50.006 User Interface Design and Implementation

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Course Description

The course will introduce the field of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), Interaction Design and Usability in the context of today’s diverse interactive products. The course will cover usability principles, design guidelines and heuristics, user-centred design, usability engineering, user experience and evaluation techniques, and will include a series of mini design exercises and design-implementation projects. Students who successfully complete the course will be well-equipped with the concepts and language to argue and discuss how well a system’s front-end (e.g. a website, a mobile app, a museum kiosk, etc.) is designed and be able to design usable, easy-to-use, intuitive, attractive user-interfaces informed by the concepts and knowledge learned during the course.

Prerequisites

Learning Objectives

  1. Understand the concept of usability, design principles, guidelines, heuristics and other fundamentals of Human-Computer Interaction.
  2. Analyze a set of requirements in terms of its user-interface implications.
  3. Develop a usage scenario for a given set of user requirements and available technologies.
  4. Construct a user-interaction strategy for a given problem.
  5. Sketch a series of user-interfaces for a given use scenario.
  6. Implement a designed user-interface to demonstrate its functionality and usability.
  7. Employ a set of usability engineering methods to refine a designed user-interface.
  8. Evaluate a user-interface using suitable evaluation methodology.

Measurable Outcomes

  1. Apply design principles, guidelines and heuristics to create a user-interaction strategy that solves a real-world problem.
  2. Design a usable and compelling user-interface given a set of requirements and available technologies.
  3. Communicate effectively the designed user-interface to relevant stakeholders using design rationale and a sketching/presentation tool in an informed, reasonable and persuasive way.
  4. Conduct an evaluation of a user-interface by employing a series of evaluation methods available in usability engineering.

Topics Covered

  • User classification and user centred design
  • Information visualisation and interactivity
  • Usability principles and guidelines, UI prototyping tools
  • Anthropomorphism and framing the interaction strategies; metaphor
  • Personal and social impact of technology and experience design; ethical issues of interaction design
  • Usability evaluation techniques

Textbook(s) and/or Other Required Material

  • Ben Shneiderman and Catherine Plaisant, Designing the User Interface: Strategies for Effective Human-Computer Interaction, 5th ed. Boston, MA: Addison-Wesley, 2010.
  • David Benyon, Designing Interactive Systems: A Comprehensive Guide to HCI, UX and Interaction Design, 3rd ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson, 2013.
  • Jennifer Preece et al., Interaction Design: Beyond Human-Computer Interaction, 3rd ed. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, 2011.
  • Jakob Nielsen, Usability Engineering, 1st ed. San Francisco, CA: Morgan-Kaufmann, 1993.
  • Kevin Mullet and Darrell Sano, Designing Visual Interfaces: Communication Oriented Techniques. New York, NY: Prentice Hall, 1994.

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