CMSC434 - Introduction to Human-Computer Interaction

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Course Information
Assess usability by quantitative and qualitative methods. Conduct task analyses, usability tests, expert reviews, and continuing assessments of working products by interviews, surveys, and logging. Apply design processes and guidelines to develop professional quality user interfaces. Build low-fidelity paper mockups, and a high-fidelity prototype using contemporary tools such as graphic editors and a graphical programming environment (eg: Visual Basic, Java).

In this course students will gain more complete understanding of what is meant by, and how to better achieve, "good design" in software (and hardware) design. This includes learning about (and applying) guidelines and models applied to interface design, a wide variety of methods for involving the user in the design process, methods and tools for building prototypes and applications, and how to evaluate interface quality. Students are meant to complete the class with portfolio-worthy artifacts and a sufficient background to apply their training in future classes, research, and industry.

Instructor Section Day & Time Location
Jon Froehlich 0101 TuTh 11:00AM - 12:15PM CSI 2107

Course Prerequisite(s)
Prerequisite: Minimum grade of C- in CMSC330 and CMSC351; and permission of CMNS-Computer Science department. Or must be in the (Computer Science (Doctoral), Computer Science (Master's)) program.

Class Webpage
Spring 2013 Spring 2012

Hours Per Week
An average of 6-8, though there are "higher" and "lower" weeks anticipated.

Languages Used
Some of this varies based on the team projects, but all students will likely use Java (on Android) and HTML5 with other common ones including Javascript, C#, and Objective C or Swift.

Recommended Prior Experience
Students should come in prepared to learn new languages and tools as needed (ie: CMSC330) and be prepared to consider issues connected to quick response times for tasks in a program (ie: CMSC351) but what we commonly find is that the students who do best in this course are ones who are prepared for medium-to-large project-based applied work, an appreciation for well-designed applications, and a respect for the human side of the computing equation.

Projects, Exams, or other Assessments
Grading is a combination of individual work in the form of homework assignments and class participation (~20%), team projects (~40%), and written exams (~40%).

Misc Info
The course is updated regularly based on considerations such as student feedback, research and industrial trends, and an overall goal of providing a solid HCI and UX educational experience that will do the students and the department proud. If a student doesn't want to be able to take pride in their work in this class, they should be reconsidering their choice.