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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.

Contents (click to jump to a section)

Module Organiser

Stephen W. Draper
Department of Psychology
University of Glasgow
Glasgow G12 8QQ U.K.
Phone: 0141-330 4961 (messages: 5089)
fax: 0141-330 5086

How to contact me

Use email to make an appointment, or approach me at a lecture or tutorial/lab session.
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.

Lecture timetable

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 web pages.


Learning Objectives

Syllabus (subject to change)


Final exam. (May) 60%
Exercise A (Iterative design and testing of a user interface) (Whole term) 20%
Exercise B (Questionnaire and interview project) (10 days within weeks 2-4) 8%
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.

Course work

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 essential.

A.Dix, J.Finlay, G.Abowd, R.Beale (1993) "Human-Computer Interaction" (Prentice Hall)

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 University Press)

R.M. Baecker & W.Buxton (1987) "Readings in human computer interaction: a multi-disciplinary approach"

P.A.Booth (1989) (2nd edition) "An introduction to Human-Computer Interaction"

B.Shneiderman (1992) (2nd edition) "Designing the user interface"

Laurel, B. (1990) The art of human computer interface design (Addison-Wesley)