CSE 271 Homepage
User Interface Design: Social and Technical
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 five levels for interface design issues:
The course will focus on the last three levels, especially the fourth, and in
this regard will consider the following:
- individual psychology;
- sociology and group psychology; and
- organizational issues.
- semiotics - the study of signs and meaning;
- ethnomethodology - the sociology of ordinariness;
- narratology - the study of stories; and
- discourse analysis - the study of discourse.
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 /groups/tatami/kumo/exs/. Some 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.
Notes: Be sure to check pages on this website frequently; important
notices will be posted near the top of this homepage; homework and readings
will be posted on their respective webpages, not given in class. You should
reload all webpages frequently, because I may be editing the same page that
you are reading! All webpages are subject to frequent unannounced updates.
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. Moreover, the lectures and readings go beyond the text, and are
at least as important as the text. In addition, there will be
handout, diagrams on the board, and possibly guest appearances in the
lectures. In short, all three of lectures, notes and text are necessary.
- Wednesdays, 1:25 to 4:15 pm, Room APM 3218
- Section ID 402523, Section A00
- There is no TA for this class
- My office hours: Wednesdays, 4:15 to 5:00 pm
The only required book is Shneiderman; other required readings will made
available on the web or handed out in class.This should be available through the UCSD bookstore.
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.
- Scientific Visualization, by Robert Spence, Addison Wesley,
2001. ISBN 0-201-59626-1.
- Human-Computer Interaction, by Jenny Preece, Prentice-Hall, 1998.
Other Relevant Books
The first book above 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 not use any of these books very much, but some of you may
want them for your projects
- 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 your project, your presentation of your project,
and possibly one or more exams; obviously your project, presentation, and
exams should reflect your familiarity with the readings, lectures and class
notes. There will be homework assignments, but they will not be graded; see
me after class if you want feedback on these. The items in Class participation and Miscellaneous have
been contributed by class members of CSE 171 or CSE 271, possibly from
previous years, and are for your interest and/or amusement.
- Reading assignments.
- Class notes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.
- Homework assignments.
- Class participation.
- Homepage of the book Designing the
User Interface, by Ben
Shneiderman, Addison Wesley, 1998 (thrid edition). ISBN 0-201-69497-2.
- Homepage of Interactions
magazine, published by the ACM.
- Homepage of Ben
- Homepage of Jennifer
Preece; see in particular, the subsite on her new book, Online Communities.
- The homepage of Phil Agre
at UCLA contains many interesting publications, a good bibliography, and many
- Homepage of Geoff Bowker,
interesting material on sociology of science, including biodiversity
informatics, information infrastructure, classification systems, medical
records, and more.
- Homepage of Leigh
Star, interesting material on sociology of science, including boundary
objects, classification systems, information systems, and more.
Warning: This is neither a technical course in HTML,
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 some programming, and some mathematics will be needed. This course
will be conducted as a seminar; we will discuss the readings and related
topics under the assumption that you have already understood the readings. It
may be easy to deceive yourself into thinking that you have understood when
you haven't; please consider taking CSE 171 instead, since it will go over a
subset of the content of CSE 271 in more detail, with more feedback available.
Here are links to the first quiz, the midterm, and the final
for CSE 171, Winter 2000.
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Last modified: Sat Jun 9 14:01:08 PDT 2001