LIBR 251-10
Web Usability
Summer 2010 Greensheet

Jeremy W. Kemp, M.Ed., M.S.J.
Office: Clark Hall, 418E
(408) 393-5270
Office Hours:
By phone or appointment virtually

Greensheet Links
Textbooks and Readings
Course Requirements
ANGEL Tutorials
iSchool eBookstore

ANGEL information: This course uses the ANGEL learning management system. The access code for the ANGEL site will be sent via the MySJSU messaging system to those enrolled in the class site which will open for self-enrollment noon on June 7, 2010. Students should access the course NO LATER THAN: June 10, 2010.

Please complete this survey before entering the class:

Course Description

By examining theory, methodologies, and real-life cases, Libr 251 offers a framework for developing user-friendly interfaces to control information systems and services. Students will learn the principles of user-centric design and style, as well as how to choose appropriate interaction methods for particular circumstances and populations. The course will also touch on emerging issues, such as technology trends and their relationship with library services.

Prerequisites: LIBR 202 and rudimentary HTML

Course Objectives

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Critique and improve Web sites, software, and other library-related systems;
  • Master rough sketching, rapid ideation and prototyping;
  • Refine interaction designs by studying the user’s experience in a structured setting;
  • Apply the principles of heuristic evaluation to iterative design;
  • Explore and implement affective computing, aesthetics and narrative in computer interfaces;
  • Apply theoretical and practical principles of design, usability, and accessibility;
  • Reapply the fundamentals of good design to other interactive media beside the Web;
  • Create designs to serve specific needs with familiar information architecture and navigation elements;
  • Create strategies for maximizing usage by recognizing when designs deny access to people with certain disabilities.

LIBR 251 supports the following SLIS Core Competencies:

  • Design, query, and evaluate information retrieval systems;
  • Understand the system of standards and methods used to control and create information structures and apply basic principles involved in the organization and representation of knowledge;
  • Demonstrate proficiency in the use of current information and communication technologies, and other related technologies, as they affect the resources and uses of libraries and other types of information providing entities.

In addition, this section supports the following SLIS Core Competencies:

  • Demonstrate oral and written communication skills necessary for group work, collaborations and professional level presentations;
  • Understand the nature of research, research methods and research findings; retrieve, evaluate and synthesize scholarly and professional literature for informed decision-making by specific client groups;
  • Use service concepts, principles and techniques that facilitate information access, relevance, and accuracy for individuals or groups of users;

See the full set of program competencies at:

Course Requirements


  • Reading quizzes (20 points) – You will complete two automated quizzes based upon content in the reading assignments.
  • Homework Projects (30 points) – You will submit three documents including text and images to convey understanding of the core topics in the class. Each assignment document builds on skills developed in the previous activities. These follow the quizzes and allow you to demonstrate your mastery of the learning objectives listed above. Your work will be assessed on how well it integrates concepts from the readings, supplementary materials (lectures) and class discussions.
  • Final project (20 Points) – This capstone item leverages all the skills from the homework projects in one design activity. You are expected to create designs, implement your ideas and evaluate the effectiveness of your item(s). This project will also help you synthesize what you have learned and package it as evidence for the degree's culminating e-portfolio.
  • Participation (30 points) - Each week, you will interact with our learning community using the ANGEL message board and optional synchronous meetings in Elluminate. The instructor will post questions occasionally and students should comment on posts from colleagues.

Course Grading
Assignments will contribute to your final grade as follows:

  • 20% Reading quizzes (two)
  • 30% Homeworks (three)
  • 20% Final Project
  • 30% Participation

Course Calendar

  • Jun 7: First day of instruction and ANGEL opens for access
  • Jun 9, Jul 14, Aug 4: Three optional Elluminate sessions with discussions and guest speakers from the field
  • Jun 10: Due date for Discussion Forum exercise (noon PST)
  • Jun 16-23: Quiz 1 (closes at noon)
  • Jun 23: Homework 1 (closes at noon)
  • Jul 7-14: Quiz 2 (closes at noon)
  • Jul 14: Homework 2 (closes at noon)
  • Aug 4: Homework 3 (closes at noon)
  • Aug 4-8: Student presentations in Elluminate (times vary)
  • Aug 11: Final project (noon)
  • Aug 12: Last day of instruction

A detailed course outline is posted on ANGEL including a list of readings and project due dates for each week. Dates are subject to change with fair notice.

Technology Requirements
We will use several technologies. Do not take the class if your computer and Internet access do not meet the home computing environment requirements:

You will need a microphone headset for your computer. Follow the Elluminate equipment requirements:

In addition, you will need to be flexible and innovative in your use of various tools for designing and producing your information products including: screen capture, image editor, image scanner, MS Powerpoint or some other drawing tool, etc.

Policy on Lateness
Late assignments will not be accepted. Get your work in on time! All assignments are due Wednesdays at noon.

Textbooks and Readings

Required Textbook:

  • Moggridge, B. (2007). Designing interactions. MIT Press. Available through Amazon: 0262134748. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain

Recommended Textbook:

  • Sharp, H, Rogers, Y, & Preece, J (2007). Interaction Design: Beyond Human-Computer Interaction, 2nd Edition. John Wiley & Sons. Available through Amazon: 0470018666. arrow 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;
    For core courses in the MLIS program (not MARA) — 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 the following semester. 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.

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

University Policies

General Expectations, Rights and Responsibilities of the Student

As members of the academic community, students accept both the rights and responsibilities incumbent upon all members of the institution. Students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with SJSU's policies and practices pertaining to the procedures to follow if and when questions or concerns about a class arises. See University Policy S90-5 at More detailed information on a variety of related topics is available in the SJSU catalog at In general, it is recommended that students begin by seeking clarification or discussing concerns with their instructor. If such conversation is not possible, or if it does not serve to address the issue, it is recommended that the student contact the Department Chair as a next step.

Dropping and Adding

Students are responsible for understanding the policies and procedures about add/drop, grade forgiveness, etc. Refer to the current semester's Catalog Policies section at Add/drop deadlines can be found on the current academic year calendars document on the Academic Calendars webpage at The Late Drop Policy is available at Students should be aware of the current deadlines and penalties for dropping classes.

Information about the latest changes and news is available at the Advising Hub at

Consent for Recording of Class and Public Sharing of Instructor Material

University Policy S12-7,, requires students to obtain instructor's permission to record the course and the following items to be included in the syllabus:

  • "Common courtesy and professional behavior dictate that you notify someone when you are recording him/her. You must obtain the instructor's permission to make audio or video recordings in this class. Such permission allows the recordings to be used for your private, study purposes only. The recordings are the intellectual property of the instructor; you have not been given any rights to reproduce or distribute the material."
    • It is suggested that the syllabus include the instructor's process for granting permission, whether in writing or orally and whether for the whole semester or on a class by class basis.
    • In classes where active participation of students or guests may be on the recording, permission of those students or guests should be obtained as well.
  • "Course material developed by the instructor is the intellectual property of the instructor and cannot be shared publicly without his/her approval. You may not publicly share or upload instructor generated material for this course such as exam questions, lecture notes, or homework solutions without instructor consent."

Academic integrity

Your commitment, as a student, to learning is evidenced by your enrollment at San Jose State University. The University Academic Integrity Policy F15-7 at requires you to be honest in all your academic course work. Faculty members are required to report all infractions to the office of Student Conduct and Ethical Development. The Student Conduct and Ethical Development website is available at

Campus Policy in Compliance with the American Disabilities Act

If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, or if you need to make special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible, or see me during office hours. Presidential Directive 97-03 at requires that students with disabilities requesting accommodations must register with the Accessible Education Center (AEC) at to establish a record of their disability.

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