CSE 171 Homepage
User Interface Design: Social and Technical
- The class notes do not cover everything you need to know for this course,
and their emphasis may not reflect the importance of material. The notes
WILL NOT serve as a substitute for the lectures or the assigned
readings! The lectures and the readings beyond the text are at
least as important as the text.
- There will be short quizes at random times, which will count as part of
New technologies provide the means to build superb new systems, as well as
phenomenally ugly and awkward systems that still fully meet their performance
and functional requirements. This course will explore several approaches
towards a scientific understanding of basic issues of usability,
representation and coordination that arise in interface design and related
areas, such as how to best organize complex information in multimedia. There
will be some focus on distributed cooperative work and on semiotics. See the
course outline for more detail.
We distinguish the following levels for interface design issues:
The course will focus on the last two levels, especially the last, and in
this regard will consider the following:
- individual psychology; and
- sociology, group psychology, and organizational issues.
We will examine a number of case studies, one of which is a system being built
at UCSD CSE to support distributed cooperative software engineering over the
web. A prototype of this system can be seen at
- semiotics - the study of signs and meaning, including metaphor;
- ethnomethodology - the sociology of ordinariness;
- narratology - the study of stories; and
- discourse analysis - the study of discourse.
issues here include: how to present proofs as webpages; how to make proofs
easier to follow, e.g., by linking formal material to background material; how
to motivate difficult proof steps; proof editors vs. proof browsers; direct
manipulation vs. command line interfaces.
- Wednesday, 4:40pm - 7:30pm, Bldg U413, Room 1
- Section ID 361154, Section A00
- Teaching Assistant: Matt Ratto,
office hours: Wednesdays, 2:15 - 4:15pm, MCC248
- The Discussion Section is Monday, 10:10 - 11, Bldg U413, Room 1
Matt Ratto has a webpage for this class
which you should consult for information about section content,
rescheduling, TA office hours, etc.
There is only one required book; other required readings will made
available on the web or handed out in class.
Both of these should be on reserve at the Science and Engineering
Library. The first is a colorful overview of an important and rapidly
developing new field. The second takes a more "classical" approach grounded
in cognitive psychology. The third is new and I have not yet evaluated it.
- Information Visualization, by Robert Spence, Addison Wesley,
2001. ISBN 0-201-59626-1.
- Human-Computer Interaction, by Jennifer Preece, Prentice-Hall,
1998. ISBN 0-13-239864-8.
- Interaction Design, by Jennifer Preece, Yovonne Rogers, and Helen
Sharp, Wiley, 2002. ISBN 0-471-49278-7.
Other Relevant Books
All of the books listed above should be on reserve in the Science and
Engineering Library. The first book on the above "Other Relevant" list is an
amusing overview of some issues in design, while the second is a fascinating
case history of a large design project that failed. The third book is
temporarily out of print; it contains essays on various social aspects of
computing. The book by Linde goes into stories in great depth, while the book
by Turner discusses metaphor and blending in some depth. The book by Nadin
treats the relevance of semiotics to design, among other things. The UCSD
bookstore should have a few copies of the last book, for those who want to go
deeper into the algebraic aspect of algebraic semiotics. We will use these
books very little.
- The Design of Everyday Things, by Donald A. Norman, Doubleday,
- Aramis, or the
Love of Technology, by Bruno Latour, Harvard University Press, 1996.
- Requirements Engineering: Social and Technical Issues, ed. by
Marina Jirotka and Joseph Goguen, Academic Press, 1994.
- The Humane Interface, by Jef Raskin, Addison Wesley, 2000.
- Life Stories: The Creation of Coherence, by Charlotte Linde,
- The Literary
Mind, by Mark Turner,
Civilization of Illiteracy, by Mihai Nadin, Dresden Univ Press, 1998.
Algebraic Semantics of Imperative Programs, by Joseph Goguen and
Grant Malcolm, MIT Press, 1996.
Grades will be based on the first two items below, especially the second;
obviously your homework should reflect your familiarity with the readings,
lectures, and class notes; items in "Class discussion" have been contributed
by class members of CSE 171 or 271, possibly in previous years.
- Homework assignments
- Reading assignments
- Class notes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.
- Class email
Java, XML, etc, nor a touchy-feely course in web aesthetics; rather it
explores various principled approaches to user interface design. You are
expected to already know (or be able to quickly pick up) HTML, and to be able
to read intermediate level philosophy and cognitive science. There will be
a little programming, and some mathematics will be needed.
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