INFM 204-10
Human Centered Design
Fall 2019 Syllabus

Dr. Abbas Moallem
Office Hours:
Virtual office hours. Telephone and in-person advising by appointment

Syllabus Links
Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs)
Canvas Login and Tutorials
iSchool eBookstore

Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning October 14, 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.

This two-unit course runs from October 14, 2019, to December 9, 2019. The class will be available on Canvas on October 14. 

You will be enrolled in the Canvas site automatically.

Course Description

Designing and developing user-centered knowledge structures for the Web environment. Core topics are problems addressed by effective human-computer interaction; how to design for findability; design thinking concepts and tools; prototyping; and informing stakeholders about a content-rich product.

Course Requirements

This two-unit course is an offering of SJSU’s School of Information, which offers all courses completely online. Home computing requirements are posted online for prospective students at Home Computing Environment - Students must meet those minimum requirements to participate in the activities for this course. 

This schedule and related dates/readings/assignments are tentative and subject to change with fair notice. Any changes will be announced in due time in class and on the course’s web site 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.

Assignments and Course Calendar

Module Topics CLOs Assignment Completion Dates
1 Course requirements, A brief history of HCI, Introduction to HCI, Usability engineering 1

Quiz 1 and Activity 1, Due date: Oct. 20


Human Perception and Information Processing

12  Quiz 2 and Activity 2, Due date: Oct. 27
3 The Human:  Fitts law, Gestalts, Hick Hyman Law, Theories and Frameworks 12 Quiz 3 and Activity 3, Due date: Nov.3
4 HCI Fundamental Principles 134 Quiz 4 and Activity 4, Due date: Nov. 10. 20
Interaction Design: Style of Interaction, GUI WIMP, Query...  134  Quiz 5 and Activity 5, Due date: Nov., 17. 20
6 Prototyping Tools and techniques, User Profiling, Information Architecture   45 Quiz 6 and Activity 6, Due date: Nov. 24
7 Processes, Requirements, User-centered Design, Design thinking, Agile and Waterfall 23

Quiz 7 and Activity7, Homework, Due date: Dec.. 1


8 Evaluation Techniques 45 Quiz 8, project Report, Prototype Presentation, Due date Dec. 5th
9 Final  Exam 1-5 Final Exam, Due date: Dec.. 5th

After reading the required reading and listing to lecture student takes a quiz (CLOs 1-7; 20 points each quiz)

Activities: Students are given a topic to discuss and report based on each week lectures and reading material (CLOs 1-7; 20 points). Students can submit a report individually or a team of  2-3. Due date: Weekly 5th, 2019

Homework: Each student is given a design assignment to create. (Supports CLOs 1-780points), Due date: December 1st, 2019

Design Project (supports CLOs 1-7 400 points)
The project is designed to be done with a partner (it may be a team of 2 or 3) so that students can collaborate on the tasks,

Students will evaluate a web or mobile application using human characteristics and HCI principles, best practices, and principles as criteria. They will identify strengths, weaknesses, and problems in the application information architecture with the focus on structure and labeling, and consider ways to address the problems and define the requirements to redesign and improve the selected app.

Students then using one of the proposed prototyping tools create an interactive prototype that will address the evaluation in the first part of the HCI project. The project has multiple components, ranging from the proposal, identifying objectives, stakeholders, and outlining the scope of work, to designing the site model using design thinking tools, content strategy, recommendations, and writing a final report, as well as presenting the project in a small seminar setting. Date: December 5th, 2019

Final Exam (supports CLOs 1-5; 180 points), December 5th, 2019

Grading Information

Grading will be based on a total accumulation of possible 1000 points, distributed as follows:



Participation (Listen to lectures, team participation, assignments completion


8 Quizzes @ 20 points each


2 Homework @40 points each


7 in activities@ 20 points each


Project @ 400 points


Final Test@ 180 points


Total of 1000 points


Other Required Selected Reading  From Other Sources

Designing with the Mind in Mind: Simple Guide to Understanding User Interface Design Guideline, Jeff Johnson, ISBN: 0124079148, Chapter 1 and 2.

The Joy of UX: User Experience and Interactive Design for Developers (Usability), Chapter 1, Personas, David Platt, ISBN-13: 978-013427671

Cross, Nigel.  (2016) Design Thinking: Understanding How Designers Think and Work. New York: Bloomsbury Academic.

Rosenfeld, L, Morville, P., & Arango, J. (2015). Information architecture: For the web and beyond (4th ed.). Sebastopol, CA: O'Reilly Media

Online Resources

A Designer's Guide to Brainstorms That Are Useful

Knemeyer, Dirk. (2015). Design thinking and UX: Two sides of the same coin.Interactions, 22(5), 66-68.

Peterson, Clarissa. (2014). Learning responsive web design: A beginner's guide. O'Reilly Media. King Library ebook:  

Russell-Rose, T. & Tate, T. (2012). Designing the search experience: The information architecture of discovery. Morgan Kaufman. King Library ebook:


Prototyping and Usability Tools

The students will be given access to use any of the following applications for prototyping:

  • Axure
  • Just in Mind
  • Adobe XD
  • Invasion Studio
  • User Testing

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

Graduate Standing or Instructor Consent

Course Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Differentiate between design thinking and user experience recognizing and explaining how they complement each other.
  2. Refine interaction designs by studying the user's experience.
  3. Evaluate and use appropriate tools to create design deliverables.
  4. Apply best practices in information architecture (IA) to iterative design.
  5. Communicate HCI design deliverables to project stakeholders.

SLOs and PLOs

This course supports Informatics SLO 4: Use best practices in Web application design and information architecture to design and develop user-centered knowledge structures for the Web environment and to communicate deliverables to project stakeholders.

SLO 4 supports the following Informatics Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs):

  • PLO 1 Apply technology informatics skills to solve specific industry data and information management problems, with a focus on usability and designing for users.
  • PLO 4 Identify user needs, ideate informatics products and services, prototype new concepts, and evaluate a prototype's usability.
  • PLO 5 Work collaboratively in teams and use project management practices effectively to solve user-centric information and data problems.


Required Textbooks:

  • Preece, J., Sharp, H., & Rogers, Y. (2015). Interaction design: Beyond human-computer interaction (4th ed.). John Wiley & Sons. Available through Amazon: B078KW91K1arrow 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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