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IS 214: Needs Assessment and Evaluation of Information Systems
CCN: 42715
3 units


Kevin McBride
Cell phone: 650-248-7858

Wednesday 1:00-4:00
202 South Hall 
Office Hours
Wednesday 11:00-12:30
311 South Hall

Course Description
This course will teach you to use a variety of methods to evaluate and improve the usability of a software user interface. Both user interface and usability will be defined very broadly in the course. A user interface is any part of a system that a user interacts with, including functionality. Usability means both the ease with which users complete tasks, but also their satisfaction with the process.

The methods in this course start with analyzing users, their tasks, and the context of their work. You will learn to use surveys, focus groups, and prototypes to evaluate early designs, and to use traditional user testing, expert inspections, and guidelines to refine designs. Finally, the course will discuss how to introduce and promote these methods in an organization.

This course is appropriate for both 1st and 2nd-year MIMS students, and for students from other departments with a strong interest in user-based design and assessment, with the instructor's permission. Students will complete a major project related to needs assessment and evaluation. Second-year SIMS students may use this project to meet their capping project requirement.