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 semiotics. See the course outline for more detail.
We distinguish the following five levels for interface design issues:
- individual psychology;
- sociology and group psychology; and
- organizational issues.
This course will focus on the last three issues, especially the fourth, and
in this regard will consider the following techniques:
- narratology - the study of stories;
- discourse analysis - the study of discourse;
- semiotics - the study of signs and meaning; and
- ethnomethodology - the sociology of ordinariness.
One case study is a system being built at UCSD CSE to support distributed
cooperative software engineering over the www. Prototypes of parts of this
system can be seen at http://www.cs.ucsd.edu/groups/tatami.
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.
- Wednesday, 11:15am-2:05pm, Room APM 3218.
- Section ID 304560, Section A00
The course will draw heavily on Shneiderman, and we will read all of
Latour; other required readings will made available on the web or handed out
in class.These are available through the General Store Cooperative.
All books should be on reserve at the Science and Engineering Library.
The first is of interest for greater depth on stories, and the second is an
amusing overview of some issues in design. The third is temporarily out of
print. The UCSD bookstore has a few copies of the fourth. We will not be
using these two books very much, though some of you may want them for your
projects. In addition, the following is relevant:
- The Literary
Mind, by Mark Turner,
- The Design of Everyday Things, by Donald A. Norman, Doubleday,
- Requirements Engineering: Social and Technical Issues, ed.
Marina Jirotka and Joseph Goguen, Academic Press, 1994.
Algebraic Semantics of Imperative Programs, Joseph Goguen
and Grant Malcolm, MIT Press, 1996 (for those who want to get
deeper into algebraic semiotics).
Grades will be based on the first 4 items below, especially the first;
obviously your class participation and homework should reflect your
familiarity with the readings; items in "Miscellaneous" are for your interest
- Reading assignments
- Homework assignments
- Class discussion
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 elementary
philosophy and cognitive science.
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27 February 1998