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CMSC 434 | Introduction to Human-Computer Interaction

University of Maryland | Department of Computer Science | Fall 2008 | Dr. Ben Shneiderman

Class homepage:

Class hours: Tue & Thu, 11am - 12:15pm Room: CSIC 2117



Term Projects -- Signup to Critique -- Signup to Present

Triple T @ UMD - Terrapin Trader Transformation (Prototype, Presentation, Report)
TIRPS - Testudo's Informed Route Planning System (Prototype, Presentation, Report)
Recycling@UM - Recycling at University of Maryland (Prototype,Presentation,Report)
TemperTantrum@UM - Room temperature reports at University of Maryland (Prototype, Presentation, Report)
CarbonTerp: A Carbon Calculator For On-Campus Terps (Prototype, Presentation, Report, Source)
Terperature - Campus Building Temperature Monitoring (Prototype, Presentation, Report)
Go-Green Advisor - A Students Best Carbon Calculator and Green Advisor (Prototype, Presentation, Report)
Terpslist – UMD’s Online Classifieds (Prototype, Presentation, Report)
FoodFinder - Find Free Food on Campus (Prototype, Presentation, Report)

Mark Stewart and Heather Lair of the University of Maryland Office of Sustainability read the project reports and attended the presentation and then gave the awards for best projects to these:

  • Carbon Terp -- We loved how the site provides instant feedback on carbon emissions as users enter their data. The use of comparables was also a nice feature - users can view their footprint over time and compare their footprint to other UM students. Great effort! We would definitely like to see a version (including food and waste) available to the UM community in the new year.
  • Terperature -- We liked the simple user interface and were wowed by the mobile application you built into the site. This has the potential to be a powerful reporting tool for the UM community and we would love to see it expanded to other sustainability-related topics (water conservation, lighting, etc.). Nice job!

Contact information

Name Office Email ( Phone Office Hours
Dr. Ben Shneiderman AVW 3177 ben 301-405-2680 Tue & Thu, 10am - 11am
Nir Peer (TA) AVW 4176 peer 301-405-2726 Tue & Thu, 2pm - 4pm

Books: B. Shneiderman & C. Plaisant, Designing the User Interface, 4th Ed., Addison-Wesley, (2005) ISBN 0-321-19786-0

Other web resources:,,,,

Topics: Science base (theories, models, usability studies, and controlled experimentation), and software engineering with user interface development environments. Graphical user interfaces for desktop, web, and mobile devices using menus, forms, and direct manipulation. 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).

Homework: Critiques a working web site and cell phone. Students will implement user interface prototypes with modern software tools such as Adobe Flash CS3/ActionScript 3.0.

Term Projects: (assigned teams of 4): User needs assessment, design, usability test, and re-design

See previous projects at

Websites from previous courses:,


Week Topic Chapter Term Project Homework
09/02 Introduction, Theories 1,2
09/09 Managing Design 3 Critique (9/9) Flash Intro. 1(9/11)
09/16 Evaluation and Tools 4 Midterm I (Ch. 1-4) (9/18)
09/23 Direct Manipulation 6 Proposal (9/23) Flash Project 1 (9/25)
09/30 Menus and Forms 7 User needs (9/30) Flash Intro. 2 (9/30)
10/07 Command and Natural Languages 8 First design (10/7) Flash Intro. 3 (10/9)
10/14 Interaction Devices 9 Flash Project 2 (Gallery) (10/14)
10/21 Collaboration 10 Task list & Q (10/23) Midterm II (Solution) (Ch. 6-9) (10/21)
10/28 Quality of Service 11
11/04 Function and Fashion 12
11/11 Manuals and Help 13 Usability test (11/13) Flash Project 3 (11/11)
11/18 Search and Visualization 14
11/25 Search and Visualization 14 Happy Thanksgiving 11/27
12/02 Social Impact After Final Project (12/2, 6pm) Comments (12/6, noon)
12/09 Reports Revision (12/9, 9am) Final

Final Exam: Monday, December 15, 8-10am in our regular classroom

Grading Final Grade:

  • Exams: (8 + 12 + 20)%
  • Homework and class participation: 30%
    • Flash Projects: (10 + 30 + 60)%
  • Term Project: 30%