IS 4300: Human-Computer Interaction

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Reading Responses

Every week you should post reading responses about that week's readings on your personal course web site. To get credit for your work, the responses need to be posted by 5 PM the day before the readings are due. Reading responses will be graded on a check plus, check, check minus scale, late responses will receive a zero, and two sets will be dropped. I will review your posts that evening and most weeks we will discuss your essays together in class.

Most weeks you will be reading about more than one subject. Your reading responses should include separate sections on each set of readings. For every set of reading responses, you should include citations from the readings for your claims.

For every set of readings your responses should include:

1) a brief summary of the readings,

2) one or more things about the readings that would be interesting to discuss in class, and

3) one or more things that you found, confusing, annoying, incorrect, or interesting and why.

In addition, some weeks the reading responses will have include additional questions which are listed below.


Every week you will read two kinds of readings. The first are readings related to this week's topics. The second are introductions to different kinds of interfaces. Many of the interface interfaces are online and include videos; please watch the videos too. Some of the articles are password-protected. Log on with your CCIS credential to download those.

Week 1: Readings on HCI and User-Centered Design

Readings: Introduction to HCI; User Centered Design.

Interface reading and videos on Kinect: this, this and this.

Additional reading response questions:

What is HCI? What is User Centered Design? What is the difference between the two?

What other uses have you seen for Kinect? The example videos you saw were fantastical or fun, but what practical applications can you think of for the Kinect? Why would this applications be useful or novel, and what practical issues could it address?

Week 2: Readings on Usability and Rapid Prototyping

Readings: Usability overview; Nielsen's Usability 101; his 10 Usablity Heuristics; Norman Ch 1-4. Also please review all of the prototyping tools listed on the resources page. You do not need to write reading responses for the rapid protyping resources, only for the usability readings.

Interface readings on Captcha and ReCaptcha: article.

Additional reading response questions:

What experience do you have with each of the rapid prototyping tools? If you were going to prototype something for this class today, what would you choose and why? Which would you like to learn more about and why?

What works well about Captchas. What problems have you had with Captchas? How would you improve it?

Week 3: Readings on Observational study and Task analysis, use cases, and scenarios.

Ethnography: Fetterman; Example 1; Example 2, Millen.
Task analysis, use cases, and scenarios: Task Centered User Inface Design Chapters 1 & 2. Use cases on

Interface readings on MOOCs in the Chronicle of Higher Education. Also take a look a the sites that the article links to.

Additional reading response questions:

As a student what do you think are the strengths and drawbacks of MOOCs? What would you want to see in a MOOC interface to best suit today's students' needs?

Week 4: Wireframes and Conceptual and Interaction Design.

Readings: Norman Ch 5-7;

Week 5: Interactions and Design guidelines.


Set 1 Styleguides: Yale Style Guide, Motif Style Guide.

Set 2 Accessibility: Read this: Universal Design for Learning. Scan this, but don't worry about reading every last word: W3C's Accessibility Guidelines.

Interface readings on Leap Motion: this and this. Do not summarize.

Additional reading response questions:

Think about the interfaces you have explored in your homework and the interfaces you have built for your course web site and team project page. In what ways are those interfacesfollowing the style and accessibility guidelines and in what way aren't they? Now that you know a little more about style and accessibility, what would you change about these designs?

What are the affordances of Leap Motion versus Kinect? What do those affordances imply in terms of the types of applications they would be best for? What novel applications would you use Leap Motion for?

Week 6: Readings on Evaluation Overview and Preparing for Usability Testing.

Evaluation: Rettig. Nielsen on Types of Usability testing and Payouts. Jeffries et al. Wharton Cognitive Walkthroughs. Nielsen Heuristic Evaluation. Nielsen on Time budgets for Usability.

Week 7: Readings on Collecting and Analyzing Data.

Collecting and Analyzing Data: Usability report template ( CACM article: Stats, You're Doing it Wrong. Debate on Likert Scales. Nielsen How to Conduct a Heuristic Evaluation. Gould.

Interface/Fitts's Law reading: Super Resize Me article and game. Visualization/Math of Fitts's Law (Do not write about this in your interface readings. Just check out the game and article to understand Fitts' Law a little better.)

Week 8: no readings.

Week 9: Readings on Style and User experience.

Readings 1 Set:Think outside the box but don't forget the box exists,10 Misconceptions about User Experience, Five Low Hanging UX Tips, Nielsen on Close Vs. Far Buttons.

Week 10: Designing for the Web and Mobile.

Readings: Nielsen's top 10 Mistakes in Web Design. More readings to come.

Week 11: no readings.

Week 12: Communicating Results.

Readings Set 1: UX and Agile Design.

Readings Set 2: Guide to Successful CHI Submissions.