Course Information

Basic Info

Updated 8/11/08

Nancy Van House

Email: vanhouse at ischool dot berkeley dot edu

Phone: (510) 642-0855

Office: 307A South Hall

Office Hours: TBA

Elizabeth Goodman

Email: egoodman at ischool dot berkeley dot edu

Office Hours: TBA


The IS203 pre-req is leftover from when 203 was taught in the spring and 214 in the fall; it is no longer required. ("Permission of instructor" of course covers all kinds of possibilities.)

If you're a grad student from outside the iSchool, you will probably be waitlsted (not admitted) due to administrative complications. It does not mean that the class is's likely that I will admit you to the class. You should come to the first class.

If you're an undergrad, I occasionally admit undergrads who can convince me that they can do the work and that the course is relevant to them. I've had both good and bad experiences with undergrads in the past. Come to the first class, AND BEFORE THE FIRST CLASS pls email me a description of yourself, your work history or other relevant experience, and why you and this course are a good match.



This is a course on user experience and investigation. It addresses methods and concepts of identifying target users, investigating users' needs, and evaluating developing and operating systems of various sorts. It is appropriate for iSchool master's students, but also for students in many disciplines who have to address questions of how to design information systems and other applications that are useful and usable -- that speak to the needs, desires, preferences, and capabilities of users.

This is a course for people who are interested in being usability professionals, but also for designers, evaluators, marketers, user advocates, and others concerned with connecting design to its consumers.

The primary product (and source of grading) is a project, usually but not necessarily a group project. There will also be periodic assignments, keyed to the projects when possible, aimed at allowing students to practice the various methods discussed.


Syllabus We are in the process of revising this for Fall '08. What's posted now is a temporary syllabus derived from last year's, to give you an idea of what the course will cover. Some topics are being re-ordered; a handful of topics are being added (so some others will be reduced); some readings will change; some assignments may change. But the general thrust of the course will remain more or less the same.


both of us will be out of town and off email the week of Aug 18; back Aug 25.