Textbook Website


Human Computer Interaction
Psy/CS 260

Class: SCC 147/SCC 148: MTWRF 10:15-12:30 
Text: Interaction Desing: beyond human-computer interaction, 4th ed. by Preece, Rogers, & Sharp.
Instructor: John H. Krantz, Ph.D.
Office: Science Center 151
Phone: x7316; Calendar




May 3, 2019

Find examples

  • Examples of interactions on web or apps that do and do not use contrast well
  • Examples of interactions that use color well and poorly
  • Examples of Interactions that use Gestalt laws well and poorly
  • Example of interactions in speech that function poorly
    • Find a sentence that makes the speech recognition breakdown humorously
  • Examples of an interface that uses some feature of Cognition, e.g., memory, problem solving, attention, decision making, well and poorly

Send to me in a document by Sunday at 5 pm and be ready to talk about in class on Monday why you chose these examples.


May 2, 2019

Todays assignment (12 minutes of observing)

In public place where you can see many people:

  • 2 minutes per person
  • Alternate person in group and person alone (when in group, observe only one person)
    • 3 of each type
  • Every 15 seconds note the following:
    • Talking
    • Quiet
    • Phone
    • Tablet
    • Laptop
    • Other Device
    • Number of Companions
  • Send to me by 5

Here is the spreadsheet for todays data collection.


May 1, 2019

Do not forget today's homeowork, remember to copy and past the data requested into the spreadsheet linked below, not a screen capture):
Stroop Experiment (do not alter any setting, get summary data)
Feature and Conjunction Search (Run twice, ones as Feature search, once as Conjunction search, find this setting on the Methods Settings tab, change nothing else, send the data)
Memory Span (do not alter any setting, get summary data)
DRM False Memory (do not alter any setting, get summary data)

Add to this spreadsheet (also linked to on course Moodle site)

April 30, 2019

Here are the activities you must complete by 5 pm today. Send screenshots to me in an email. One (1) email.


April 29, 2019

Here is the homework that is due tomorrow:

List the two most types of interactions that you do Discuss when and how you do these interactions Are there differences in how you do these interaction in different computer contexts? In what ways do you find the interaction effective, positive? In what ways do you find the interaction ineffective, negative? Write up and be ready to hand in tomorrow in class. We will also discuss.


Look here for announcements to be displayed throughout the term.

Course Goals

Description of Topic

Human Computer Interaction is a field that examines how we interact with our devices, a broader term than computer, and tried to determine ways to increase the quality of thse interactions. Since we have both a human and a programmable machine, we have to deal with both human and machine tendencies, limitations, and strengths to maximize the quality of interaction between the two. As such we need to examine issues relating to both humans and machines and then methods for producing and assessing quality of interactions with these devices. The aim is to have these devices meet the needs and work with the strengths and limitations of the users. The phrase intuity is bandied about a lot. Let me say right here, that that is a meaningless phrase, but we can make the interactions easier to learn, remember, and use, and more enjoyable. Yes this is a psychology course as well as a computer science course. We need to understand the current methods of interaction but we also need two elements from psychology: We need a broad understanding of psychological issues of interaction (sensory, cognitive, and social), and we need methods for testing if our interactions work the way we believe they will. We will delve into this field to introduce the issues and methods for sound interaction design.


I have several goals for this course:

  1. To introduce you to the field of Interaction Design 

  2. To introduce you to the methods for testing interaction design

  3. To give you some experience in doing some facit of building or evaluating interaction design

  4. To develop your ability to answer questions

Course Expectations

  1. Attendance is Mandatory

  2. Read all material before class

  3. Actively participate in discussion (Hint: you cannot do this item if you do not do item 2)

Course Schedule/Assignment Due Dates

Date Topic Reading/Assignment
Week 1 Introduction to and Basic Psychology of Interaction Design

Interaction Design:

 Monday What is Interaction Design/Intro to Course? Chapter 1
 Tuesday Understanding and Conceptualizing Interaction

Chapter 2
Letters and the Fovea
Simulating Kuffler's Experiment
Center-Surround Receptive Fields as Contrast Detectors
Simulating Dichromacy

 Wednesday Sensory Issues in Interaction

Stroop Experiment
Feature and Conjunction Search
Memory Span
DRM False Memory


Enter the data in this spreadsheet

 Thursday Cognitive Aspects Chapter 3
Excel Sheet for Observation Task
 Friday Finish Cognition/Explore how Sensation and Perception relate to Interaction Design Class Material/Chapter 3
Week 2 Emotions/Interfaces/Methodology Interaction Design:
 Monday Social Interaction Chapter 4
 Tuesday   Test 1
 Wednesday Interfaces Chapter 6
 Thursday Data Gathering Chapter 7
 Friday Data Analysis Chapter 8
Week 3 Design Process/Begin Projects

Interaction Design:

 Monday The Process of Interaction Design Chapter 9
 Tuesday Establishing Requirements Chapter 10
 Wednesday Design, Prototyping, and Construction Chapter 11
 Thursday Work on Project
 Friday Work on Project
Week 4 Evaluations/Project Presentations Interaction Design: :
 Monday Interaction Design in Practice Chapter 12
 Tuesday   Test 2
 Wednesday Class Presentation
 Thursday Class Presentation
 Friday Final Paper Due (noon)

Assignment Descriptions

Homework (for lack of a better word)

Periodically, I will ask you to perform an assignment out of class. Some of these assignments are listed in the syllabus already (these have links so they are convenient to place here). For those listed, you will need to get the requested information to be by 5 pm of that day. I will show you exactly what to send in class on that day. For other assignments you will need to bring them to class. I will grade them on a completion basis. Full marks for doing them, no marks for not. Should be easy to get all the points. What bet do you want to make that not all of you will even get an A on this part of this assignment? Prove me wrong!


On Tuesday of the second week (May 7) and Tuesday of the last week (May 21) we will have an exam covering the material of the course.  The exams will be both short answer and essay.  You will get the essay questions from which I will draw the questions two days before the exam.  The essays will be designed to ask you to apply the material from class on isues of interaction design. The material will cover both text and in class discussion.

Final Project

To culminate this class, you will do a project to deepen your experience with human computer interaction you will engage in one of the two folowing projects, depending on if you are in the PSY or CS class number: 

PSY Final Project

For your project you will evaulate and make recommendations for theInteractive Sensory Laboratory Exercises (ISLE) at This set of web apps accomanies a textbook, Sensation & Perception, 2nd 3d, by Bennett Schwartz & John Krantz that is going into revision for the 3rd edition. You will work with at least both authors and their students, that are willing, and perhaps our editors and others, to examine the interface on the website and perhaps the book, and make recommendations for improvement. At the end of the semenster you will make a presentation to the developers, at least me and perhaps others if I can arrange it via Skype, of your proposal and I will forward your final report to all parties as well.

CS Final Project

For your project, you will use a program or app that you have developed in one of your CS classes that has an interface. You will follow the methodologies that we discuss to devise an improved interface and implement the improvements. You will demonstrate the original interface and discuss your improvements during the last week of class.


Schedule for Final Project

Date Task
May 9 or 10, afternoon Meeting to go over projects (includes proposal of app for CS students)
May 13 or 14, afternoon Progress Review
May 20 or 21, afternoon Presentation review
May 22 or 23, in class In class presentations
May 24, noon Final Paper Due


Assignment Points
Progress 50
Homework (for lack of a better word) 50
Exam 1 75
Exam 2 75
Final Project Presentation 75
Final Project Paper 75
Participation 100
Total 500