(SYST 470-1)

Fall 01



Instructor:   Bill Killam, MA CHFP

                  Phone:  Office (703) 729-0998, Cellular: (703) 626-6318

                  Office Hours: by Appointment



Bailey, R. W. Human Performance Engineering (3rd Ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1996.




SYST 302, PSYC 100, or Permission of Instructor.


The purpose of this course is to help students understand the "human" component of system design.  The course focuses on human characteristics and limitations and how these affect system design.  Included are topics such as perception, cognition, memory, and decision making.  It also includes system design issues for addressing these characteristics and limitations, methodologies for designing the human/computer interface, and tests for improving it during system development. The goal is improved system design by taking a "user-centered" design approach.  Usability testing methods are also discussed including both user-based and non-user based approaches. 


There is a mid-term exam and a final exam.  Each is worth 30% of your grade.  In addition, during each class session, students will be asked to identify key material for that session.  The purpose of these oral reviews is to facilitate students' preparation for, and participation during, each class session.  The exams will be derived from these questions.  The homework accounts for 15% of the final grade.  Finally, students are required to design and conduct a usability test.  This will be done in teams and presented orally.  Presentations will be given during the last two class sessions prior to the final exam.  The presentation is worth a total of 25% of the grade.




(SYST 470-1)


Week 1

Introduction & Historical Perspective, System Design Re-defined


Bailey, Chapters 1, Exercises 1A & 1B

Week 2

Human Limits & Differences, Anthropometry, Sensing & Responding


Bailey, Chapters 2 & 3, Exercises 2, 3A, 3B, 3C, & 3D

Week 3

Memory, Attention, & Skill Development


Bailey, Chapter 5, Exercise 5

Week 4

Cognitive Processing & Theories of Behavior (Motivation)


Bailey, Chapters 4 & 6, Exercise 6

Week 5

Decision Making Models, Fairness, and Biases



Week 6

Judgment Under Uncertainty, Improving Decision Making, & Mid Term Review



Week 7



The History of the GUI, Architectures to Support Good HFE, &

HCI Design Guidelines

Week 8

Spring Break – No Class



Week 9

Dimensions of Usability



Week 10

Human Performance Modeling, Testing, & Experimental Design


Bailey, Chapters 8 & 11; Exercise 8A, 8B & 11A

Week 11

Steps in the Design Process, Design Process Models


Bailey, Chapter 7 & 9, Exercise 7, 9B, 9C

Week 12

“The Usability Lifecycle”



Week 13




Week 14

Student Presentations



Week 15

Student Presentations (cont.) & Review for Final



Week 16

Final Exam