CSIS 330 Human–Computer Interactions

Course Description

An introduction to the principles and methods used to design effective interfaces for users. A basic precept of human-computer interactions (HCI) is that users should be enabled to focus on achieving their goals, rather than forced to deal with the intricacies of complex software and features. The course provides an overview of human perception and cognition with respect to hardware and software interfaces, and emphasizes a human-centered design approach to crafting goal-oriented interfaces based on detailed personae development, comprehensive user stories, storyboarding, design sketches, and low- and high-fidelity functional prototypes. Students will apply principles learned in the course to design, construct, and evaluate various types of interfaces. The course provides a balance of theoretical and applied knowledge in an oft-neglected aspect of software development, giving students experience not typically provided by other courses in computer science.


Brian R. Snider
Office hours: Wood-Mar 223 (see schedule)





The goals of this course are to provide theoretical knowledge of how humans perceive and interact with computers and to provide an opportunity to design, implement, and evaluate user interfaces based on that knowledge. A significant portion of this class is theory-based; however, there are multiple design projects during the semester that students will complete in small groups.

Course Organization

Attendance and participation are critical in this course. This course requires hands-on work in class.

The course will include regular homework and/or programming assignments. There will be no credit given for late assignments (without an excused absence)—turn in as much as you can. Unless otherwise specified, no handwritten work will be accepted.

Reading should be completed before the lecture covering the material per the provided schedule. Not all reading material will be covered in the lectures, but you will be responsible for the material on homework and exams. Quizzes over the assigned reading may be given at any time.

Collaboration and Academic Integrity

See the GFU CS/IS/Cyber policies for collaboration and discussion of collaboration and academic integrity. Most students would be surprised at how easy it is to detect collaboration or other academic integrity violations such as plagiarism in programming—please do not test us! Remember: you always have willing and legal collaborators in the faculty. We encourage you to ask questions in class, ask for help in the CS lab, use the class mailing list, and visit office hours for assistance.

Unless otherwise specified (e.g., for a group assignment or project), you are expected to do your own work. This also applies to the use of online resources (e.g., StackOverflow, ChatGPT). Put simply: if you are representing someone else's work as your own, you are being dishonest. Any suspected incidents of academic integrity violations will be investigated and reported to the Academic Affairs Office as they arise.

Almost all of life is filled with collaboration (i.e., people working together). Yet in our academic system, we artificially limit collaboration. These limits are designed to force you to learn fundamental principles and build specific skills. It is very artificial, and you'll find that collaboration is a valuable skill in the working world. While some of you may be tempted to collaborate too much, others will collaborate too little. When appropriate, it's a good idea to make use of others—the purpose here is to learn. Be sure to make the most of this opportunity but do it earnestly and with integrity.

University Resources

Accessibility and Disability

If you have specific physical, psychiatric, or learning disabilities and require accommodations, please contact Disability & Accessibility Services (DAS) as early as possible so that your learning needs can be appropriately met. For more information, go to georgefox.edu/das or contact das@georgefox.edu).

My desire as a professor is for this course to be welcoming to, accessible to, and usable by everyone, including students who are English-language learners, have a variety of learning styles, have disabilities, or are new to online learning systems. Be sure to let me know immediately if you encounter a required element or resource in the course that is not accessible to you. Also, let me know of changes I can make to the course so that it is more welcoming to, accessible to, or usable by students who take this course in the future.

Academic Resource Center

The Academic Resource Center (ARC) on the Newberg campus provides all undergraduate students with free writing consultation, academic coaching, and learning strategy review (e.g., techniques to improve reading, note-taking, study, time management). The ARC offers in-person appointments; if necessary, Zoom appointments can be arranged by request. The ARC, located on the first floor of the Murdock Library, is open from 1:00–10:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 12:00–4:00 p.m. on Friday. To schedule an appointment, go to the online schedule at traccloud.georgefox.edu, call 503-554-2327, email the_arc@georgefox.edu, or stop by the ARC. Visit arc.georgefox.edu for information about ARC Consultants' areas of study, instructions for scheduling an appointment, learning tips, and a list of other tutoring options on campus.

Student Support Network

George Fox University uses a robust referral and support system, Fox360, to learn about students who are experiencing various student success concerns. Students who are referred by a professor, other employee, or fellow student will be contacted by a member of our Student Support Network to explore the student's situation, develop a plan, and connect with relevant campus resources. GFU community members who have a concern about a student's well-being can submit an aleart by going to fox360.georgefox.edu. Our goal is to provide 360° care for students as they navigate their college experience. For more information see ssn.georgefox.edu or contact Rick Muthiah, Director of Learning Support Services.

Health and Safety Considerations

Please review the entirety of the university's official COVID-19 web page for the most up-to-date community guidance.


Grading Scale

The final course grade will be based on:

Graded course activities will be posted to Canvas. Take care to read the specifications carefully and proceed as directed. Failure to pay attention to detail will often result in few to zero points being awarded on a given activity.

Grades will be updated as often as possible; you are encouraged to use the "What-If" functionality to calculate your total grade by entering hypothetical scores for various items.

Tentative Schedule

Week 1 · 1/10


Week 1 · 1/12

Principles of Interaction

Week 2 · 1/17


Norman: Ch. 1

Week 2 · 1/19

User, Task, and Domain Analysis

Week 3 · 1/24

Cognition, Emotion, and Conceptual Models

Norman: Ch. 2

Week 3 · 1/26

Sketching and Storyboarding

Week 4 · 1/31

Knowledge, Memory, and Mapping

Norman: Ch. 3

Week 4 · 2/2

Design Patterns

Week 5 · 2/7

Constraints, Discoverabililty, and Feedback

Norman: Ch. 4

Week 5 · 2/9

Design Guidelines

Week 6 · 2/14

Human Error and Design Failure

Norman: Ch. 5

Week 6 · 2/16


Week 7 · 2/21


Krishna: Ch. 1–2

Week 7 · 2/23

Midterm exam

Week 8 · 2/28

Human-Centered Design

Norman: Ch. 6
Krishna: Ch. 3

Week 8 · 3/2

Universal Design

Week 9 · 3/7

Interaction Styles and Techniques

Norman: Ch. 7
Krishna: Ch. 4–5

Week 9 · 3/9

Visual Perception

Week 10 · 3/14

Processing Models

Krishna: Ch. 6–8

Week 10 · 3/16

Predictive Evaluation

Week 11 · 3/21

Research Methods

Krishna: Ch. 9–10

Week 11 · 3/23

Hypothesis Formulation and Testing

Week 12 · 3/27–3/31

Spring break—no classes

Week 13 · 4/4

Emerging Interaction Types

Krishna: Ch. 11–15

Week 13 · 4/6

Project Proposals

Week 14 · 4/11, 4/13

Project Work

Krishna: Ch. 16–18

Week 15 · 4/18, 4/20

Project Presentations

Krishna: Ch. 19–21

Week 16 · TBD

Final exam

Norman: *
Krishna: *

This page was last modified on 2023-02-22 at 19:14:37.

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