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The following calendar is subject to change.

  • TA office hours: by appointment
  • lyn's office hours: by appointment
Week Lecture Studio Lab Deadlines
Jan 9, Week 1:
Introduction: overview of course, assignments, and textbooks. Overview of evaluation:
  • Evaluation frameworks
  • Why evaluate?
  • Analytic vs. participative evaluation methods
  • Objective vs. subjective evaluation methods
  • Formative vs. summative methods
  • Quantitative vs. qualitative methods

Lecture Materials:

Readings:

  • Chapter 2: What Is Usability Testing?, in Rubin, J. Handbook of Usability Testing, Wiley Publishing (2008).
  • Chapter 3: When Should You Test?, in Rubin, J. Handbook of Usability Testing, Wiley Publishing (2008).
Intro to labs:
  • How labs work
  • How team assignments work
Jan 16, Week 2:

Heuristic Evaluation:

  • Analytical methods
  • History
  • Types
  • Pros and cons
  • Process of applying

Lecture Materials:

Readings:

Assignment 1: Heuristic Evaluation
  • Introduce Assignment 1
  • Exercise: heuristic evaluation of an application

Readings for Assignment 1:

Jan 23, Week 3:

Usability Testing I:

  • What is usability?
  • Usability test plans
  • 3 Methods: silent, think aloud, constructive interaction
  • Usability metrics, data & measurement
  • Test setup & test materials
  • Ethics of working with human subjects

Lecture Materials:

Readings:

  • Part II: The Process for Conducting a Test, in Rubin, J. Handbook of Usability Testing, Wiley Publishing (2008).

Assignment 2: Usability Testing

  • Example usability studies: one think aloud study and one constructive interaction study

Materials for the usability study exercise:

You should start the TCPS 2 Tutorial Course on Research Ethics outside of class and complete it this week. You must attach your completion certificate to your assignment 2.

Assignment 1 due at the start of class.
Jan 30, Week 4:

Usability Testing II: Query Methods

  • Interviews
  • Surveys
  • Questionnaires

Lecture Materials:

Readings:

  • Part II: The Process for Conducting a Test, in Rubin, J. Handbook of Usability Testing, Wiley Publishing (2008).

Lab Activities

Bring a simple 1-2 page test plan for your Assignment 2 to the start of class. This will serve as a Concept Review in grading.
Feb 6, Week 5:

Usability Testing III: Analysis & Writing

  • Qualitative data analysis
  • Quantifying your data
  • Report Writing

Lecture Materials:

Readings:

  • Part II: The Process for Conducting a Test, in Rubin, J. Handbook of Usability Testing, Wiley Publishing (2008).
  • Survey Research (pg. 212-226), Chapter 10 in Martin, D. Doing Psychology Experiments, Wadsworth (2004).

Lab Activities

You can find a cheap trnscription service for turning your audio files into text here at www.temi.com

Feb 13, Week 6:
Reading week!!
Feb 20, Week 7:

Usability through Controlled Lab Experiments:

  • Scientific Method
  • Hypothesis testing explained
  • Independent & dependent variables

Lecture Materials:

Readings:

  • Chapters 1, 2, 7, and 8 in Martin, D. Doing Psychology Experiments, Wadsworth (2004).

Designing Controlled Experiments:

Assignment 2 at the start of class.

Complete team member evaluations here.

Feb 27, Week 8:

Reliability & Validity:

  • Reliability, consistency, repeatability
  • Confounding variables
  • Face validity, construct validity, internal validity, external validity

Lecture Materials:

Readings:

  • Chapters 7, 8, 12, and 13 in Martin, D. Doing Psychology Experiments, Wadsworth (2004).

Assignment 3 continued:

Mar 6, Week 9:

Controlled Experiments & Statistics:

  • Statistics for designers
  • Descriptive statistics
  • Basic Inferential tests
  • Graphing basics

Lecture Materials:

Readings:

  • Chapters 1, 2, 7, 8, 12 and 13 in Martin, D. Doing Psychology Experiments, Wadsworth (2004).
Assignment 3 continued: The first portion of Assignment 3 is due. You must submit your write-up and include everything up to your results section. This means documenting your Introduction and Methodology (hypotheses, pre-test, post-test, tasks, etc) sections of your report.

We will discuss these in class and provide you with a modified experimental design to use when you actually run the study. The goal is to test your ability to design experimental hypotheses and tasks.

Mar 13, Week 10
Field Studies, Emotion & Affect:
  • Conducting field studies
  • Measuring affect and emotion
  • Theories of emotion
  • Quantifying qualitative codes

Lecture Materials:

Readings:

Assignment 4: Affective Evaluation of Gaming:

  • Overview of assignment 4
  • Conduct an example study of gameplay and collect IMI questionnaire data and cued debrief recall data

Readings:

  • Qualitative Designs (pg 14-19) in Martin, D. Doing Psychology Experiments, Wadsworth (2004).
Assignment 3 due before class.
Mar 20, Week 11:
Interface Criticism and Aesthetics:
  • Moving beyond usability
  • Theories of aesthetics

Lecture Materials:

Readings:

Lab Activities

  • Practice affective evaluation, using tools you have already learned: affinity diagramming, interviews, and cued-recall debrief. Warning: you will be expected to upload records of your participation in this exercise.
Mar 27, Week 12:
Aesthetics cont.
  • Challenges in usability evaluation
  • Applicability of usability evaluation
  • Ethics, Social implications, trust

Lecture:

Lab Activities

  • Practice: Aesthetic Evaluation: use aesthetics criticism to evaluate these systems:
April 3, Week 13:
Challenges in Usability Evaluation
  • Challenges in usability evaluation
  • Applicability of usability evaluation
  • Ethics, Social implications, trust

Saul Greenberg's full talk ((.ppt)( on how usability can be harmful some of the time is available online on this page in the Table of Contents.

Readings:

Lab Activities

Apr 10, Week 14:
Exam Review: review of possible exam questions.
Assignment 4 due before class.