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Human Computer Interaction & Information Visualization


Admission requirements

Not applicable


Human Computer Interaction is concerned with man-machine interfaces. Every system equipped with a microprocessor has some kind of user interface for its operation. This is, in particularly, the case for systems that require which interaction as an essential ingredient for its normal operation: i.e. computers and computer programs.
Human Computer Interaction covers various aspects of the interaction between the human operator a computer system. In the lectures the underlying principles for the design of the computer interface and interaction are discussed. This includes aspects of human perception, cognitive processes and memory but also subjects directly related to interface and interaction design, i.e. metaphores, widgets, windowing systems and object orientation. In the modern approach of Human Computer Interaction, the user is the pivot of the design trajectory. Design methods are based on this principle and this will be clear in discussion of problem analysis, prototyping, evaluation and usability. Recent developments in HCI are discussed in the lectures.
The students in this course are taking part of either the regular Computer Science (CS, including I&E) programme or of the Mediatechnology (MT) programme. In addition, the course is included in the minor Computer Science. The course consists of two parts: (1) HCI Theory, and (2) practical assignments. Documentation and assignment is made available via the website of this course.

Course objectives

Understand the major principles of interaction design. Understand the key concepts in the trajectory of designing and implementing interactive products. Being able to apply these concepts to a practical research plan and to study the usability of an interactive application. Being able to critically assess the design process through a research question and report on results of a “short” study.

Time table

The most updated version of the timetables can be found on the students' website:

Mode of instruction

In the first part of the semester, twice a week a lecture of 2 hours. After the lecture series is completed (mid-October) the practical part will be monitored; students work in a each team of two and will have to present their project as well as their progress. This is considered beneficial for all students working on the projects, presentation skills and feedback, as well as to the other students, exercise in critical evaluation and inspiration for their own projects. The presentations are scheduled at the same time as the normal lecture-hours. Appointments regarding the presentation date will be made after evaluation of your work plan. The composition of a workgroup is made such to stimulate active participation of all students attending.

Assessment method

Written exams (35%)
Theoretical concepts as presented in the lectures and reading materials will be tested through 4 (short) written exams. These exams (subtests) are given during the lecture series. Therefore, attending these lectures is obligatory. The combined grade of these exams contributes 35% to the overall course grade. The exact dates of the tests and how it is planned in the lectures will be announced in the first lecture. All tests will be included in the lecture time and within the scheduled lectures. If the average score of the exams is lower than 5.5, students can attend the retake. The retake will be a complete written exam covering the theory of all the lectures. It is not possible to redo only one of the tests.

Project (65%)
Most of the course is “hands-on”, i.e. students will design, implement, evaluate and present their own interactive products. In addition to the design of the interface, research on its usability is an essential part of the practical work. For the practical part attendance of workgroup presentations is obligatory according to the arrangements presented by the lecturer. A short paper is presented on the assignment and the process to the final product. The grade for the practical work is evaluated after a final presentation. The grade is composed of a number of assessments that are indicative for the overall quality of the practical work. The practical work contributes 65% to the final grade.

Both parts of the final grade (written exam and project) should be >= 5.5.

Reading list

The recommended book that will be used throughout the course and provides a lot of background for the assignment is: Designing Interactive Systems (2nd edition) David Benyon, 2010, Pearson-Addison Wesley
The book can be ordered via Benyon

Other Books:
Beyond Human Computer Interaction – Jenny Preece, et al., 2002, Wiley and Sons.
Designing the User Interface – Ben Shneiderman, 1998, AWL
The Human Interface – Jef Raskin, 2002, AWL
Human Computer Interaction – Jenny Preece et al, 1995, AWL


You can enrol via uSis . More information about signing up for classes and exams can be found here.

There is limited space for students who are not enrolled in the BSc programme of Computer Science or the Minor Data Science. Please contact the study coordinator/study adviser.

Contact information

Study coordinator Informatica: Riet Derogee