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User Interface Design, Prototyping, and Evaluation
CS 160 - Fall 2005

Lecture: Monday & Wednesday, 10:30 - 12:00, 306 Soda

Class Home Page: http://inst.eecs.berkeley.edu/~cs160/fa05/
Class Newsgroup: ucb.class.cs160

Please join the User Interface Design, Prototyping, and Evaluation class (cs160) at UC Berkeley for a poster presentation of the interfaces they have been developing over the semester. The presentation will be held on the 6th floor of the Soda Building on Berkeley Main Campus from 10:40am to 12:00pm on Monday, December 5th. Come see what this new crop of interface designers have developed.


Instructor: Stephen Arnold
(510) 642-9827
Email: cs160 at inst dot eecs dot berkeley dot edu
Office Hours: Monday 1:30 - 2:30 pm & Tuesday 12:00 - 1:00 pm (329 Soda)
GSI: Jingtao Wang
Email: jingtaow at cs dot berkeley dot edu
Office Hours: Monday 3:00 - 4:00 pm & Thursday 4:00 - 5:00 pm (511 Soda Alcove)
Divya Ramachandran
Email: divya at cs dot berkeley dot edu
Office Hours: Tuesday 10:00 - 11:00 am & Thursday 12:00 - 1:00 pm (711 Soda Alcove)
Discussions: Wednesday 4:00 - 5:00 pm, 320 Soda, Divya
Thursday 10:00 - 11:00 pm, 320 Soda, Divya
Thursday 2:00 - 3:00 pm, 405 Soda, Jingtao
Thursday 3:00 - 4:00 pm, 405 Soda, Jingao
  1. Designing the User Interface: Strategies for Effective Human-Computer Interaction, Edition 4 (2004)
    Ben Shneiderman and Catherine Plaisant
    Addison-Wesley (publishers), ISBN: 0-321-19786-0
  2. Task-Centered User Interface Design
    Clayton Lewis and John Rieman
    Available online and in PDF
CS160: previous years

Course Description

CS 160, or Human Computer Interaction, is a class where you will learn to prototype, evaluate, and design a user interface. You will be expected to work with a group of four to five other students in this project-based course. Throughout the course of this project, you will work closely with users.

Aims and Objectives

When you complete this class, you will be able to describe and explain

(1) why good interface design is important
(2) current interface design principles and practices, and
(3) some areas of current resdearch in interface design.
You will be able to perform
(1) an analysis of an interface based on design principles and
(2) the task/user/human design process.


CS160 is concerned with the design, evaluation, a use of applications. In contrast, most of the other classes in Berkeley CS focus on the inner workings of technology. You will make use of technology to develop your applications, but you will not learn about technology in particular. The skills you develop, while not directly relevant to other computer science courses, will be useful wherever you go after Cal.

You will be expected to actively participate in lectures, complete readings ahead of time, and, most importantly, participate equally and fully in your group project. The teaching staff will promptly return graded homework to you, and will be available to provide feedback and help with problems.


CS160 includes both group and individual assignments. Much of the grading in this class is qualitative, including assessments of the quality of your design process, the quality of your designs, evaluations, and prototypes. Grading will be done by the instructor, TA and readers.

Assignments are due at the beginning of class or discussion section. Assignments are to be turned in both on paper and email. The email copy is to be sent to the class account.

If you are not able to be present at the beginning of class, it is your responsibility to make arrangements with the instructor or a TA before the due date to turn in the assignment. You (and your team, if it is a team assignment) will lose 10% of the grade per day late.

The breakdown of grading will be:

Midterm 20%  
Final 25%  
Team Project
Project proposal 4.5% Must be approved before starting next steps
Task analysis & usability goals 4.5%  
Paper prototype 4.5%  
Cognitive Walkthrough 4.5%  
Design Review 4.5% Individual Grade
User Testing 4.5%  
Implementation 4.5%  
Presentation 4.5%  
Poster 4.5%  
Midterm Teammate Evaluations 2.25% Individual Grade
Final Teammate Evaluations 2.25% Individual Grade

In this class, you will work with a team of four or five other students to create a computer interface for a system of your own design. You may work on a sponsored project where your team will work to meet the needs of some sponsor or you may work on a project that your team develops independently.

The project has nine deliverables over the term. For the deliverables not noted as having individual grades, all teammates will receive the same grade. Excellent individual contributions to the team project as noted by your teammates during evaluation will result in a better grade on the team project and poor individual contributions will result in a poorer grade on the team project.

Class Participation
Participation 10%  

Your particpation is a key aspect of your learning experience. At best, passively listening result in remembering answers for the exam and forgetting them soon after. Active participation results in being able to remember and use what you have learned.

In addition to your team project, you have three places where your participation will be evaluated: discussions during lecture, discussion sections, and the class newsgroup. Asking meaningful questions, answering questsions well and thoughtfully, and providing meaningful comments will both help your understanding of the material covered in this class and help your classmates.

You will be expected to bring five 3x5 cards with your name, student id and email address to lecture and discussion section starting the second week. When you make a contribution to the discussion or activities in the lecture or discussion section, you will be asked to turn in one of the cards to a TA or the instructor. (The TAs or instructor may wait until the end of class to collect the cards, so collecting them does not interrupt the discussions).

When you make a contribution to the discussion on the class newsgroup, you will be sent an email from a TA or the instructor thanking you for your contribution.

When the midterm is returned to you, you will also be given a grade for your participation up to this point. At the end of the term, you will be assigned a participation grade based on the number of cards collected and number of emails acknowledging your participation.

New Grade Change Policy

There is a new policy on requesting grade changes this semester. See this document for the procedure and the grade change request form. Grade changes will not be considered unless follow the procedure detailed here.

Class Accounts

You do not need a class account for this course. You do need access to the class newsgroup and website. If you do not have an account that gives you this access, you will need to get one.

We will be glad to provide you with a class account. If you want or need one, please let the TAs know during the discussion section during the second week of classes. They will give you a form containing the information you need for the class accounts.