Informatics 133: User Interaction Software

Fall 2010-2011

Department of Informatics

Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences

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Class Attendance / Participation ~20%
Design Notebook ~20%
Assignments ~30%
Quizzes ~30%

General Philosophy:

I prefer to give many small assignments which build up a picture of overall student learning success rather than to rely on one or two large exams which students may bomb based on non-learning related complications.


At the end of the day, learning is the responsibility of the student. I consider myself someone who points students in the right direction and can/will explain the fundamentals of a subject matter. I can't actually do the work of learning for a student. That takes effort and self-initiative. I will help to provide structure and motivation for that learning, but you also need to learn how to expand on this subject yourself. In a technical field like this, you will be left behind the field in about six months, regardless of how well I present the subject matter, if you can't keep learning on your own.


I like to stop talking periodically and let students ask questions.

Class Attendance:

Class attendance will be determined by completing index cards. The index cards are also a means for me to get feedback about the course.


For each class please write your name on a card, the date, your student ID and a comment about the course.


If you would like to submit an anonymous comment, take an extra card and don't put your name on it.


Design Notebook:

You should begin, starting the first week, a design notebook which may be as simple as blank sheets of paper you carry around in your pocket. On it you should jot down at least one example per week of a user interface success or failure that you encounter and make some notes/sketches about for use in assignments later. Your notebook will be turned in periodically during the class.


I recommend keeping it in hard copy format rather than digitally.


A typical entry should be a page or two.



Several lab assignments will be assigned consisting primarily of self-directed learning tasks.


The goal of the labs will be to give you a chance to familiarize yourself with basic software technologies for modern user interfaces. Rather than producing extensive deliverables the focus is on learning to teach yourself from on-line resources how to build user-interfaces in different technologies. This will hopefully form the basis of being able to create more extensive projects in the future.


Possible topics will include:

* Building a web-based map interface

* Building a multi-touch application

* Building a mobile phone application

* Using a 3D printer



Several quizzes will be assigned covering the assigned readings and discussions in class. The goal of the quizzes is to motivate you to learn the material in the text book and lecture.