Interaction Design

COGS120 / CSE170 · Scott Klemmer · Winter 2021 · UCSD

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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


Thursdays 9:30am-10:50am

Studio Section

   Office Hours Calendar


Calendar • Follow the lab/assignment link to submit work

Week Lecture Lab Assignment
January 5

Welcome to Interaction Design

January 7

Source control (video)

January 12

Experience Design (video)

  • Participant Observation video
  • Interviewing video
  • Additional Needfinding Strategies video
  • Paper Prototypes and Mockups video
  • Faking it: Wizard of Oz video
January 14

Styling (video)

January 19

Prototyping (video)

  • Heuristics: Understanding video
  • Heuristics: Action video
  • Heuristics: Feedback video
  • Watch two students
    do Heuristic Evaluation video
January 21

Interactive Web pages

Due Sat 1/23, 11:59 am

All Design is Redesign

January 26

Show Your Flow: Get Feedback (video)

  • Video Prototyping video
January 28
Due Sat 1/30, 6:00 pm

Experience Prototyping

February 2

Mental models & distributing cognition (video)

  • Mental Models video
  • Distributing Cognition (Part 1) video
  • Distributing Cognition (Part 2) video
February 4

Putting it together (video)

Due Sat 2/6, 6:00 pm


February 9

Visual design(video)

February 11

FB Login & AJAX (video)

Due Thurs 2/11, 11:59 pm

A4: Show your flow, get feedback (submit individually)

February 16

Running Experiments (video)

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

February 18

Analytics and A/B Testing (video)

Due Thurs 2/18, 11:59 pm

A5: Skeleton, and a plan

February 23

Input (video)

  • Finding, Filtering & Foraging video
  • Designing Effective Search video
February 25

APIs, Gesture, and AJAX

Due Thurs 2/25, 11:59 pm

A6: Meat on the Bones

March 2

Presenting design work

March 4

Debugging 101
(submission required)

Due Thurs 3/4, 11:59 pm

A7: Ready for Testing

March 9

Social computing

March 11

Video Workshop & pitch practice (no submission)

Due Sat 3/13, 11:59 pm

A8: Show & Tell; Extra Credit

This course was created by Scott Klemmer. It incorporates revisions by Michael Bernstein and many TAs. Instructors: you are welcome to use these materials for your own class, and dozens of courses around the world do. We share all course materials through a CC-BY license. Please let Scott know if you use them, and also any suggestions you have.