Course Description: Human-Computer Interaction

(SYST 469-001; Spring 2005)


Instructor: Dr. Leonard Adelman

Office: S&T II, Room #325; Phone # 703-993-1624

Office Hours: Wednesdays, 3:30 - 4:10 (or by appointment)

E-Mail Address:


Teaching Assistant: Mr. Matthew Fischl

Office: Central Module, Room 17; Phone: 703-993-1696

Office Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1-2

Email Address:



Text: J. Preece, Y. Rogers, & H. Sharp. Interaction Design: Beyond Human-Computer Interaction. Wiley & Sons, 2002.


Prerequisites: IT 108 and IT/STAT 250


This course will cover the principals of human-computer interaction: including information processing design, cognitive models, ergonomics, and design metaphors.  Students will learn to evaluate interface design in terms of effectiveness, efficiency, and cost. (Systems engineering majors can not take this course for credit toward their major. They need to take SYST 470.)


Student Evaluation Criteria

Midterm Exam              35%

Class Project                30%

Final Exam                   35%


I use the full grading scale, including pluses and minuses. The exams will cover material presented in the text and class. The exams are closed-book and closed-notes. The exam questions will probably be short-answer in format. There will be a review period the session before the exams. Laptops can not be used to take the exams.


Students will work in pairs (of their choosing) to complete the class project. The project can be (a) an initial design and evaluation of an interactive product (e.g., website) or (b) an evaluation of two or more existing interactive products. In either case, the projects need to be guided by user requirements and usability goals. Each team will make a 15-minute presentation describing their project. You should discuss you presentation topic with me to make sure it is acceptable. Three-person teams might be acceptable if the project is adequately large in scope or if students need teammates. Students who present on April 27th will receive 2 additional points. So, a high A presentation could be worth 32 instead of 30 points, which could easily be the difference between a B+ and an A-.




Week   1  (1/26)      What is interaction design? (Ch. 1)


Week   2  (2/2)        Understanding and conceptualizing interaction (Ch. 2)


Week   3  (2/9)        Understanding users (Ch. 3)


Week   4  (2/16)      Design process (Ch. 6)


Week   5  (2/23)      Establishing requirements (Ch. 7)


Week   6  (3/2)        Prototyping  (Ch. 8) and Review for midterm exam


Week   7  (3/9)        Mid-Term Exam


Week   8  (3/16)      No Class (Spring Recess)


Week   9  (3/23)      Mid-Term Review and User-centered approaches to interaction design (Ch. 9)


Week  10  (3/30)     Introducing evaluation (Ch. 10) & Evaluation framework (Ch. 11)


Week  11  (4/6)       User testing and experiments (Ch. 14 to page 448)


Week  12  (4/13)     Asking users and experts (Ch. 13)


Week  13  (4/20)     Designing for collaboration and communication (Ch. 4)


Week  14   (4/27)    Student Presentations


Week  15  (5/4)       Student Presentations and Review for Final Exam


Week  16  (5/11)     Final Exam  (only on material after the mid‑term)