LIBR 251-10
Interface Design for Information Services
Fall 2009 Greensheet

Susan Maret, Ph.D.
Office Hours: By phone or appointment virtually. You may also contact me through Skype [iecologie].

Greensheet Links
Textbooks and Readings
Course Requirements
ANGEL Tutorials
iSchool eBookstore

The access code for our class ANGEL site will be sent via the messaging system by August 20, 2008.

Course Description

Surveys the theory and practice of designing user-centered interfaces in information systems and services. Include theories of user information seeking, cognition, human-computer interaction, the design process, and application in information systems and the Internet. Emphasis on the design and evaluation of interfaces.

Prerequisites: LIBR 202 and rudimentary HTML.

Course Objectives

By examining  theory, methodologies, and real-life cases, Libr 251 offers a framework  for developing user-friendly interfaces for use in 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.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Become adept at identifying and integrating human factors into design and usability;
  • Demonstrate in-depth understanding of the major theoretical and practical issues involved in design, usability, and accessibility of Web sites, software, and other library-related systems;
  • Understand Web standards for design, usability and accessibility.

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.

Course Requirements

Additional information regarding assignments, including late policies, are found at the Angel course site.

Assignments will contribute to your final grade as follows:

Assessment of a day-to-day item

Due:September 4

5 points

Assessment: Organizing content | info architecture | dividing things up | structure

Due: September 14th

5 points

Assessment: Navigation

Due: September 21

5  points

Assessment: Search

Due: October 5th

5 points

Assessment: Print vs. Web | writing for the Web | online documentation

Due: October 30th

5 points

Assessment: Accessibility & Usability for Various Populations

Due: November 13th

5 points

Webby Awards paper

Due: November 24th

15 points

Final Paper

Due: December 11, 2009

30 points


We will also meet via Elluminate during the semester.

Meetings are optional and will not be counted towards final grades.

25 points

Textbooks and Readings 

Required Textbook:

  • Krug, S. (2005). Don't make me think: A common sense approach to web usability (2nd ed.). New Riders Press. Available through Amazon: 0321344758. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • McCloud, S. (1994). Understanding comics: The invisible art. Harper Perennial. Available through Amazon: 006097625X. 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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