Class Projects


SIMS 213 
User Interface Design and Development 
Instructor: Marti Hearst

3 units. CCN 42709
Spring 1999 
TTh 11:00 - 12:30, 202 South Hall 
This course will cover the design, prototyping, and evalution of user interfaces to computers, which is often called Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). It is loosely based on courses CS1 and MIS1 described in the ACM SIGCHI Curricula for Human-Computer Interaction (Association for Computing Machinery, 1992, 1998).

HCI covers many topics including:

  • Human capabilities (e.g., visual and auditory perception, memory, mental models, and interface metaphors)
  • Interface techniology (e.g., input and output devices, interaction styles, and common interface paradigms)
  • Interface design methods (e.g., user-centered design, prototyping, and design principles and rules)
  • Interface evaluation (e.g., software logging, user observation, benchmarks and experiments).

    This material will be covered through lectures, reading, discussions, homework assignments, and a course project.

Goal of the Course
The goal of the course is for students to learn how to design, prototype, and evaluate user interfaces using a variety of methods. In order to achieve this, students should come away with an understanding of:

  • how to study the tasks that a prospective user will need to accomplish with a software system
  • the cognitive and perceptual constraints that affect UI design
  • techniques for evaluating a user interface design
  • the importance of iterative design in producing usable software
  • the underlying technology used to prototype and implement user interface code
  • how to work together on a team project and to communicate the results of work, both in oral and written form.

Course Project
In addition to covering general HCI topics, students will learn to use interface development tools to design, prototype, and evaluate a simple interface in a team-oriented environment. We will first prototype our interfaces on paper. We will then use a prototyping tool, either Visual Basic running on Windows 95/NT, or potentially a Web interface builder tool. Students who have a preferred prototyping tools can propose using this instead.

You should have taken the SIMS core introductory courses or else CS 61A and CS61B. No other course work is assumed. Helpful related courses include those in psychology, statistics, graphic design, and information vizualization.