MSc / MRes AISD course 2007

Alan Dix and Corina Sas

email: ,



things happen ...
group assignment plus Corina's slides about it
MSc individual assignment (coming ...)
MRes individual work on web2.0 usability research to be discussed later ...
  • early draft of groupwork due end of week 4.
  • MSc/MRes first part (group report) due 12pm (noon) Monday week 6, 12th Nov.
  • MSc second part (individual critique) due ??pm (prob. 3pm please check) Friday week 10, 14th Dec.
  • plus demo ... maybe week 10 or in Jan - we will mail
in all cases electronic copy to submission folder plus paper copy to Krista in CS
please Cc: electronic copies to Alan and Corina.

for the group assignment web pages, please can you put these into a ZIP archive or onto CD for Corina and I, so that we can view them on our machines. Also NOTE: use relative URLs in links so that the pages can be viewed and be careful of capitalisation in URLs so that the links work when put on a UNIX or MacOS machine (Windows ignores case which causes all sorts of Web related errors).

each year we mean to put these up as a gallary for the previous year and keep forgetting. Please let us know if you are happy for us to do this with your group web pages for next year.

for groupwork see CHI2008 student design competition and associated guidance. For more information, look on campagining websites such as shelter (e.g. Steven's story). Quick web search found some very varied stories on BBC site and a lady who blogs while sleeping in a car.

the alarm demo shows you a partial prototype of a nuclear alarm scenario. Look at this as an example of the kind of thing you may want to implement for MSc individual work.


general resources
try the search engine for the HCI book ... sorry only second edition available yet :-(
there are also chapter-by-chapter links
and you can look at previous year's courses for 2000/2001, 2001/2002, 2002/2003, 2003/2004, 2004/2005, 2005/2006 and 2006/2007
examples, mini case studies, ...
see the HCI book online! materials for various case studies, examples etc.
if we talked through an example in class and it doesn't appear here, please tell us and we'll write something down and add it here.

day 1

see intro slides (PDF, 248K)
see Introduction in HCI book and also see Alan's short tutorial article for Assembly Automation
the term "form (ever) follows function" was coined by Louis Sullivan and was one of the drivers behind the work of his student Frank Lloyd Wright
the Electrolux Screenfridge an example of an internet appliance
design and scenarios
chapter 5, sections 5.2 to 5.5
download chapter 5 slides (PDF, 611K)
see hcibook online! on cultural probes
see power plant scenario (high level) and phone scenario (low level)
aQtive technical documentation for onCue - uses rich scenario for describing architecture
not in HCI book ... yet!
 see paper from HCI2007 conference
 download slides

day 2

human perception
see chapter 1 of HCI Book
download slides
colour - slides about colour (PDF, 142K) - not used this year
lots about colour theory at
listen to audtory illusions at Illusion Forum and Kyushu Institute of Design
task analysis
focused on Hierarchical Task Analysis (HTA)
see chapter 15, section 15.3
download extract of chapter 15 slides (PDF, 245K)
plus extra slides prodcued in lecture
also of course Diaper and Stanton task analysis collection.
rich work ecologies
see chapter 18, section 18.3
download extract of chapter 18 slides on rich work ecologies (PDF, 382K)
this was based on a keynote "Managing the Ecology of Interaction" that Alan did at the Tamodia conference in 2002
there is a whole chapter on triggers in Diaper and Stanton

day 3

human memory and cognition

see chapter 1 again
download slides
see also alan's essay about brain capacity!

Getting it Used!
designing for adoption (about value) slides (PDF, 91K)
draft sections for next edition of HCI book on adoption (PDF, 56K) - note this is a draft, lots of incomplete references etc.
designing for value, the timetabling example (PDF, 39K)
the e3/online case study 'hcibook search - designing value' includes a link to the "lattice of value" about designing complimentary products to encourage market growth
related to this is an article I wrote for "interfaces" magazine artefact + marketing = product

day 4

harnessing the power of formalism for understanding interaction
see also my chapter Upside down As and algorithms - computational formalisms and theory in Carroll's collection
download slides (PDF, 1.59M)
modelling state - looking within
never did real equations this year
see chapter 17
download slides (PDF, 70K)
UI architectures
see chapter 8, section 8.3, 8.4, 8.5
download extract of chapter 8 slides (PDF, 299K) for Seeheim, MVC etc.
see chapter 9 of HCI Book
download slides 1 and slides 2

day 5

ethnography (John Rooksby)
download slides on ethnography and development (PDF, 1.4Mb)
other materials in team-ethno online, Patterns of Interaction and slides (160K) from a previous year (David Martin)
look for papers by Rooksby, Rouncefield, Hughes, Clarke and Martin in Lancaster online publications
see chapter 13 for a little bit about ethnography (section 13.3.5) and other socio-technical approaches
web architectures
see chapter 21, section 21.6
download extract of chap 21 slides on web architecture (PDF, 176K)
server-side programming in PHP - introductory tutorial
web form - testing and experimenting with web forms
examples (use view source to see code) ...
dancing histograms - Java applet using data embedded into the page
(also described in a paper 'starting simple' given at AVI'98)
coin race - client-side JavaScript
Professor Alan's square - JavaScript for puzzle
JS also to enable 'syndicated content' (use view source on my home page)
make your own pages use server-side CGI scripts written in PHP
Query-by-Browsing - uses PHP generated pages accessing a MySQL database
the 'heavy' computation is written in C and called from the PHP
Snip!t - PHP backend with little bits of AJAX
see also Alan's chapter Network-Based Interaction in the Jacko and Seers handbook
experience and fun :-)
see chapter 3, section 3.9
also e3/online case study: 'absolutely crackers'
download slides (PDF, 104K)
send a virtual cracker!
see my chapter in the funology book about crackers and other aspects of experience design!


Human-Computer Interaction third edition. A. Dix, J. Finlay, G. Abowd and R. Beale. Prentice Hall, 2004.
Main course text. Referred to simply as 'HCI' above. Book website at includes some web links and also a full on-line search facility for the book.
Interaction Design, J. Preece, Y. Rogers and H. Sharp. Wiley, 2002
The successor to the original Preece et al. (see below) The OU had the copyright to the original Preece, but by the time a second edition was due, Jenny and Co. had left the OU. The author team weren't allowed to compete, so they produced a slightly different kind of book!
Designing the User Interface: Strategies for Effective Human-Computer Interaction, Third Edition. Ben Shneiderman. Adisson Wesley, 1997.
Less broad then either Dix et al. or the original Preece, but especially strong in more 'how to do it' information and also visualisation - Ben's main research area.
Human-Computer Interaction. J. Preece, Y. Rogers, H. Sharp, D. Benyon, S. Holland and T. Carey. Addison Wesley, 1994.
Yes the same name ... well what else do you call it!
Used to be our arch rival ... but very good despite that - darn! Interviews are really fun. Harder to find things than in our book, but with more in-depth discursive treatment of some topics. Lots more piccies than we have as well.

edited collections

Human-Computer Interaction Handbook, J. Jacko and A. Sears. Lawrence Erlbaum, 2003.
Enormous tome. Chapters by experts in all sorts fo areas of HCI but laregly missing out more implementation focused areas.
<@ book web site>
HCI Models, Theories, and Frameworks: Toward an Interdisciplinary Science. J. Carroll. Morgan Kaufmann.
Chapters by experts in different theoretical areas contributing to HCI
Funology: From Usability to Enjoyment. M. Blythe, A. Monk and P. Wright. Kluwer, 2003.
Making interfaces that not only do work but make you feel good!
The Handbook of Task Analysis for Human-Computer Interaction. D. Diaper & N. Stanton (eds.). Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2003.
Long awaited! Dan's previous collection has been out of print for ages and theree has been no good reference about different task analysis techniques. This book covers a wiide range of topics and methods in task analysis and is also comparatively cheap.
Perspectives on HCI, A. Monk and N.Gilbert, Academic Press, 1995
Now hard to get hold of, but still well worth a read. Chapters by individual experts, writing aimed at a mixed audience. Includes chapters on formal methods (by me!), task analysis, cognitive modelling etc.

from previous years ...

but didn't do (maybe yet) this year (see also previous years' pages)

navigation & layout
chapter 5, sections 5.6 and 5.7
see chapter 5 slides above
see chapter 9 of HCI Book
download slides on evaluation (PDF, 68K)
download experiment worksheet (PDF, 152K)
'intelligent' interfaces
hmm surprisingly little in the HCI book except bits mentioned above for adaptive help and for low-intertion interaction ... perhaps the 4th edition??
download slides on intelligent' interaction and exploration (PDF, 770K)
you can still download onCue from the old aQtive site
experiment with Query-by-Browsing
some of the onCue functionality is now available in Snip!ts (plus more too!)
various points in HCI book, but no single treatment
my chapter in the Jacko and Seers HCI handbook hits on some of these issues
download slides on timing matters (PDF, 201K) which includes the kicking example and why you should design your interfaces so that a caveman could use them
see also my topic page on time
low-intention and sensor-based interactions
see chapter 18, section 18.4
also Alan's pages in incidental interaction
download extract of chapter 18 slides on sensor-based interaction (PDF, 207K)
we mentioned Norman's execution/evaluation cycle: see chapter 3, section 3.2.2, or download an extract of chapter 3 slides on the Norman cycle (PDF, 116K)
see chapter 20, section 20.4
download slides on interactive visualisation (PDF, 3.37M)
download slides on special visualisations (PDF, 4.56M)
see also paper with Geoff Ellis "Starting Simple"
play with dancing histograms
unfortunately the Xerox PARC UI group web site is very incomplete, but you can access papers there on cone trees etc.
several of the Xerox visualisations are marketed by their spin-off inxight
the Maryland group's pages include treemaps and and starfield displays
using formalism in HCI - from cognitive models to placemats
download slides (PDF, 54K)
dialogue notations - what to do when
see chapter 16
download slides (PDF, 389K)
widgets and little things
see slides on little things (PDF, 164K)
for more on the evolution of the scroll bar ... see the articles:
Hands Across the Screen - why scrollbars are on the right and other stories.
and Sinister Scrollbar in the Xerox Star Xplained
alternative media
see bits about this in chapters 2, 10 and 20 from HCI book
download slides on media (PDF, 58K)
for more on network media issues such as jitter and buffering see my chapter in the Jacko and Sears HCI Handbook
you can read the online abstract including live references and draft chapter (PDF, 375K)
arts and technology
see .:thePooch:. web site
also arts-hci web site and leonardo network