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Department of Computer Science and Technology


Course pages 2021–22

Further Human–Computer Interaction

Principal lecturers: Prof Alan Blackwell, Dr Luke Church
Taken by: Part IB CST, Part II CST 50%
Term: Lent
Hours: 8
Format: In-person lectures
Suggested hours of supervisions: 2
Prerequisites: Interaction Design
This course is a prerequisite for: Interaction with Machine Learning
Exam: Paper 7 Question 8, 9
Past exam questions, timetable


This aim of this course is to provide an introduction to the theoretical foundations of Human Computer Interaction, and an understanding of how these can be applied to the design of complex technologies.


  • Theory driven approaches to HCI. What is a theory in HCI? Why take a theory driven approach to HCI?
  • Design of visual displays. Segmentation and variables of the display plane. Modes of correspondence.
  • Goal-oriented interaction. Using cognitive theories of planning, learning and understanding to understand user behaviour, and what they find hard.
  • Designing smart systems. Using statistical methods to anticipate user needs and actions with Bayesian strategies.
  • Designing efficient systems. Measuring and optimising human performance through quantitative experimental methods.
  • Designing meaningful systems. Qualitative research methods to understand social context and requirements of user experience.
  • Evaluating interactive system designs. Approaches to evaluation in systems research and engineering, including Part II Projects.
  • Designing complex systems. Worked case studies of applying the theories to a hard HCI problem. Research directions in HCI.


At the end of the course students should be able to apply theories of human performance and cognition to system design, including selection of appropriate techniques to analyse, observe and improve the usability of a wide range of technologies.

Recommended reading

* Preece, J., Sharp, H. and Rogers, Y. (2015). Interaction design: beyond human-computer interaction. Wiley (Currently in 4th edition, but earlier editions will suffice).

Further reading:

Carroll, J.M. (ed.) (2003). HCI models, theories and frameworks: toward a multi-disciplinary science. Morgan Kaufmann.