CS A110 Course Schedule and Homework

Unit I: Introduction to Human-Computer Interaction (Weeks 1-4)


WEEK 1: 1/12 - 1/16

Reading: Nielsen, Chapter 1 ("Why web usability?").

Lecture 1: Information retrieval lab
Lecture 2: Linux vs. Windows, multitude of browsers, HTML primer

WEEK 2: 1/19 - 1/23

Last day to drop without a "W": Friday, January 23rd

Reading: Nielsen, pp. 42-53, 134-142 ("Response times").

Lecture 3: Human aspects (sensory I/O, memory)
Lecture 4: HCI Irritations (system response, help, error-messaging, etc.).

WEEK 3: 1/26 - 1/30

Reading: Nielsen, pp. 125-128 ("Legibility").

Lecture 5: Introduction to character sets, encodings; HTML "meta" tag
Lecture 6: Computer typography, fonts, etc.; HTML "font" tag and why you shouldn't use it.

WEEK 4: 2/2 - 2/6

Reading: Nielsen, pp. 129-131 ("Online documentation") and pp. 180-188 ("Metaphor").

Lecture 7: Varieties of help
Lecture 8: HCI "metaphors"

Unit II: Introduction to Software Engineering (Weeks 5-7)

WEEK 5: 2/9 - 2/13

Lecture 9: Software Engineering Process Models
Lecture 10: Planning; Requirements Analysis

WEEK 6: 2/16 - 2/20

Homework: Project proposal due Tuesday, 2/17.

Lecture 11: Design, documentation
Lecture 12: In-class research/discussion

WEEK 7: 2/23 - 2/27

Reading: Nielsen, pp. 24-42 ("cross-platform design", "separating meaning and presentation").

Lecture 13: Testing principles
Lecture 14: Portability, interoperability, "bleeding edge" lab (flash, javascript, etc.)

WEEK 8: 3/3 - 3/7

The midterm exam is Thursday, March 4th

Reading: Nielsen, pp. 81-85 ("style sheets").

Lecture 15: Introduction to CSS; content vs. presentation
Lecture 16: exam.

Unit III: Designing for the web (Weeks 9-12)

WEEK 9: 3/15 - 3/19

Withdrawal deadline is Friday, March 19th

Reading: Nielsen, Chapter 4 ("Site design").

Lecture 17: Lab: clarity of purpose (two-minute drill à la Flanders)
Lecture 18: Introduction to information architecture (search, content inventory, site maps)

WEEK 10: 3/22 - 3/26

Reading: Nielsen, pp. 53-80 ("linking") and pp. 100-125 ("Writing for the web").

Lecture 19: More information architecture: Navigation schemes, linking
Lecture 20: Writing for the web

WEEK 11: 3/29 - 4/2

Reading: Nielsen, pp. 85-92 ("Frames: Just Say No").

Lecture 21: Some HTML: tables, frames, etc. and when (not) to use them
Lecture 22: Introduction to cgi, forms, security issues

WEEK 12: 4/5 - 4/9

Project design document is due Tuesday, April 5th

Lecture 23: Validation, SGML, DTD's, "DOCTYPE" declaration
Lecture 24: Unit summary: Ten Design Commandments

Unit IV: Special Topics (Weeks 13-15)

WEEK 13: 4/12 - 4/16

Lecture 25: Accessibility issues, "Bobbie" validation. Read Nielsen, Ch. 6.
Lecture 26: Internationalization/Localization. Read Nielsen, Ch. 7.

WEEK 14: 4/19 - 4/23

Lecture 27: Implementation Lab
Lecture 28: Obligatory "Tufte Lecture"

WEEK 15: 4/26 - 4/30

Thursday, April 30th is the last class meeting
The final is Tuesday, May 4th from 2:00-3:50PM

Lectures 29: In-class peer evaluations
Lectures 30: In-class peer evaluations