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Human Computer Interaction Module (handbook entry)
This is an official description of the HCI module, slightly updated from the
printed handbook version. Student descriptions (i.e. unofficial descriptions)
may be available soon.
For context and other links, go back to the main page.
Stephen W. Draper
Department of Psychology
University of Glasgow
Glasgow G12 8QQ U.K.
Phone: 0141-330 4961 (messages: 5089)
fax: 0141-330 5086
Use email to make an appointment, or approach me at a lecture or
You can try phoning me. In the lab, go to the wallphone, dial "R" then "4961".
If you look here, you may be able to tell if I'm in my office,
but if I'm in a meeting, I may not be willing to talk to you.
See this link for full contact details and where my office is.
Lectures: (Term 2) Tuesday, Thursday 10.05-10.55AM Boyd Orr lecture theatre C
Tutorial slot: Tuesdays 4-6pm in the lab (BO 720).
Students will need to be familiar with the word processor and
spreadsheet applications provided on the Macintoshes, and with how to create
- To acquire a basic practical and theoretical introduction to human
- To internalise a user-centered approach to design.
- To realise that it is not possible to design a user interface correctly the
but that it is practicable to improve it substantially by testing and
- To have experienced this process.
- To have a basic knowledge and experience of testing methods for user
- To be able to describe the prototyping cycle.
- To be able to describe and apply theoretical concepts for analysing observed
problems in interfaces.
- To be able to discuss and compare User Interface Design Environment
- A. User centered design and the prototyping approach (2 lectures)
- B. Methods for measuring the performance of user interfaces -- thinkaloud
protocols, interviews, questionnaires, incident diaries, checklists,
experiments -- (about 5 lectures)
- C. User Interface Design Environments (about 5 lectures)
- D. Theoretical concepts for analysing problems observed in interfaces (about 6
Final exam. (May) 60%
Exercise A (Iterative design and testing of a user interface) (Whole term)
Exercise B (Questionnaire and interview project) (10 days within weeks 2-4)
Exercise C (Written theoretical exercise) (2 weeks within weeks 8-10) 8%
Exercises D Small exercises 4%
The final written exam will require you to answer 3 questions out of a set of 4
in 2 hours.
There are no labs at set times, but there is a steady stream of
practical exercises which will take a comparable amount of time. Thus besides
2 hours a week of lectures (20 lectures total), students can expect to spend 6
hours a week on other work on this course, much of which will be done using the
Macs in the lab, and much of which will be done with a partner. Students must
allow time for this, although when they do it is up to them and their partners
for the current exercise. The deadline for exercise C is inflexible (because
the answers will be discussed in class).
Exercise A, the main exercise, is the design, implementation, and testing of a
user interface in Hypercard or using HTML. You will do this in teams of 2 or
3. It will be set in week 1. Submission of the first part (specification and
preliminary results) by week 5, final submission by the end of term or the
start of the third term at the latest.
Exercise B is a practical exercise involving the design and administration of
questionnaires and interviews, done around week 2-3.
Exercise C is a written exercise: it will not take very long, but is
comparable to an exam question and will be marked as such. It is set in week
8, for completion by the last lecture.
The small "D" exercises will simply be marked as satisfactory or
unsatisfactory. You will learn from trying them, and the mark is merely an
incentive to try them properly; getting them perfect is unnecessary. Two are
set in weeks 4 & 9. Another one will be to assemble notes on a topic for
the whole class, and different students will be assigned this at different
times throughout the term.
Extensive lecture notes will be handed out, so no textbook is
A.Dix, J.Finlay, G.Abowd, R.Beale (1993) "Human-Computer Interaction"
D.A.Norman & S.W.Draper (1986) "User centered system design"
D.A. Norman (1988) "The psychology of everyday things"
J.Preece & L.Keller (eds.) (1990) "Human-Computer Interaction" (Open
R.M. Baecker & W.Buxton (1987) "Readings in human computer interaction: a
P.A.Booth (1989) (2nd edition) "An introduction to Human-Computer
B.Shneiderman (1992) (2nd edition) "Designing the user interface"
Laurel, B. (1990) The art of human computer interface design