This course describes the characteristics of interaction between humans and computers and demonstrates techniques for the evaluation of user-centered systems. We will review the state of the art in popular consumer technologies and research prototypes, and explore theoretical and empirical approaches to designing and evaluating interactive systems. This class will include a mix of lectures, hands-on in-class activities and group discussions focused on class readings.

Teaching Staff

Lauren Wilcox, PhD Assistant Professor Office Hours: Mon 3:30PM-4:30PM, 345 TSRB
Brianna Tomlinson PhD Student (HCC) Office Hours: By appointment
Yunnuo Cheng MS-HCI Student Office Hours: By appointment

No required text books.

These books are optional:
  • Elizabeth Goodman, Mike Kuniavsky, Andrea Moed. Observing the User Experience, A Practitioner’s Guide to User Research
    2nd Ed., ISBN: 978-0123848697.
  • Don Norman. The Design of Everyday Things 2nd Ed., ISBN: 978-0465050659.
  • Jeff Johnson. Designing with the Mind in Mind 2nd Ed., ISBN: 978-0124079144
  • Jonathan Lazar, Jinjuan Heidi Feng, Harry Hochheiser. Research Methods in Human-Computer Interaction ISBN:978-0470723371
Required readings/media viewing will be posted as PDFs on the class web site and/or on T-Square. It is the responsibility of the students to obtain and read the material. The material in these readings may be included on evaluations in the class.


The class will mix lectures with class discussion and participation, in-class activities, and “report-backs” from homework assignments (e.g., what happened when you tried to do thing X with device Y). All readings and other preparation should be finished well before class so that we can intelligently review and discuss them.

Rules of the Game

You are responsible for all material covered in class. You are also responsible for all the assigned reading (including changes or additions announced in class). If you miss a class, please talk to someone who attended. (Copies of each class’s slides will be linked to the schedule.) Course material will be found on the web through T-Square , and the assignments will be linked through
Do not email the professor to ask how to make up a class that you missed. It is not the professor’s responsibility to catch you up–it is your responsibility to prioritize your attendance and work in this class.
In the case of a family or health emergency, arrangements can be made to accommodate your absence. In these rare and truly extenuating circumstances, you should let the professor know as soon as possible, so that arrangements can be made. Documentation will be needed in these situations in order for the teaching staff to accommodate absences or late submission of work. Other personal reasons for missing class or work, including job interviews, will not be accommodated. Now, please go back and read this section again!

Submission Policy

Each assignment should be submitted electronically through T-Square, before the beginning of the class on the day the assignment is due. If you don’t submit a homework assignment on time, the following lateness policy applies.

Lateness Policy

The discussion, class activities, and presentation portions of your work cannot be late (they happen during a scheduled class). For in-class homework, “make-ups” will not be possible. However, for Homework and Project deliverables, your grade for late work will be docked by 10% for each day that it is late. After three days, late work will not be accepted.
Exceptions to the policy can be made in the event of documented personal illness and family emergencies. Such exceptions will require that the teaching staff be consulted well before the deadline.

Academic Honesty

Please make sure that you’ve read the Georgia Tech Honor Code. Collaboration on any assignment (except as an approved part of group projects) is strictly prohibited. Cases of suspected inappropriate collaboration or cheating will be immediately reported to the Dean of Student Affairs, and will be pursued to resolution.

Courtesy to Fellow Students and Teaching Staff

You can do some simple things to help the class run smoothly. Please turn cellphones and other mobile devices off before coming to class. Do not leave early unless we discuss this first. I also prefer that you take written notes and leave laptops closed during lectures and class discussions. Finally, please do not hold private conversations during class.


The final grade is calculated based on a 1000-point maximum. The tables below describe how these points (and corresponding percentages) are allocated. Three scenarios are included to illustrate concretely how grading works. In “borderline cases” (e.g., your grade is within a percentage point of the minimum needed for the next highest letter grade) I will round up. If needed (e.g., an assignment was not effective) extra credit may be offered. Points associated with EC would add to your earned points while keeping the 1000-point maximum for calculating final grades.
Participation 20% 200 Points
Homework 25% 250 Points
Project 55% 550 Points (See table below)

No exams.

Project Grading (percentage of course grade)

P1: User Research 10% 100 Points
P2: Design Alternatives 10% 100 Points
P3: Prototype Creation 10% 100 Points
P4: Evaluation and Report 25% 250 Points

Rough Guide to Calculating Final Grades

90–100% (900–1000 points) A
80–89% (800–899 points) B
70–79% (700–799 points) C
60–69% (600–699 points) D
<60% (Fewer than 600 points) Not passing


Scenario 1: You got 90% on each of the four parts of the project (for 360 total points), 90% of the points on each homework (for 360 total points) and 88% on your participation (for 176 points). Out of 1000 points, you’ve earned 896. From 89.6%, I round up to 90%, which means that you have earned a course grade of ‘A’.
Scenario 2: You got a full 100% on each of the three parts of the project (for 400 total points), 93% of the points on each homework (for 372 total points) However, you did not participate in class. Out of 1000, you’ve earned 772 (77.2%) for a course grade of ’C’.
Scenario 3: You have earned an average of 82% on the project (for 328 total points), 80% on homework (for 320 total points). Your class participation is 85% (for 170 points). Out of 1000, you’ve earned 818 points (81.8%) for a course grade of ’B’.
Scenario 3 with EC: You have a total of 818 points from required coursework. However, you have also completed an extra credit assignment worth 65 points. This EC raises your total points to 883 (88.3%) and your course grade remains a ‘B’.