Human-Computer Interaction - Spring 06
Course Number and Title: 22C:196:003 Human Computer Interaction
Location: 110 MacLean Hall
Schedule: 10:30-11:20, MWF

Instructor: Juan Pablo Hourcade, 101L MacLean Hall
Email: hourcade (at) cs (dot) uiowa (dot) edu
Phone: (319) 353-2543
Office Hours: 11:30-12:30 MWF, or by appointment

Interaction Design: beyond human-computer interaction. by Jennifer Preece, Yvonne Rogers and Helen Sharp. ISBN: 0471492787

The old computing is about what computers can do; the new computing is about what people can do -Ben Shneiderman

Computer technologies are becoming a common element of our everyday lives. We need them to work and study, and also to fulfill personal needs such as shopping and communicating with loved ones. The increasingly ubiquitous nature of computer technologies means that it is no longer sufficient to design them to be functional and efficient. They must also enable users to interact with them accurately, efficiently, and with a reasonable level of satisfaction. In this course we will learn how to design and implement computer technologies that take into account the needs and abilities of users in order to provide them with usable, useful, and enjoyable interactions.

The course will cover the following topics in roughly this order:

  • User interface goals, principles, and properties
  • Understanding users
  • Interaction design process
  • Gathering user interface requirements
  • Prototyping user interfaces
  • User-centered design approaches
  • Implementation and design issues
  • Evaluation of user interfaces
  • Cognitive issues
  • Universal usability
  • Information visualization
  • Collaboration
  • Ethics

The University suggests that for each semester hour credit in a course, students should expect to spend two hours per week preparing for class sessions. I expect students to attend all lectures and prepare before attending class by completing reading assignments. I encourage students to be active during class, ask questions and share relevant experiences.

There will be individual homework assignments as well as one group project broken up into several phases. Some of the assignments will require programming. There will also be frequent in-class discussions and activities in which you are expected to actively participate. There will be a midterm, tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, March 1, 2006. The final is scheduled for Monday, May 8, 2006 at 2:15 PM.

Assignments are due at the beginning of class the day they are due. Late assignments will be penalized unless you can document exceptional circumstances. Points will be deducted off assignments as follows: 20% for the first 24 hours; 50% between 24 and 48 hours; 100% if more than 48 hours late.

Your final grade will be calculated this way:

  • Class Participation: 10%
  • Homework: 10%
  • Group Project: 45%
  • Midterm: 15%
  • Final: 20%

Students with Disabilities
I would like to hear from anyone who has a disability which may require seating modifications or testing accommodations or accommodations of other class requirements, so that appropriate arrangements may be made. Please contact me during my office hours or make an appointment.

Academic Honesty
We will adhere to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences general policy on academic integrity available at: In this course you must do your own work on exams and homework, unless explicitly specified otherwise.

If you have complaints, please feel free to discuss them directly with me during office hours or via e-mail. If you have problems with the TA, please attempt to resolve them with him first before contacting me. If you do not feel I have appropriately dealt with your complaint, you should consult the Computer Science DEO/Chair, Professor Jim Cremer, 14D MacLean Hall, (319) 335-1713, If still unresolved, complaints should be directed (for undergrads) to Helena Dettmer, the CLAS Associate Dean for Academic Programs, at 335-2633 or (for grads) to Eric Wurster, Graduate College Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, at 335-2137. Further information about this policy is available at:

This course taught under the Department of Computer Science. The departmental office is located in 14 MacLean Hall. The DEO/Chair is Professor Jim Cremer, 14D MacLean Hall, (319) 335-1713. The course policies are governed by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.