Human Computer Interaction
The overall goal of this course is to provide an introduction to
Human Computer Interaction at a postgraduate level, that is, an
introduction to the research issues in the field. As the name of the
field indicates, we deal with three aspects: humans, computers, and
interaction; in what follows we provide more detail on what we mean
by this. On the other hand, a key aspect for a sound approach
to HCI is understanding users/people: they behave very
differently from what one assumes they do. In order to achieve this
understanding, the students will design and evaluate a prototye of a
system, essentially, a mock-up interface of the system. This will be
done following some specific assignments.
The Computer Human Interaction field is somehow reflected in the
following image, taken from Hewett, Baecker, Card,
Carey, Gasen, Mantei, Perlman, Strong and Verplank, ACM
SIGCHI Curricula for Human-Computer Interaction, 1992, 1996;
we try to deal with each aspect (albeit very shortly) during this
Contents: topics and lab assignments
The list of research topics related to Humans, Computers, and
Interaction we shall be dealing with is (provisionally):
The process of developing
1 Design and evaluation
2 Considering Work Contexts in Design
(3 Development Tools)
Interacting with computers
4 Vision, graphic design, and visual display
5 Touch, gesture and marking
6 Speech, Language and Audition
Psychology and Human Factors
7 Human Information Processing
8 Designing to fit human capabilities
(10 Context and intelligent agents)
This list covers a variety of issues, with a structure following an
important reference: Ronald M Baecker et al: Readings in
Human-Computer Interaction (Toward the Year 2000), Morgan
Kauffman, 1995 (Signatura: QA76.9.H85 R43 1995).
Each student should prepare one of these topics, and present it
during, approximately, 1.5 hours. First of all, the student should
find, with the help of the lecturer, suitable research material, and
then, work on it and prepare and deliver a presentation to the whole
class. If a student is interested in a different topic, which the
lecturer finds appropriate, this is also acceptable. Presentations
from other years could be available to support the preparation.
As indicated earlier, a strong orientation towards users/people is
essential to a good approach to HCI. In this course this is achieved
through a series of assignments,
which make up a lab: Designing and
evaluating an interface prototype:
Assignment 1 - Selection of
topic, and Paper (a.k.a. low-fidelity) prototype
Assignment 2 - Users'
Assignment 3 - Contextual
inquiry and representation
Assignment 4 - Keystroke
Model of Proposed Design
Assignment 5 - Evaluation of
Similar User Interface
Assignment 6 - Interactive
System Design Exercise
Assignment 7 - Design
An optional assignment for this lab is Usage centered design methodology.
Schedule of topics and assignments
Each student will have to:
- Develop completely the lab assignments, which include the written
reports, and oral presentations
- Develop fully one research topic: presentation of the topic, and a
couple of research papers, with a written and oral presentation
- Take part actively in the presentations - having read the summary
of the different research topics
The competencies expected to be achieved by the end of the course
could be classified into general and specific. We provide them
- The students will be expected to be able to introduce themselves
into a research topic, guided by identification of the basic
literature which is grounding the state of the art, and by the
identification of interesting research issues
- The students will be expected to increase their practical
understanding of scientific research methodologies in the aspect of
formulating hypotheses, identifying suitable methods for evaluating
them, and extracting the lessons from evaluation
- The students will be expected to increase their level of
communicating and sharing research activity
As indicated above, a key aspect for the field HCI is an
understanding of the users/people, and this skill is expected to be
achieved trhough the lab assignments. The same assignments will help
students to be performant in the iterative
design-prototype-evaluation process for HCI.
Students will be expected to grasp the interrelated issues of the
field, which deals with Humans, Computers, and Interaction. They
should gain basic understanding of research issues in:
- The process of developing interactive systems, mainly: Design and
evaluation; and Considering Work Contexts in Design
- Interacting with computers, mainly in the aspects of: Vision,
graphic design, and visual display; Touch, gesture and marking; and
Speech, Language and Audition
- Psychology and Human Factors, mainly: Human Information
Processing, and Designing to fit human capabilities
Students should identify and explore a specific other aspect of HCI
which is interesting for their research objectives.
Lab assignments will account for 40% of the overall mark; the
assessment criteria for the assignments are included in the
assignment descriptions. While each assignment will be evaluated
individually, the overall mark will take into account the progress
in the building up of the work, and the final one.
The evaluation of the students' other work (which will account for
60% of the overall mark) will be based on the written reports, oral
presentations, and participation in the debates. The assessment
criteria will be based on the achievements in the skills identified
While it would be an advantage to have followed an
undergraduate course on Human
Computer Interaction (or related topics, such as User Interface Design, Usability Engineering, ...) the
course will be largely self-contained, as it will be providing both
grounding work on HCI and an introduction to major research issues
in the field.
Contact with the lecturer
Preferably by e-mail (josep.blat at upf.edu)
The main source for references on Human Computer Interaction is the
bibliography supplied and maintained by the SIGCHI (Special Interest
Group on Computer-Human Interaction) of the ACM: http://www.hcibib.org
is the link for this bibliography. The link for the SIGCHI is http://sigchi.org/.
The main references for this course are:
Ronald M Baecker et al: Readings in Human-Computer
Interaction (Toward the Year 2000), Morgan Kauffman, 1995
(Signatura: QA76.9.H85 R43 1995). (One can look at the previous Readings
also available at the library, as the interesection of both books is
very litte, Signatura: QA76.9.I58 B34 1987).
Dix, Alan J. et al.: Human-computer
interaction, 3rd edition, Pearson Education, Harlow,
England, 2004 (Signatura: QA76.9.H85 H86 2004).
Jacko, Julie A.; Sears, Andrew, editors: The Human-computer interaction handbook fundamentals,
evolving technologies and emerging applications, Lawrence
Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah, N.J., 2003 (Signatura: QA76.9.H85 H859
Preece, J., et al.: Human-Computer Interaction,
Addison-Wesley, Harlow, England, 1994 (Signatura: QA76.9.H85 P74
Other interesting books are:
Some of the recent Synthesis
Lectures on Human-Centered Informatics
(http://www.morganclaypool.com/toc/hci/4/2); several of them are
available from the UPF library.
Apple Computer Inc.: Macintosh Human Interface Guidelines,
Addison Wesley, Reading, Massachusetts, 1992.
Tim Berners-Lee (with Mark Fischetti): Weaving the Web. The Original Design and Ultimate
Destiny of the World Wide Web by its Inventor, Harper,
San Francisco, 1999.
Hugh Beyer, Karen Holtzblatt: Contextual Design. Defining
Customer-Centered Systems, Morgan Kaufmann, San Francisco,
Stuart K. Card, Thomas P. Moran, Allen Newell: The Psychology
of Human-Computer Interaction, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates
Publishers, Hillsdale, New Jersey, 1983.
John M. Carroll (editor): HCI
models, theories, and frameworks toward a multidisciplinary
science, Morgan Kaufmann, San Francisco, 2003.
Larry L. Constantine, Lucy A. D. Lockwood: Software for use. A
practical guide to the models and methods of Usage-Centered
design, Addison Wesley, Reading, Massachusetts, 1999.
James D Foley, Andries van Dam, Steven K Feiner, John F
Hughes: Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice
(Chapters 8, 9, 10), Addison Wesley Systems Programming Series,
Reading, Massachusetts, 1990.
Mark van Harmelen (edited): Object Modeling and User Interface
Design, Addison-Wesley, Boston, 2001.
Helander, Martin (editor): Handbook
human-computer interaction, 2nd ed, North-Holland,
Jakob Nielsen: Usability Engineering, Academic Press,
Jakob Nielsen: Usabilidad. Diseño de sitios web,
Prentice Hall, Madrid, 2000.
Don A Norman: The Psychology of Everyday Things, Basic
Books, New York, 1988. (published under the name The Design of
Everyday Things too)
Don A Norman: The Invisible Computer (Why Good Products Can
Fail, the Personal Computer Is So Complex and Information
Appliances Are the Solution), The MIT Press, Cambridge,
Jeffrey Rubin: Handbook of Usability Testing. How to plan,
design, and conduct effective tests, John Wiley & Sons,
New York, 1994.
Ben Shneiderman: Designing the User Interface (Strategies for
Human-Computer Interaction), 3rd edition, Addison Wesley,