 Informal Testing

Week 7

  • 19 Iterative Field Testing
  • 20 Usability Metrics
  • 21 Usability Testing

Week 8

  • 22-23 Project Presentations
  • 24 Project Evaluations


To apply some the techniques from the class, to a design of an interactive application. Each project will consist of 4 students. Students will be graded on documentation and presentation. Student may choose any topic. The following documentation will be expected :

Task Descriptions
Usability Specification Table
Usability Testing Plan


  • One instructor per 30 - 35 students
  • Two sections
  • One classroom per section
  • HCI Textbook
  • Programming Toolkits

    • Visual Basic/C++
    • Visual J++

Suggested Text:
Human Computer Interaction, 2nd Ed Alan Dix, Janet Finlay, Gregory Abowd, and Russel Beale, Prentice Hall 1998


  • Class

    • Knowledge Tests (class materials)
    • Situation Analysis (in class exercises)
    • Work Simulation (software design project)

  • Factory
    Assessment will be an analysis of the usability documentation (requirements specification, audience description, usability testing plans, usability specification tables). The assessment will be conducted by two or more individuals to ensure independent and unbiased results. Once completed, The individuals must communicate and aggregate their findings. A debriefing session with the project team may also provide feedback for assessment