ISDA 130-10
User Centered Interface Architecture and Prototyping
Spring 2022 Syllabus

Erika Orrick
Office: Online/Virtual
Phone: 214-766-2556
Office Hours: Virtual office hours. Telephone and in-person advising by appointment. Go to my Calendly page to request.

Syllabus Links
Technical Requirements
How to Be Successful in This Course
Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs)
Canvas Login and Tutorials
iSchool eBookstore

Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning January 26, 2022, at 6 am PT unless you are taking an intensive or a one-unit or two-unit class that starts on a different day. In that case, the class will open on the first day that the class meets.

You will be enrolled in the Canvas site automatically.

Course Description

Focuses on ways to involve the user at different stages of interface design for web- and mobile- environments. Students will learn, apply, and evaluate various user interface architectures, modes of interaction, and prototyping, testing, and evaluation techniques.


Below is an overview of assignments. More detailed information will be provided on the course Canvas site.

Participation (15% of total grade)

Your participation grade consists of assignments designed to encourage discussion and thought around user experience or contribute to the successful running of the course such as surveys, discussion boards, etc. Some of these will be graded against a rubric; others will be a completion grade. Check Canvas for details.

Quizzes (25% of total grade)

There will be a series of quizzes to test your understanding of the information in the preceding topics. These will generally be multiple choice, matching, etc. Quizzes are open book, open note, but not open classmate.

Semester Project (45% of total grade)

You will be completing a semester-long group project involving the evaluation of a site and then the redesign of a small portion of that site. You will be working in groups of 4–5.

Final Exam (15% of total grade)

The final exam will be a combination of multiple-choice, multiple-answer, and short answer questions similar to the module quizzes and will cover the whole semester. It is open book/open note but not open classmate.

All chapters indicated below come from the course textbook, Interaction Design 5th edition by Sharp et. al.

1/26–2/1 M1: Course Overview and Intro to User Experience (CLOs 1, 2) Ch 1–2, 4 D: GUI Bloopers
2/2–2/15 M2: Users and Tasks (CLOs 4, 6) Ch 8–9, 11 (opt. 10)
Readings as posted
P: Problem statement
P: User/task matrix
P: Task analysis
Q1: HCI basics and Understanding users/tasks
D: User research ideas
2/16–3/1 M3: Design Basics and Analytical Evaluation (CLOs 1, 3, 4, 5) Ch 3–4, 7, 16 (Opt. 5–6)
Readings as posted
P: Heuristic evaluation report
D: Website critique
3/2–3/15 M4: Ideation and Sketching (CLOs 2, 3, 5) Readings as posted P: Ideation and solution proposal
Q2: UI design principles
D: Mobile app critique
3/16–4/12 M5: Prototyping and Visual Design (CLOs 1, 3, 5, 6) Ch 12–13
Readings as posted
P: Wireframe/Low-fidelity prototype
Q3: Prototyping and visual design
D: Design tools
4/13–5/3 M6: Empirical Evaluation (CLOs 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8) Ch 14–15 P: Usability test protocol and report
Q4: Evaluation
D: Testing tasks
5/4–5/16 M7: Client Deliverables and Wrap-up (CLOs 6, 7) Readings as posted P: Updated prototype with annotations
P: Full project report and video presentation
5/18–5/20 Final exam    

This schedule and related dates/readings/assignments is tentative and subject to change with fair notice. Any changes will be announced in due time in class and on the course’s website in the Canvas Learning Management System. The students are obliged to consult the most updated and detailed version of the reading material and syllabus, which will be posted on the course’s website.

Technical Requirements

At a minimum, you should have access to the following:

  • A modern web browser such as Chrome, Edge, Firefox
  • A word processor and/or presentation software such as Microsoft Word and PowerPoint or Google Docs and Slides
  • Screen capture software and/or a camera (cell phone camera is fine). There is rudimentary screen capture software built into both Windows and MacOS.
  • Figma prototyping software. We will create free educational accounts on during the semester if you do not already have one.

Optional items:

  • A webcam plus microphone and speakers or a headset for any optional interactive sessions
  • More advanced screen capture software (such as TechSmith's SnagIt)
  • Adobe Creative Suite or similar advanced image software

How to Be Successful in This Course

This course is entirely online, and required interactions with the professor are asynchronous. If you have never taken an asynchronous course before, it may take some getting used to. You must proactively read/view all information provided via Canvas and email, and budget your time for watching lectures and completing other coursework within the required timeline.

Other things to keep in mind:

  • Read all information posted on Canvas, including announcements and assignment updates, etc. I try to provide information in more than one format to ensure you are aware of it, but Canvas is canonical.
  • Take the initiative to solve your own problems. Make sure you’ve read the information I’ve provided before reaching out to me. UX requires self-reliance, brainstorming with peers, and thinking outside the box. That being said, if you really can’t find the answer, I’m happy to help.
  • Even though UX is more than making things “pretty,” everything you turn in should still be clean, use good visual hierarchy, and be as free of spelling and grammar errors as is reasonable. We’ll talk more about this near the beginning of the semester.
  • I will be doing at least a couple optional live lectures during the semester. Attend these if you can. We do a lot of Q&A there as well as exploring what people are interested in. These are optional, but we generally have fun.
  • Pay attention to the submission requirements. I ask for specific file formats on each assignment for a reason. And put your name(s) on the actual assignment document(s) you turn in. Do not rely on Canvas to tell me who you are. These are both big pet peeves of mine.

Course & Instructor Policies

LATE WORK will be penalized 10% off the total possible score (not the score received) for each day late. After 3 days, it will not be accepted without a valid university-approved excuse.

FOLLOW THE SUBMISSION GUIDELINES. You must include your NAME(S) on your actual assignment documents and follow all submission guidelines listed in assignment instructions. There is generally a reason for the guidelines I post. Submission guidelines are listed with each assignment and are part of the rubric grading. You will have unlimited opportunities to submit most assignments in case you initially submit an incorrect format. Only the last one will be graded.

Regular class participation is expected regardless of course modality. Students who fail to participate in class regularly are inviting scholastic difficulty. A portion of the grade for this course is directly tied to your participation in this class. It also includes engaging in group or other activities during class that solicit your feedback on homework assignments, readings, or materials covered in the lectures.

Course Workload Expectations

Success in this course is based on the expectation that students will spend, for each unit of credit, a minimum of forty-five hours over the length of the course (normally 3 hours per unit per week with 1 of the hours used for lecture) for instruction or preparation/studying or course related activities including but not limited to internships, labs, clinical practica. Other course structures will have equivalent workload expectations as described in the syllabus.

Instructional time may include but is not limited to:
Working on posted modules or lessons prepared by the instructor; discussion forum interactions with the instructor and/or other students; making presentations and getting feedback from the instructor; attending office hours or other synchronous sessions with the instructor.

Student time outside of class:
In any seven-day period, a student is expected to be academically engaged through submitting an academic assignment; taking an exam or an interactive tutorial, or computer-assisted instruction; building websites, blogs, databases, social media presentations; attending a study group;contributing to an academic online discussion; writing papers; reading articles; conducting research; engaging in small group work.

Course Prerequisites

ISDA 130 has no prequisite requirements.

Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Understand and explain fundamental HCI theories and design principles.
  2. Differentiate between design thinking and user experience and how they complement each other.
  3. Describe and apply relevant HCI theories and principles to designing activities.
  4. Refine interaction designs by studying the user's experience.
  5. Undertake iterative and inexpensive user-centered design methods.
  6. Evaluate and use appropriate tools to create design deliverables.
  7. Communicate HCI design deliverables to project stakeholders.
  8. Perform usability testing procedures.

    SLOs & PLOs

    ISDA 130 supports:

  1. Information Science and Data Analytics SLO 5: Identify and apply best practices in human centered design and information architecture to ideate and design user-centered knowledge products and services for the Web environment; prototype new concepts; evaluate a prototype's usability; and communicate deliverables to project stakeholders from diverse backgrounds.
  1. SLO 5 supports the following Information and Data Science Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs):

  2. PLO 4: Demonstrate an ability to identify user-centric information and data needs of diverse populations and to interpret data findings effectively to diverse audiences, orally, visually, and in written formats.
  3. PLO 5: Demonstrate an understanding of how people from diverse backgrounds and cultures interact with technology and with each other in technological contexts; and how to plan strategically for emerging technologies and the changing technological landscape.


Required Textbooks:

  • Sharp, H., Preece, J., & Rogers, Y. (2019). Interaction design: Beyond human-computer interaction (5th ed.). John Wiley & Sons. Available through Amazon: 1119547253arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain

Grading Scale

The standard SJSU School of Information Grading Scale is utilized for all iSchool courses:

97 to 100 A
94 to 96 A minus
91 to 93 B plus
88 to 90 B
85 to 87 B minus
82 to 84 C plus
79 to 81 C
76 to 78 C minus
73 to 75 D plus
70 to 72 D
67 to 69 D minus
Below 67 F


In order to provide consistent guidelines for assessment for graduate level work in the School, these terms are applied to letter grades:

  • C represents Adequate work; a grade of "C" counts for credit for the course;
  • B represents Good work; a grade of "B" clearly meets the standards for graduate level work or undergraduate (for BS-ISDA);
    For core courses in the MLIS program (not MARA, Informatics, BS-ISDA) — INFO 200, INFO 202, INFO 204 — the iSchool requires that students earn a B in the course. If the grade is less than B (B- or lower) after the first attempt you will be placed on administrative probation. You must repeat the class if you wish to stay in the program. If - on the second attempt - you do not pass the class with a grade of B or better (not B- but B) you will be disqualified.
  • A represents Exceptional work; a grade of "A" will be assigned for outstanding work only.

Graduate Students are advised that it is their responsibility to maintain a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA). Undergraduates must maintain a 2.0 Grade Point Average (GPA).

University Policies

Per University Policy S16-9, university-wide policy information relevant to all courses, such as academic integrity, accommodations, etc. will be available on Office of Graduate and Undergraduate Programs' Syllabus Information web page at: Make sure to visit this page, review and be familiar with these university policies and resources.

In order to request an accommodation in a class please contact the Accessible Education Center and register via the MyAEC portal.

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