OH620: User Requirements and Interaction Specification

General Info

Course-code 0H620
Target Group IN5-4.2 
Study-points 3
Teachers Panos Markopoulos and Mathilde Bekker
Location Aud. 6
Time Thursdays, hours 5 and 6 (13:30-15:15)
Number of lectures  9 lectures

General Description

This course follows the course Introduction to User Interface Design (0H600), by Jacques Terken.  Together with the courses on Cognitive Ergonomics (OH040), Design of Speech Interfaces (OH210, OH230), Agents and Interfaces (OH610), and Evaluation (OH420), they offer a package of practical orientation courses for students of TU/e (primarily Informatics students).

This course focuses on a number of techniques that have been developed in the field of Human-Computer Interaction for analysing and modelling user requirements and supporting the interaction design process.  These techniques complement software development methods and mainstream software engineering approaches to requirements solicitation and specification.  The aim is to support a user centred design of interactive systems: putting users and their usage of systems at the heart of the design and development processes, something that is not sufficiently handled by pure software engineering processes.   

The course offers an in depth look at some of the topics covered in the introduction, such as user modelling and task modelling.  It focuses on a range of techniques that are valuable in practice and package scientific knowledge about human computer interaction and craft knowlege for designng this interaction.

We hope to show that user requirements cannot be dreamt up by putting ourselves in the shoes of users and working for imaginary people.  It will try to show how complex and diverse user requirements may be and how to be systematic in analysis, modelling and design for use.

Course Plan

  Course   Instructor Date
1 Early requirement analysis techniques   Bekker 13/12
2 User profile and usability goal-setting   Markopoulos 20/12
  Design Techniques   Bekker 10/1  (cancelled due to family problems)
3 Contextual Inquiry   Markopoulos 17/1
4 Work Modelling   Markopoulos 31/1
5 Work re-engineering   Markopoulos 7/2
6 Detailed Interaction Specification   Markopoulos 21/2
7 Architectures and architectural requirements   Markopoulos 28/2
8 Project Presentation and Discussion   Markopoulos 7/3


Coursework will be a mini project done in teams.  The project will be broken down to 4 components, following broadly the phases of a design project: (capturing user requirements in two parts, envisioning problem solution, specification of solution).

A hard copy of the coursework should be submitted on the date due and should be e-mailed to the assignor.

NB.  Please revisit this page to check for changes.

Assignment Date Due
1. User Profiling (in pairs) 17/1
2. Task Analysis and Goal Setting (in pairs) 21/2
3. Work modelling (using the models of contextual design and ConcurTaskTrees)  

Note the change in coursework:  Those who have not done the task modelling with use cases and task hierarchies (2nd part of assingment 2 - described at lecture 3), can skip it.  You only need to submit the work models and the concurTaskTrees described at the end of lecture 4 (for this assignment). 

4. User Interface Specification (based on lectures 5 and 6).

Note the changes  (7/3 instead of 14/3 and no presentation required)

Present on 7/3 (cancelled)

Hand-in report by 7/3

5.  User Interface Design metrics Hand in report by 14/3
6.  Software architectures: MVC assignment Hand in report by 14/3

Course Reader

1.  User Profiling and Role Modeling

2.  Contextual Task Analysis and Usability goal specification

3.  Modelling work and tasks 

4.  Work re-engineering

5.    Specifying the 'Feel' of Interaction with UAN and UML

6.    User Interface Design Metrics

7.    Software architectures for UIs (MVC and PAC)

[1] Beyer and Holtzblatt, "Contextual Design - Defining Customer-Centered Systems", Morgan Kaufmann, 1998.


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