Skip to Main Content

IS 667 Interaction Design (3 credits)

IS 667: Interaction Design (3 credits)

The course starts by discussing fundamental psychological concepts needed to understand how humans interact with computer systems and how those systems can be better designed to support that interaction. Design and evaluation methods are presented to achieving this goal. This module builds on earlier courses, particularly Systems Analysis and Design (IS634), but adds much more material about how to design for human interaction. These concepts are important for any information system in which human interaction is required.

Interaction design is the practice of designing interactive computer systems and devices. It involves designing for the Web, mobile devices, wearables and other ubiquitous systems as well as laptops, desktops, server and client systems.

Interaction design draws knowledge and skills most strongly from the fields of human-computer interaction and computer supported co-operative work (and their foundational fields, such as computer science, information systems, psychology, anthropology and sociology). It is also informed by aesthetic design disciplines such as graphic design, typography, architecture and computer art.

Interaction design makes use of a wide variety of tools and techniques developed and practiced during the last thirty years. However, many aspects of interaction design and human-computer interaction do not conform to the expectations of an ‘exact science’. To a large extent interaction design involves putting into practice a body of tried and tested knowledge, skills and techniques and then iteratively improving designs through series of user tests. Consequently, unlike some fields there is rarely a right or a wrong design, but as you will discover there are certainly good designs and very poor designs, and designs that are better than other designs. In this course you will develop knowledge, skills and learn a set of techniques, which if used appropriately, will enable you to produce much better human-computer interfaces and user-computer interactions than you could possibly achieve using just your own best judgment. In order to benefit from this course you must therefore be prepared to iteratively refine your best efforts through systematic user testing.

Students must successfully complete IS 634 prior to enrolling for this course.

The course aims to:

  1. Introduce you to the concept of interaction design and teach you the main psychological, sociological, and anthropological knowledge and skills to evaluate and design the interaction components of interactive systems or parts of systems.
  2. Teach you a range of interaction design techniques so that you can design small interactive systems.
  3. Teach you a range of evaluation techniques so that you can confidently and thoroughly evaluate interactive systems and give you experience through project work.
  4. Make you aware of a wide range of interactive systems.
  5. Provide experience and practice in designing and evaluating the interaction component of a system or part of a system.
  6. Provide experience and practice in collaboratively working in a team to design and evaluate a web-based information resource.
  7. Teach you how to use synchronous and asynchronous communication technologies effectively to collaborate and exchange ideas with other students and your instructor.

These seven aims can also be described as behavioral learning objectives as follows. After completing the Interaction Design course you will be able to:

  1. Describe interaction design and discuss the role that psychological, sociological, anthropological knowledge and skills in interaction design.
  2. Perform a range of interaction design techniques.
  3. Confidently perform and report the findings of evaluations using a variety of techniques appropriate for the circumstances.
  4. Describe a wide variety of different kinds of interactive systems.
  5. Design and evaluate the interaction design of a small interactive system or part of a system.
  6. Work collaboratively with others to develop a web-based class resource.
  7. Use synchronous and asynchronous communication technologies to collaborate with others effectively.