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California State University Stanislaus

CS 3500: Human-Centered Design

Summer 2015

Mon, Wed, Thu 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm, DBH 114

Instructor: Dr. Megan Thomas


[Syllabus]       [Announcements]       [Schedule/Reflection Deadlines]       [Homeworks]       [Resources]       [News]

Welcome to CS3500, an introduction to human-centered design. Human-Centered Design is both an old and a new area of study. When called "human factors engineering", the study of making tools and devices fit human beings has been around for decades. Recent developments in technology, making more and more powerful tools more and more integrated with our lives, have given new urgency to the need for easy to use tools.

We will study the principles of usability and human centered design. We will study what makes a tool easily usable, by humans, and a design philosophy that can help create usable tools. Bad design can cause user irritation, errors, misunderstanding, and occasionally outright chaos. But preventing poor designs is not as easy as it may seem... what is good for one user may not suit another. Designs that work for adults may not work for children, or the elderly.

In this class we will explore topics from computer science, sociology, biology, psychology, cognitive science, communications studies, graphic design, industrial design and other fields.

Topics include

This is a General Education F1 course.

Announcements and Upcoming Events:

7/15/2015 The third quiz will be available in Blackboard at 6 am Thursday, 7/16. The quiz is a 35 minute quiz. Once started, the quiz cannot be stopped and restarted.

For each question, select the single best answer.

Make certain you have a stable connection to the internet. I recommend using a computer in one of the OIT labs -- all have stable internet connections. Safari, Chrome or Firefox should be fine.

The quiz will go off-line on Friday, 7/17, at 10 pm at night. Make certain to take it before then. Once gone, the quiz is gone. This deadline is *firm*.

Blackboard will not kick you out after 35 minutes, but you will lose points for every minute over the time limit you use.

7/13/2015 After you have completed your final project and sent in your group report, please fill out this survey. The survey will allow you to provide feedback about what each partner contributed to the group work.

7/1/2015 The second quiz will be available in Blackboard at 6:00 am Thursday. The quiz is a 35 minute quiz. Once started, the quiz cannot be stopped and restarted.

For each question, select the single best answer.

Make certain you have a stable connection to the internet. I recommend using a computer in one of the OIT labs -- all have stable internet connections. Chrome, Firefox or Safari should be fine.

Students have reported serious problems with Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Blackboard, last semester. Do not use IE.

The quiz will go off-line on Saturday, 7/4, at 4:00 pm. Make certain to take it before then. Once gone, the quiz is gone. This deadline is *firm*. (Also note, if you choose to take the quiz on Saturday, the professor is not going to be checking email that day.)

Blackboard will not kick you out after 35 minutes, but you will lose points for every minute over the time limit you use.

6/29/2015 Here is the list of students and the web site each student selected for the qualitative testing assignment
6/26/2015 "All cell phone comparison" spreadsheet is in this document (updated 6/29, 3pm)
Remember, since each phone in the collection was analyzed by a different person, the results need to be taken with a grain of salt. Some of the difference between phones is due to the difference between the people performing the analysis, not the phones themselves. But, using this, you can see how your cell phone compares to other cell phones used on our campus.

As we discussed in class, any task that involves no M operators at all is flawed. How does anyone perform a task without thinking about it? Unless the phone is capable of psychic operation, so that it performs the task without the user even thinking of the task, every task will involve at least one M. (The first M is to to pick the correct button to push. Only changing the volume might be, sometimes, a one button, one choice only task.) Every choice in a task (including picking "Bill" instead of "Xiu Ying" to say hello to), is one more M operation.

Also, as I said in class, modern smart phones have such swift CPUs inside them that response times (forcing the user to wait while the machine "thinks") are almost always zero. In addition, to accurately measure response times one would need a high-speed camera or similar tool, which we did not have.

Use this to inform and enrich your cell phone analysis in Essay 5.

6/25/2015

Here is the list of tasks we chose to analyze, with tips to help you complete the assignment. Here is a spreadsheet with all the tasks we chose filled in in column C for you. The full descriptions of the tasks, which we wrote in class, have been copied off to the right of the "Sanity Check" column.
6/25/2015 "The Forgotten Story of the Original iPhone Released in 1998" (internethistorypodcast.com) -- Per our discussion of tools taking longer to succeed in the market than people realize, it seems there was a touchscreen phone and internet access device for sale (called the iPhone, no kidding!) in 1998.
6/17/2015 The first quiz will be available in Blackboard at 1:00 am Thursday. The quiz is a 35 minute quiz. Once started, the quiz cannot be stopped and restarted.

For each question, select the single best answer.

Make certain you have a stable connection to the internet. I recommend using a computer in one of the OIT labs -- all have stable internet connections. Safari, Chrome or Firefox should be fine.

Students have reported serious problems with Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Blackboard, in past semesters. Do not use IE.

The quiz will go off-line on Saturday, 6/20, at 4:00 am (in the morning). Make certain to take it before then. Once gone, the quiz is gone. This deadline is *firm*.

Blackboard will not kick you out after 35 minutes, but you will lose points for every minute over the time limit you use.

6/9/2015 Due to conflict with another class, CS 3500 is moving to DBH 114, starting June 10.
6/8/2015

Welcome to the summertime edition of CS 3500, Human-Centered Design!

News: