Home | Lectures | Sections | Assignments | Projects |News & Chat

User Interface Design, Prototyping, and Evaluation
CS 160 - Spring 2007

Lecture: Monday & Wednesday, 9:00 - 10:30, 306 Soda

Class Home Page: http://inst.eecs.berkeley.edu/~cs160/sp07/
Class Newsgroup: ucb.class.cs160



Company contacts for interships or full time possitions available online.

Grade distrubution available online.



Instructor: Stephen Arnold
(510) 642-9827
Email: cs160 at inst dot eecs dot berkeley dot edu
Office Hours: Monday 10:45 - 11:45 pm & Tuesday 10:45 - 11:45pm (329 Soda)
Office Location: Cory 239

David Sun
Email: avidsun at cs dot berkeley dot edu
Office Hours: Wed 4:00-5:00p.m; Fri 2:00-3:00p.m (or by appointment)
Office Location: Berkeley Institute of Design, 354 Hearst Memorial Mining (building behind cory)

Discussions: Tuesday 11:00 -12:00 pm, 3:00 - 4:00 pm, 320 Soda
  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 practice 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.


The main focus is of CS160 is a process for designing, prototyping, and evaluating interfaces.  This class significantly differs from most other classes in Berkeley CS that focus on the inner workings of technology. As part of this process you will make use of technology to develop your applications, but you will not be instructed in a specific technology. 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 before the lecture related to the readings, and, most importantly, participate equally and fully in your team project. The teaching staff will promptly return graded homework to you, and will be available to provide feedback and help with problems.


CS160 includes team assignments and exams. 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.

Outstanding performance on the project can result in your grade being curved upward. Your grade may be curved downward if you significantly under-perform on project related assignments.

The breakdown of grading will be:

Midterm 20%  
Final 20% The final is cumulative

You need to bring an 8.5’’ by 11’’ blue book to both the midterm and final.

Individual Assignment
This interaction annoys me 5%  
Team Project

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 will result in a better grade on the team project and poor individual contributions will result in poorer grade on the team project.

You must meet the minimum requirements for completing each assignment. Failing to do so can result in you total project grade being curved downward in addition to a failing grade on the specific assignment.

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
Class Participation

Your participation is a key aspect of your learning experience. At best, passively listening results 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 questions well and thoughtfully, and providing meaningful comments will both help your understanding of the material covered in this class and help your classmates.

When you make a contribution to the discussions 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.

Participation 10%  


If you wish to get a recommendation for a job or graduate school from me, you must both do well in the class and make yourself known to me in a positive way. Making yourself know to me in a positive way normally includes stopping by during office hours to discuss aspects of your team project and other class related topics.

Grade Change Policy

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

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. They will give you a form containing the information you need for the class accounts.