Contribution of the course to the overall degree programme goals
The teaching falls within the training activities characterizing the degree in Informatica.
The aim of the course is to provide knowledge on the fundamentals of the interaction between man and computer and on the main paradigms that have developed since the advent of interactive systems.
During the course the student will be guided to know the basic methodologies for the design and evaluation of interactive systems, with particular reference to prototyping methodologies, usability heuristics and evaluation methodologies. The student will be guided to learn how these methodologies can be integrated into the phases of the software life cycle.
The acquired knowledge will be used as a starting point to develop skills and competences in the design of usable user interfaces, through a fundamental activity that is the project work of the course, to be designed in groups using the iterative and interactive approach typical of design thinking.
The teaching contributes to the achievement of the educational goals of the Computer Science bachelor degree, in particular for what concerns the capability of designing usable and accessible user interfaces, underlined in the previous section.
Expected learning outcomes
Knowledge and understanding.
The student will learn the basic models that describe the interaction between man and computer and the main interaction paradigms developed since the advent of interactive computing.
The student will be guided to know the main phases of the design of interactive systems, starting from the analysis of the results of scientific research, the use of prototyping techniques, the use of heuristics for the design and verification up to the use of techniques for the evaluation of interactive prototypes.
In the educational path the student will also learn how to use some tools for creating a prototype of an interactive system and sharing it with the stakeholders.
Ability to apply knowledge and understanding.
The students will be enabled to use the acquired knowledge for the design of an interactive system prototype, starting from the use of prototyping techniques (sketching, storyboarding and low-fidelity prototyping), the use of usability heuristics up to the validation of the prototype on the basis of qualitative parameters such as usability and engagement.
Knowledge of the basic operating mechanisms of the interfaces of modern operating systems based on GUI and touch-screen is required.
English language proficiency is required for the comprehension of texts, publication excerpts and audio-video contributions that the teacher will share in class.
Fundamentals of human-computer communication
- The man
- The computer
- Interaction models
- Batch and time sharing
- Window systems, WIMP
- Direct manipulation
- Textual and visual languages
- Pervasive computing
- Sensor-based and context-based computing
- Virtual and augmented reality
Design and evaluation of interactive systems
- Basic interaction design
- Design rules
- Usability and engagement
- Usability heuristics
- Prototyping methodologies
- Tools for creating interactive prototypes
- Evaluation methodologies
- Design of sustainable interactive systems
S. Greenberg, S. Carpendale, N. Marquardt, B Buxton, Sketching User Experiences: The Workbook, Morgan Kaufmann 2011 (free on the university network)
Articles from conferences and scientific journals (list and pdf versions available in Moodle)
Slides of the course (list and pdf versions available in Moodle)
A. Dix, J. Finlay, G. D. Abowd, R. Beale, Interazione uomo-macchina, McGraw Hill, 2004
L. Gamberini, L. Chittaro and F. Paternò, Human-Computer Interaction - I fondamenti dell'interazione tra persone e tecnologie, Pearson, 2012
R. Polillo, Facile da usare - Una moderna introduzione all'ingegneria dell'usabilità, Apogeo, 2010
The assessment of learning will take place through a project work performed in group and focused on the conceptual design of an interactive system, starting from the definition of the requirements up to the creation of an interactive prototype developed with one of the tools taught in the course.
The project work, which include intermediate check points, is aimed at measuring how the student has been capable of using concepts and design methodologies learned during the course and at experimenting collaboration, typical of real work situations.
A complementary individual written exam with 10 closed questions, aimed at measuring the student's personal knowledge of the course's topics, is required.
The project work has a fundamental role in defining the final score, which can be increased or decreased up to two points based on the results of the written exam. Passing the exam requires to obtain at least the passing mark in both tests.
Examples of written exams of past academic years are available in the Moodle area of the course.
In the initial phase of the course, students will have the opportunity to partecipate, on a voluntary basis, to one or more small exercises focused on basic interaction design; the exercises performed in a satisfactory way will entitle the students to gain a bonus (up to 1 point) to be added to the final result deriving from the project work and the written exam.
The HCI course is focused on design practice, therefore students are strongly encouraged to engage themselves in the project work. However, for situations of proven impossibility to participate in group work, an alternative assessment method is offered based on the elaboration of a paper of about 20 pages on a theme proposed by the teacher, aimed at analyzing the state of the art of a subject related to HCI through a bibliographic research focused on scientific literature. In addition to this essay, an individual written exam of 10 open questions is required, aimed at measuring the knowledge of the course's topics.
The course uses a blended approach.
The classroom lessons will include frontal lessons for acquiring knowledge of the concepts and of the methodologies used in the course and some lab lessons for learning how to use the technical tools that are needed.
The remote lessons will be characterized by the use of a collaborative methodology for conducting the basic interaction design exercises and the project work, taking advantage of the tools available in the Moodle platform (chat, wiki, workshop, peer-review).
Type of exam
written and oral
- This subject deals with topics related to the macro-area "Cities, infrastructure and social capital" and contributes to the achievement of one or more goals of U. N. Agenda for Sustainable Development
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