Human-Computer Interaction

(INB.05021UF Mensch-Maschine Kommunikation 3VU SS 2017)

Lecturer: Ao.Univ.-Prof. Dr. Keith Andrews
Course Web Site:
My Web Site:

Only send me personal email if you really have to. Please always state your name, group number, and Matrikelnummer. That makes you much easier to find.

Office Hour: Mon. 11:00-12:00 during normal term
Room D.2.16, ID01054, IICM, Inffeldgasse 16c, 1st floor.

Tue 13:15-15:45.
Lecture Theatre i13, ICK1120H, Inffeldgasse 16b, basement.

Sometimes, I have to reschedule a class, because there is a conflict of some kind or I am away. Always check the schedule on TUGrazOnline to be sure.


This course is an introduction to human-computer interaction for undergraduate students, concentrating on user interface design and the methods of usability engineering.

1. Human Computer Interaction
2. The Psychology of Usable Things
3. Usability Engineering
4. Know the User
5. Usability Benchmarking
6. Goal-Oriented Interaction Design
7. Prototyping
8. Usability Inspection Methods
9. Usability Testing Methods
10. Usability in Practice
11. Visual Design and Typography 
12. Icon Design
13. A Brief History of HCI

Sign up in groups of 4 on TUGrazOnline.

It makes sense to coordinate with friends and colleagues (who you know you can work well with) in advance and all sign up for the same group at the same time.

If all the groups are full, I will create new groups as necessary. However, I will only do this once most of the existing groups are full, so that groups are spread fairly evenly across the tutors. For internal accounting reasons, one of the tutors will sometimes have less groups than the other tutors.

If you do not know anybody else, sign up for any group and contact the other group members by email using the "Mail an TeilnehmerInnen" function in TUGrazOnline. Do not post "I am looking for a group" or "Who else is in my group?" messages to the course newsgroup.

If you register for the course, but later decide not to participate, please have the courtesy to unregister from the course.

After the unregistration deadline, if you wish to unregister from the course, please contact me by email. Depending on how far the course has already progressed, I will either unregister you without penalty or (more likely) grade your work up to that point.

If you do not respond to emails from your group colleagues, or do not actively participate, I reserve the right to remove you from the course (with grade 5).

It sometimes happens that one group member does not actively participate and most (or all) of the work is done by the other group members. If this happens in your group and you feel you are carrying an inactive group member, let your tutor know and only write the names of the active group members on the reports you hand in.


For the practical exercises, it is assumed that you have knowledge of HTML5 and CSS3. You should also understand what plain text files and UTF-8 are. If you do not have any prior experience of these, you may wish to refer to Section 2.2 (plain text and UTF-8) and Chapters 10 (Polyglot HTML5) and 11 (CSS3) of my INM 2014 course notes (or similar material elsewhere).

Aims and Objectives of Course:

Students will gain an overview of the theory of human-computer interaction. They will have an appreciation of how to design usable interfaces and will gain the knowledge necessary to perform heuristic evaluations and thinking aloud tests of user interfaces.

Teaching Method:

Lectures with integrated practical work.

Attendance Policy:

Attendance at lectures is not compulsory, but if you miss something, it is your problem and your responsibility to catch up.

Attendance at the client meetings (Abgabegespäche) is compulsory. It is OK if one member of a group is missing, as long as the remaining members attend and are willing to carry the missing person.

Assessment Method:

Your grade will be determined by five practical exercises:

  • Ex1 (group): Heuristic Evaluation Plan (HE Plan).

    This exercise is the first subtask and is equivalent to the beginning of the examination (Satzungsteil Studienrecht § 26(7)).

  • Ex2 (individual/group): Heuristic Evaluation Report (HE Report).

  • Ex3 (group): Thinking Aloud Test Plan (TA Plan).

  • Ex4 (group): Thinking Aloud Test Report (TA Report + TA Videos).

  • Ex5 (individual): Multiple Choice Test (MC).

    This exercise is designated as the partial course requirement which may be repeated (Satzungsteil Studienrecht § 22(4)).

See practicals for more details.

Lecture Notes: [224 pages PDF]

The lecture notes are never in their final form, but will be updated periodically during the course.

If you teach and would like a zip file of the corresponding lecture slides (the same material but in HTML, SVG, PNG, and JPEG), please contact me by email.

Practical Exercises:
Course Books:

I recommend the following books for the course:

Cooper et al, About Face 4 Norman, The Design of Everyday Things, 2nd Edition Krug, Rocket Surgery Made Easy Shneiderman, Designing the User Interface, 6th Edition

Note: Amazon credit me a small referal amount, should you purchase a book after following these links.

Course Newsgroup:

This is where I will post news and announcements and where you should ask any questions you might have. It is also the right place to look to see if your questions have already been answered.

Breaches of Academic Integrity:

Do not plagiarise. Copying the work of others (from the web or elsewhere) or copying from another group and then submitting the work as (part of) your own work is known as plagiarism and is a serious breach of academic integrity. By taking this course, you agree to have your work submitted to plagiarism detection services. Your work may also be cross-checked against other work submitted in the same and previous years.

If you help a fellow student in another group, be careful that you do not disclose your exact solution or work. If the group you help submit substantially identical work to your group, both groups will be punished for plagiarism.

Do not fake. Faking data (for example, inventing the list of problems for a heuristic evaluation) is a serious breach of academic integrity.

The university has a code of conduct and set of guidelines regarding scientific integrity and ethics. Breaches of academic integrity are very serious and will be punished appropriately where discovered.