IACT315 Human Computer Interaction

Computers have become a part of our everyday life, found both in expected locations (the personal computer) as well as new and unique locations (our car, refrigerator, or lounge chair). The number of people using and developing computer-based systems continues to grow; these new systems are more functional and robust than ever, providing more features, functionality, and capabilities. However, with the added complexity, the new generation of products is becoming more difficult to understand and use. As a result, users become more frustrated, unhappy and less productive.

This class presents the principles of user centered-ness that guide the creation of interactive products, communications, environments and services throughout the design lifecycle. The goals of the class are:

About the Class

IACT315 is a part of the Interaction Design minor at SCAD. The course presents the principles of human-computer interaction (HCI). The course provides the knowledge and expertise to understand the various techniques used by usability professionals, to develop user-centered designs for computer-based systems, based on user research, to evaluate the usability of interactive systems, and to develop design recommendations based on user-centered research.


These lectures are used to emphasize main ideas, techniques, and readings. I speak to each slide for nearly five minutes, but the structure of the content may be useful for others engaged in teaching this sort of material.

Each file is a .pdf of mini-slides. Feel free to email me for the larger version.

  1. Introduction to HCI
  2. Designing for People
  3. Mental Models, Personas & Scenarios
  4. Storyboarding & Prototyping
  5. Introduction to Evaluation Methods
  6. Think Aloud Protocol
  7. Heuristic Evaluation
  8. Mobile Usability
  9. Cognitive Walkthrough
  10. Experiments, MHP, Goms and Competitive Analysis
  11. Understanding Web Design
  12. Progressive HCI Issues
  13. History of Computers

Reading Material

Alan Cooper, The Inmates are Running the Asylum: Why High Tech Products Drive us Crazy and How To Restore the Sanity. 1999. Sams. ISBN 0-67231-649-8.

Alan Cooper, About Face: The Essentials of User Interface Design. 1995. IDG Books Worldwide. ISBN 1-56884-322-4. Chapter 3.

Jakob Nielsen, et al, Usability Inspection Methods. 1994. John Wiley & Sons; ISBN 0-47101-877-5. Chapter 2.

Stuart K. Card & Thomas P. Moran, User Technology: From Pointing to Pondering. 1986. Reprinted in Human Computer Interaction: Towards the Year 2000; ISBN 1-55860-246-1. Page 587-602.

Jef Raskin. The Humane Interface: New Directions for Designing Interactive Systems. 2000. ACM Press. ISBN 0-201-37937-6.