HCI Links

Jacob Nielsen's UseIt

Bad Designs

Apple Human Interface Guidelines


Sydney Usability Professionals' Association


Human Computer Interaction (HCI) is an introductory course that provides many insights into the design processes surrounding the development of systems for use by people. To design for people you must understand what people are capable of in terms of perception and their cognitive ability. In order to develop systems for people, people are needed as part of the design processes. It seems pretty obvious, but is surprising how this is so often forgotten. How many times have you used real users in your assignment work? All of these processes need to fit back into a engineering development life cycle.



Please use this address for all administrative enquiries. For help with course content, please first look in the forums in moodle, and otherwise contact your tutor or the class email above.

Lecture Time Slot: Tuesday 3-6pm

Where: Rex Vowels Theatre in Electrical Engineering Bldg (F17)

Tutorial / Laboratory: 2 hours per week in CHIL Mac Lab (G13-K17), Weeks 2-13

Lecturer in Charge: Nadine Marcus

Course Outline 2017, v1.1

COMP3511 Moodle Site

Class Actitivities

In 2017 we continue some initiatives to try and make things more interesting. We have moved the lecture time earlier in the day as many students have complained about not being able to concentrate during the nighttime slot. But part of that change has to be supported by what you do as students in preparing for lecture class and keeping up with the lecture content. Those enrolled in the webstream and who listen to lectures online, need to ensure they do this in advance of their weekly tutorials. You will need to come prepared to tutorials to show the work due for that week and be able to discuss the issues in class.

Computing is definitely changing especially in the innovations in mobility and interactivity. These concepts have the potential to change the way we work and play. Our assignments will ask you to incorporate some of these concepts into your design solutions.

Designing assignments is a balance between practical design work and being able to critique the design outcomes and methodology.

Tutorials form an important part of learning and assessment. Some assignment activities conducted in a supervised and collaborative manner in tutorial time slots. You will also work through practical exercises that help you develop your skills in the user centred design process. Tutorials are also an opportunity to gain feedback from your tutor.

There will both individual and group assignments. The group assignment is one major design that spans the entire course requiring several iterations of a paper prototype. Group size is typically 3 or 4 people. Individual assignments are a mixture of essays and design critiques. We ask you to think critically about the design of the user experience.

There are different tasks and assignment contexts for postgraduates. Postgraduate and undergraduate will need to form groups in their tutorials based on their enrollment stream.

Essential Equipment

An unruled A4 design diary is a mandatory piece of equipment for the course. It will contain design sketches and conceptualisation for all your work in this course. This will contain exercises that will be given in lectures and followed up in tutorials. You will also use the design diary for your assignment concept work and it will show evidence of your work and when it was completed. Each page must be dated. Design diary will be assessed.

Text Books and Readings

There are many good books on HCI you will be able to find these books for sale in the UNSW bookshop and the library has copies of these books. There will be a reader containing additional course readings.

Also see the library MyCourse site for COMP3511 or COMP9511 for library copies and additional on-line readings.

Prescribed Text - COMP3511/9511

Preece, Rogers and Sharp (2015), 4th ed. Interaction Design: Beyond Human Computer Interaction, John Wiley.

Highly Recommended References

A. Cooper, The inmates are running the asylum, Indianapolis: Sams, 2004.

Buxton (2007),Sketching User Experiences: Getting the Design Right and the Right Design, Morgan Kaufmann.

Goodwin (2009), Designing for the Digital Age, John Wiley.

Nielsen (1993), Usability Engineering, Morgan Kaufmann.

Rubin(1994 or 2008) Handbook of Usability Testing, John Wiley Publishing.

D. A. Norman, The design of everyday things, 1st Basic paperback. ed. New York: Basic Books, 2002. (other publishers and editions are available).

C. Snyder, Paper prototyping : the fast and easy way to design and refine user interfaces. San Francisco, Calif.: Morgan Kaufmann, 2003.

Highly Recommended - COMP4511 (follow on course) Text

A. Cooper, R. Reimann, and D. Cronin, About face 3 : the essentials of interaction design, 3rd. ed. Indianapolis, IN: Wiley Pub., 2007.

COMP4511 User Interface Design and Development

The COMP4511 follow-on course will be run in Semester 1, 2018. The course will be a project-based course designed to build on the basic skills acquired in COMP3511 or COMP9511. You must achieve at least a mark of 70 in COMP3511 as a pre-requisite for enrolment in COMP4511.