Foundations of HCI
This module deals with Human-Computer Interraction, and the principles of making software useable
Synopsis of Module
An understanding of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) principles and practice is essential for anyone interested in the design of any sort of computer-based product that will be used directly by people.
HCI is concerned with:
- Understanding how people use computer-based equipment in their everyday and working lives.
- Contributing to the good design of computer-based products so that they are fit for their intended purposes.
In the module we place HCI in the context of product design and in particular interaction design. We introduce you to rlevant thinking and practices within this context.
We do not assume you have studied HCI before. However we do assume:
- that you have used a wide range of computer-based products such as web-sites, application development software, office software, automatic tellers, VCR's, DVD players, computer games, mobile phones etc.
- that in your contact with these products you gained some personal experiences of designs that work well for their users and of those that work less well.
- that you are familiar with basic ideas about "life-cycles" as a way of thinking about the design process.
Aims of Module
- To develop an understanding of the basic theoretical and methodological approaches for the design of effective interactive systems.
- To support practice with a toolkit of core methods, techniques and tools which can be used in a variety of development contexts, depending on the demands of the problem and the resources available.
- To enable students to produce systems which are demonstrably both useful and usable.
Students will be able to:
- Demonstrate an appreciation of the constraints inherent in an interaction design context.
- Justify the choice of an effective interaction concept for a product.
- Demonstrate an understanding of HCI theory and practice through the use of prototyping.
- Justify and apply appropriate evaluation methods for interaction design.
Theme 1: Principles of Human Computer Interaction (50%) Indicative list:
- Origins, sources and drivers for HCI thinking.
- Usability and user experience.
- The significance of tasks and context.
- Models of human behaviour.
- Interaction paradigms and Interface metaphors.
- Emotions in interaction.
- Collaboration and communication.
- Assumptions and rationales in common interaction design guidelines.
- Perspective on the role of the user in the design process.
Theme 2: Practice of Interaction Design (50%) Indicative list:
- Design process models and interaction design processes
- Identifying needs and establishing requirements.
- Task description and analysis.
- Models in design.
- Conceptual design.
- Approaches to Prototyping.
- Prototype design and use.
- Evaluation and testing
- Design rationale.