General information for ISU570 Human Computer Interaction - Spring 2008

Professor Futrelle - College of Computer & Information Science, Northeastern U., Boston, MA

Version of 5 April 2007

ISU570 Human Computer Interaction (4 SH)
Studies the principles of human-computer interaction and the practice of user interface design. Discusses the major human information processing subsystems (perception, memory, attention, and problem solving), and how the properties of these systems influence the design of interactive systems. Reviews guidelines and specification languages for designing user interfaces, with an emphasis on tool kits of standard graphical user interface (GUI) objects. Introduces usability metrics and evaluation methods. Additional topics may include World Wide Web design principles and tools; wireless/mobile device interfaces; computer-supported cooperative work; information visualization; and virtual reality. Course work includes designing user interfaces, creating working prototypes using a GUI tool kit, and evaluating existing interfaces using the methods studied. Prerequisites: CSU 370.

Northeastern University, and the College of Computer & Information Science, Boston, MA.
Professor Robert P. Futrelle   Email me at:,
but note the important emailing instructions at the end of this page.
Futrelle's Office:
450 West Village H (WVH). Also check my lab 460 WVH.
Hardcopy mailbox:
202 WVH
Futrelle's office: 617-373-4239, Lab: 617-373-4607
Interaction Design by Sharp, Rogers, and Preece, 2nd edition
(Wiley, 2007) ISBN 9780470018668
Personal Help:
Regular office/advising hours: Tuesdays, Fridays 1-2pm.
IM hours below.
If you need help at any other time, find Prof. Futrelle or call or send email, or ask in class to set up an appointment.
Instant Messaging office hours:
Google Chat: Monday and Wednesday evenings 9-10pm.
You'll need a free Google account. But simply phoning me at home during the chat hours is an OK option - don't be shy - 617-244-8261.
On-line help:
There is a ton of information on the Web about HCI. Various URLs will be added to the course pages as the semester proceeds.
Professor Futrelle's teaching blog:
Read his blog here.
Tuesday, Friday 9:50 AM-11:30 AM (Seq. 3D) Room: 325 BK.
Course Key Number:
Information will be available on the Projects page.
Information will be available on the Exams page.
Course homepage:
Grading percentages for final grade
Quiz #1: 5%
Quiz #2: 7%
Quiz #3: 8%
Assignment #1: 5%
Assignment #2: 10%
Assignment #3: 10%
Project #1: 5%
Project #2: 5%
Project #3 - final draft: 5%
Final Project: 15%
Midterm Exam: 10%
Final Exam: 15%
Missing assignments will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
The course mailing list and archives:
The subject line in all your non-mailing-list mail to me regarding the course
must begin with isu570sp08, or else it will be returned.
All students in the course must sign up for the mailing list immediately in order to receive important notices. Sign up right away at Be sure to include both your email address and your name - otherwise it may be impossible for me to figure out who you are from your email address alone. You can only post mail to the list using the email address(s) you're signed up with, though you may sign up with more than one address - and receive mail sent to one, the other, or both. Group membership is private. All mail to the list is publicly archived and available here: Post away -- your questions and information may well be of interest to other students in the class. Post mail to the list from your registered email address(s) to this address: (Mail to the list will automatically be prefaced with the course label for you.)

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