Computer Laboratory

Course pages 2012–13


Human-Computer Interaction

Lecturer: Dr A.F. Blackwell

No. of lectures: 8

Suggested hours of supervisions: 2


This course will introduce systematic approaches to the design and analysis of user interfaces.


  • The scope and challenges of HCI and Interaction Design.

  • Visual representation. Segmentation and variables of the display plane. Modes of correspondence.

  • Text and gesture interaction. Evolution of interaction hardware. Measurement and assessment of novel methods.

  • Inference-based approaches. Bayesian strategies for data entry, and programming by example.

  • Augmented reality and tangible user interfaces. Machine vision, fiducial markers, paper interfaces, mixed reality.

  • Usability of programming languages. End-user programming, programming for children, cognitive dimensions of notations.

  • User-centred design research. Contextual observation, prototyping, think-aloud protocols, qualitative data in the design cycle.

  • Usability evaluation methods. Formative and summative methods. Empirical measures. Evaluation of Part II projects.


On completing the course, students should be able to

  • propose design approaches that are suitable to different classes of user and application;

  • identify appropriate techniques for analysis and critique of user interfaces;

  • be able to design and undertake quantitative and qualitative studies in order to improve the design of interactive systems;

  • understand the history and purpose of the features of contemporary user interfaces.

Recommended reading

* Sharp, H., Rogers, Y. & Preece, J. (2007). Interaction design: beyond human-computer interaction. Wiley (2nd ed.).

Further reading:

Carroll, J.M. (ed.) (2003). HCI models, theories and frameworks: toward a multi-disciplinary science. Morgan Kaufmann.
Cairns, P. & Cox, A. (eds.) (2008). Research methods for human-computer interaction. Cambridge University Press.