Course Description

If you want to create designs that provide an outstanding User Experience you need to have a deep understanding of human capabilities and limitations. This course will teach you that.

Whether you are a newcomer to the subject of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) or a professional, by the end of the course you will have a deep understanding of what it means to be a user and how to implement user-centred design for the best possible results.

This course is based on short but in-depth videos created by the amazing Alan Dix. You'll be in great company with this renowned professor from Lancaster University who is specialised in HCI and co-author of the classic textbook, Human–Computer Interaction.

During the course you will cover (among many, many other things)

  • Definitions of human-computer interaction
  • The design process involved in interaction design, navigation design and screen design
  • Cognition and perception, encompassing attention, memory, thought and the role of the 'senses' in HCI
  • Emotion and why it is so important to user experience
  • Implementation of windowing systems, applications, architectures and frameworks
  • How to evaluate user experience using numbers and statistics

By the end of the course you will

  • have a broad understanding of 'human-computer interaction'
  • be equipped with background and theoretical knowledge of human-computer interaction and how to apply it in a practical setting
  • have a deep understanding of the human behind the term 'user' and the ingredients of a great user experience

An overview of what you will learn from each lesson:

1. Lesson 1: Introducing Human Computer Interaction (HCI)
This lesson introduces the field of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) as an academic and design discipline since its beginnings in the 1980s.

2. Lesson 2: Interaction Design
This Lesson starts by considering the nature of design and typical activities within a user-centred interaction design process from initial requirements gathering, through a cycle of analysis, design, prototyping and evaluation, to eventual deployment. Later Lessons deal with some of these activities in detail, however this module expands on some of the core design activities. User personae and scenarios of use are presented as ways to capture the results of early user studies. General guidelines are introduced for both individual screen/page design and broader site/application-wide navigation design. Finally the interplay between iterative development and more principled design are explored.

3. Lesson 3: The Human: perception, cognition and action
In order to design for people it is important to understand the way humans work. This Lesson looks at the nature of perception, cognition and action, both separately and more importantly how they work together. It covers vision and hearing in special detail, but also other external senses: touch, taste and smell, and internal senses, notably proprioception. As well as short- and long-term memory, we discuss the less commonly studied in-between memory needed for situation awareness and context. We see how perception and action are linked through conscious and tacit cognition giving rise to embodied action in the world.

4. Lesson 4: Emotion and Experience
User experience has become critical in the design of digital products. More widely, understanding emotion is central to education, games, arts projects and digital campaigns for health and social involvement. This Lesson looks at the reasons for the growing importance of experience, especially for bespoke and targeted products, and diverse examples where emotion is the primary or secondary goal of a product. We discuss some of the psychological and social theories of emotion and individual experience, as well as the special features of longer term extended experiences. Drawing on this we see how it is possible to explicitly design experience.

5. Lesson 5: Implementation
This Lesson looks at the special issues that arise when implementing user interfaces, whether desktop, web or mobile applications or plug-in apps. It considers the layers within a typical system, from the OS and window system sharing and managing limited screen and input devices, through toolkits that provide standard widgets and give device independence to the actual application code. Screen painting and input event models are described, and the links between the two. We discuss both conceptual and pragmatic architectures, including Seeheim and MVC, and the way these are changing as we move from desktop applications to largely web-based systems.

6. Lesson 6: Evaluation, Validation and Empirical Methods
You have designed a product; is it is any good? You have a first prototype; how do you improve it? Evaluation and empirical methods are a central part of HCI. There are many methods: qualitative and quantitative, in the lab or in the wild, too many to cover in detail, so this Lesson focuses mainly on how to choose an appropriate method depending on the stage of design and goals of the evaluation. There is a little on designing studies, a tiny bit of statistics, and how rigorous justification can complement and target evaluation in order to validate your work.

Industry-trusted Course Certificate

You earn an industry-trusted Course Certificate once you complete the course - even if you finish the course after the official end date. In other words, as long as you have enrolled in the course you will always be able to finish it and to get a course certificate. You will also have permanent access to the course material, your answers and the discussions.

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Course Certificate

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