Interaction Design

COGS120/CSE170 · Scott Klemmer · Winter 2017 · UCSD

  • Use Piazza to communicate with teaching staff.

In this course, you will learn how to design technologies that bring people joy, rather than frustration. To do this, you'll learn techniques for rapidly prototyping and evaluating multiple interface alternatives — and why rapid prototyping and comparative evaluation are essential to excellent interaction design. You'll learn how to conduct fieldwork with people to help generate design ideas. You'll learn how to make paper prototypes and low-fidelity mock-ups that are interactive — and how to use these designs to get feedback from teammates, clients, and users. You'll learn principles of visual design, perception and cognition so that you can effectively organize and present information with your interfaces. And you'll learn how to perform and analyze controlled experiments online.

Through a series of weekly assignments, you will complete a quarter-long project in teams of three. Each week, in small design studios, you present and discuss work with peers. The setting for the course is mobile web applications. The constraints of this small form factor set the stage for this challenge.

Weekly schedule


Tuesdays 9:30am-10:50am
CICC 101 (Copley International Conference Center)


Thursdays 9:30am-10:50am
CICC 101 (Copley International Conference Center)

Studio Section

Fridays 8:50-10:00am, 10:10am-11:20am, 11:30am-12:40pm, 2:50pm-14:00pm, or 14:10pm-15:20pm
CSB 180, CSB 272, HSS 1346

CogSci building location
HSS building location

   Office Hours (in CSB114)

  • Vincent Liaw 11:00am-12:00pm
  • Scott Klemmer 11:00am-12:00pm
  • Kandarp Khandwala 1:00pm-2:00pm
  • Jeremy Blackstone 3:00pm-4:00pm
  • Chen Yang 10:30am-11:30am
  • Celia Durkin 1:00pm-2:00pm
  • Nida Hussain 3:00pm-4:00pm
  • Daniel Kong 11:00am-12:00pm
  • Robert J Gougelet 1:00pm-2:00pm

Calendar • Follow the lab/assignment link to submit work • Bring a fully-charged laptop to each class!

Week Lecture Lab Assignment
January 10

Introduction & Needfinding

January 12

Source control

Due Thursday, 1/12, 11:59 pm

A1: Needfinding

Turn in A0 (worksheet) at the start of studio.
January 17

Experience Design

  • Paper Prototypes and Mockups video
  • Faking it: Wizard of Oz video

Quiz 1

January 19


Due Thursday, 1/19, 11:59 pm

A2: Experience Prototypes

January 24


  • Heuristics: Understanding video
  • Heuristics: Action video
  • Heuristics: Feedback video
  • Watch two students
    do Heuristic Evaluation video
January 26

Interactive Web pages

Due Thursday, 1/26, 11:59 pm

A3: Prototyping

January 31

Show Your Flow: Get Feedback

  • Video Prototyping video

Quiz 2

February 2
Due Thursday, 2/2, 11:59 pm

A4: Show Your Flow: Get Feedback

February 7

Mental models & distributing cognition

  • Mental Models video
  • Distributing Cognition (Part 1) video
  • Distributing Cognition (Part 2) video
February 9

Putting it together

Due Thursday, 2/9, 11:59 pm

A5: Skeleton and a plan

February 14

Visual design

Quiz 3

February 16


Due Thursday, 2/16, 11:59 pm

A6: Meat on the bones

February 21

Running Experiments

  • Assigning participants to conditions video
  • In-Person Experiments video
  • Comparing rates w/CHI-Squared video

February 23

Analytics and A/B Testing

Due Thursday, 2/23, 11:59 pm

A7: Ready for testing

February 28


  • Finding, Filtering & Foraging video
  • Designing Effective Search video
March 2

Third-party APIs

Due Thursday, 3/2, 11:59 pm

A8: Test your prototype

March 7

Presenting design work

Quiz 4

March 9

Interactive Mobile Gestures
(no submission)

Due Thursday, 3/9, 11:59 pm

A9: Results!

March 14

Social computing

March 16

Video Workshop & pitch practice (no submission)

Due Thursday, 3/16, 11:59 pm

A10: Show & Tell

Friday, 3/17, 3:30 pm

Final Show

Due Sunday, 3/19, 11:59 pm

Extra Credit Work