CS 565, Spring 2020
Human-Computer Interaction

School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Oregon State University

Mon & Wed at 12:00 - 1:50pm
KEC 1001 Zoom

Prof. Minsuk Kahng
Assistant Professor, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: https://minsuk.com

Course Description

In this class, you will learn basic principles of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), including how to design and prototype user interfaces and interactive systems, based on the needs of users, and how to evaluate such interfaces and systems rigorously.

Learning Objectives

At the completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Describe HCI design processes.
  2. Describe basics of human subjects research.
  3. Design a user interface based on analysis of human capabilities and needs, and prepare a prototype system.
  4. Evaluate user interfaces using a variety of HCI research methods.
  5. Make an oral presentation that justifies design decisions.

How the course will be conducted

CS 565 is a hands-on course. You'll be expected to actively participate in projects, activities, and discussion. A significant portion of the class will be devoted to a team project (~4-person groups). Each team will design, prototype, and evaluate user interfaces.

Because of this highly interactive nature, we cannot easily transform every component of the class into online. Therefore, instead, we will use a "flipped classroom" model for this term. We will still meet at our scheduled class time via Zoom, but you will do readings and watch videos before the class, and during the class time, we will be doing in-class activities and project working sessions with your teammates.

It is mandatory to attend classes. The in-class activities will be counted towards your final grade, and the project working sessions will be crucial for working on your project deliverables. If you have concerns with this, please complete this survey as soon as possible. We may be able to find alternative ways for you, depending on your and your classmates' situations, but please understand that we won't accommodate every case.


Your performance will be evaluated via group projects, individual assignments, nano-quizzes, and active participation. There is no exams. Weights will be as follows (subject to change):

  • Group Project: 55%
  • Individual Assignments: 20%
  • Nano-Quizes: 10%
  • Participation (including, in-class activities, peer feedback): 15%

Note: The team receives one grade for the group project. However, allocation of the grade among team members will in some cases not be equal, if team members do not contribute relatively equally to the effort.


There is one required material, though it's not a usual textbook: The following textbooks will be used for our pre-class readings, but you don't have to buy them:

Announcements and Questions

We use Canvas for all announcements and submission of projects and assignments, but not for questions.

We use Piazza for questions and discussion. The fastest way to get help with homework assignments is to post your questions on Piazza. That way, our TAs and instructor can help, and your peers can too.

If you prefer that your question addresses to only our TAs and the instructor, you can use the private post feature (i.e., check the "Individual Students(s) / Instructors(s)" radio box). For special cases such as failed submissions due to system errors, missing grades, failed file uploads, emergencies that prevent you from submitting, personal issues, you can contact the staff using a private Piazza post. Emails will not be the fastest way to get response from the staff. Please use Piazza first.

TA & Office Hours

Your TA:

Alexandria LeClerc
PhD Student
[email protected]
Office Hours TBA

The instructor and TA will hold office hours starting Week 2. We will hold office hours via Zoom. Please note that you are always welcome to ask questions on Piazza.

Course Schedule Tentative: Check Canvas for up-to-date schedule

Wk Date Topic Assignments
1 Mon, Mar 30 Introduction 1: Course Introduction * Survey
Wed, Apr 1 Introduction 2: Design Process * HW 1: Project Ideas
(due Fri, 4/3)
2 Mon, Apr 6 Needfinding 1: Observation * Project Bid (due Mon, 4/6)
Wed, Apr 8 Needfinding 2: Interviews * HW 2: Paper Critique (1)
3 Mon, Apr 13 Needfinding 3: User Data Analysis * Project 1: Proposal
Wed, Apr 15 Human Capabilities 1: Memory * HW 3: IRB
4 Mon, Apr 20 Human Capabilities 2: Perception * Project 2: User Research
Wed, Apr 22 Prototyping 1: Concepts * HW 4: Hall of Fame/Shame
5 Mon, Apr 27 Prototyping 2: Low-Fi Prototyping
Wed, Apr 29 Evaluation 1: Analytical Evaluation * Project 3: Early Prototype
6 Mon, May 4 Project Mid-term Presentations
Wed, May 6 Evaluation 2: Analytical Eval. (cont'd) * HW 5: Heuristic Evaluation
7 Mon, May 11 Prototyping 3: Visual and Interaction Design * Project 5: TBD
Wed, May 13 Prototyping 4: Information Visualization * HW 6: Paper Critique (2)
8 Mon, May 18 Evaluation 3: Empirical Studies * Project 6: Empirical Study Plan
Wed, May 20 Evaluation 4: Empirical Study Analysis
9 Mon, May 25 No Class: Memorial Day * Project 7: Empirical Study
Wed, May 27 TBD
10 Mon, June 1 Project Final Presentation
Wed, June 3 Project Final Presentation * Project 8: Final Report
11   No Final Exam

Group Project

Your mission is to design a substantial user interface, carefully and thoroughly following the methods and principles from CS 565. Guide your efforts by following the PRICPE process we will cover in the class.

Project Theme

This year's project theme will be "Designing for AI"! With the rapid advances in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI), AI-powered products and applications are now entering our daily lives. However, these AI-enabled products require careful design processes that are not needed for non-AI-enabled applications, especially because of the uncertain nature of AI. Even a highly accurate model produces wrong predictions. Carelessly designed process can generate serious usability problems (e.g., what if Siri repeatedly misunderstands your speech and there is no way to fix it; what if a self-driving car misclassifies a person as a static object), or even societal problems (e.g., a conversational agent uses often offensive words to certain population).

You, with your teammates, will design a user interface for applications or tools that involve AI. Any ideas are welcome, as well as it has a sizeable user interface component, and you have a way to observe/interview potential users (i.e., you can't design user interfaces for doctors without observing or talking to them). You can create a user interface for a novel application that uses AI. You can also pick an existing product (e.g., Alexa, YouTube) and how you can improve their user interfaces for certain populations (e.g., people with hearing difficulties) or focus on specific aspects (e.g., explainability). It's also strongly encouraged to choose a topic that is relevant to your research.

More examples include:

  • Designing video editing software that lets YouTube creators perform editing via voice
  • Designing an email writing assistant plugin for non-native speakers
  • Adding a feature to Netflix that tells you why it thinks you like its recommended movies
  • Designing a self-driving car that asks for your preference among multiple possible routes
  • Designing a video search engine for reporters to find specific video clips
  • Designing a new application that recognizes and describes scene to low-vision people
  • Redesigning a computational notebook interface for data scientists
  • Designing an interface (or educational software) for non-CS major students to build machine learning models

Programming is not required for this project. Your goal is not to develop machine learning algorithms. Your main objective is to design and prototype user interfaces based on users' needs.

Your team will submit the following deliverables throughout the term (subject to change). These will help you successfully complete the project by following the HCI design process.
  • Project 1: Proposal [5%]
  • Project 2: User Research [7.5%]
  • Project 3: Early Prototype [5%]
  • Project 4: Mid-Term Presentation [2.5%]
  • Project 5: Mid-Fidelity Prototype [2.5%]
  • Project 6: Evaluation Plan [2.5%]
  • Project 7: Evaluation [10%]
  • Project 8: Final Outcome [20%]


We have 6 assignments in total (subject to change). The instructions for the assignments will be posted on Canvas. See the schedule table above for due dates.
  • HW 1: Project Ideas [3%]
  • HW 2/5: Paper Critiques (2) [7%]
  • HW 3: IRB [2%]
  • HW 4: Hall of Fame/Shame [3%]
  • HW 6: Heuristic Evaluation [5%]

Classroom Policies

This class is our community. Every student should feel safe and welcome to contribute in this course, and it is all of our jobs to make sure this is the case. I will try to establish this tone whenever possible, but ultimately the responsibility for cultivating a safe and welcoming community belongs to the students---that means you! Fortunately, forming a safe and welcoming community is not too hard. A good place to start is to recognize (and continually remind yourself) of the following facts:

  • Your classmates come from a variety of cultural, economic, and educational backgrounds. Something that is obvious to you may not be obvious to them, and vice versa.
  • Your classmates are human beings with intelligence and emotions. This applies even when one or the other of you is posting anonymously. Rudeness and disrespect are unprofessional, and have no place in this course or in your career.
  • Your classmates are here to learn. They have the right to pursue their education without being distracted by others' disruptive behavior, or made uncomfortable by inappropriate jokes or unwanted sexual interest.

In addition, the OSU Expectations for Student Conduct apply.

In short, treat your classmates as respected colleagues, support each other when needed, have fun without spoiling it for anyone else, and everybody wins.

Students with Disabilities

Accommodations for students with disabilities are determined and approved by Disability Access Services (DAS). If you, as a student, believe you are eligible for accommodations but have not obtained approval please contact DAS immediately at 541-737-4098 or at http://ds.oregonstate.edu. DAS notifies students and faculty members of approved academic accommodations and coordinates implementation of those accommodations. While not required, students and faculty members are encouraged to discuss details of the implementation of individual accommodations.

Previous Offerings

CS 565 had been taught by Prof. Margaret Burnett, and this year's course is largely adapted from the last year's offering by her.