Human-Computer Interaction - HCI

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How this course will help your career

What you will learn

  • An introduction to all aspects of Human-Computer Interaction
  • How to carry out the design process involved in interaction design, navigation design, and screen design
  • How cognition and perception, which encompass attention, memory, thought, the “senses” play a role in affecting the experience of interactive design
  • Why emotion is to user experience
  • How to implement windowing systems, applications, architectures, and frameworks
  • How to evaluate user experience using numbers and statistics

Interactions between computers and humans should be as intuitive as conversations between two humans—and yet many products and services fail to achieve this. So, what do you need to know so as to create an intuitive user experience? Human psychology? Emotional design? Specialized design processes? The answer is, of course, all of the above, and this course will cover them all.

Human-computer interaction (HCI) is about understanding what it means to be a user of a computer (which is more complicated than it sounds), and therefore how to create related products and services that work seamlessly. It’s an important skill to master, because it gives any company the perspective and knowledge needed to build products that work more efficiently and therefore sell better. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the Computer and IT occupation to grow by 12% from 2014–2024, faster than the average for all occupations. This goes to show the immense demand in the market for professionals equipped with the right computer and IT skills.

This course provides a comprehensive introduction and deep dive into HCI, so you can create designs that provide outstanding user experiences. Whether you are a newcomer to the subject of 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-centered design for the best possible results.

This course is based on in-depth videos created by the amazing Alan Dix. You'll be in great company with this renowned professor and Director of the Computational Foundry at Swansea University, a specialist in HCI and co-author of the classic textbook, Human-Computer Interaction.

Gain an industry-trusted UX Course Certificate

You earn a verifiable and industry-trusted Course Certificate once you complete the course. You can highlight them on your resume, CV, LinkedIn profile or your website.

Course Certificate

Our courses and Course Certificates are trusted by these industry leaders, who have taken up company memberships with the IDF:

Centure, Adobe, GE, IBM, Philips and SAP

Who should take this course

This is a beginner-level course suitable for newcomers and experienced practitioners alike:

  • UX designers who want to gain in-depth theoretical knowledge to augment their experience
  • Project managers looking to understand how to build products that work intuitively
  • Software engineers who want a solid understanding of human-computer interaction and UX design
  • Entrepreneurs looking to create well-designed products that stand out from the competition
  • Marketers who want to gain a deep understanding of customers
  • Newcomers to design who are considering making a switch to HCI or UX design

Courses in the Interaction Design Foundation are designed to contain comprehensive, evidence-based content, while ensuring that the learning curve is never too steep. All participants will have the opportunity to share ideas, seek help with tests, and enjoy the social aspects afforded by our open and friendly forum.

Learn and work with a global team of designers

When you take part in this course, you will join a global multidisciplinary team working on the course and the exercises at the same time as you. You will work together to improve your skills and understanding. Your course group will be made up of an incredibly diverse group of professionals, all of whom have the same objective—to become successful designers. It’s your chance to learn, grow, and network with your peers across the planet.

Lessons in this course

  • Lessons become available at a schedule of one lesson per week.
  • Lessons remain open for you forever and have no deadlines.
  • There is no time limit to finish a course.
  • You have permanent access to your course material, answers, and classmates for the entire duration of your membership.
  • Estimated time to complete: 16 hours 17 mins spread over 9 weeks.

Lesson 0: Introductions and welcome

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 39 mins.

  • 0.1: An introduction to IDF courses (14 mins)
  • 0.2: Let our community help you (1 min)
  • 0.3: How to earn your Course Certificate (4 mins)
  • 0.4: Meet your peers online in our discussion forums (6 mins)
  • 0.5: Meet and learn from design professionals in your area (1 min)
  • 0.6: Gain Timeless Knowledge Through IDF Courses (11 mins)
  • 0.7: Mandatory lessons vs. Optional lessons (2 mins)
  • 0.8: A mix between video-based and text-based lesson content (2 mins)

Lesson 1: Introducing Human-computer Interaction

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 42 mins.

  • 1.1: HCI 1 (6 mins)
  • 1.2: What is HCI? (8 mins)
  • 1.3: Changes and trends (13 mins)
  • 1.4: Dialogue with the world (10 mins)
  • 1.5: Discussion Forum (5 mins)

Lesson 2: Interaction Design

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 3 hours 53 mins.

  • 2.1: HCI 2 (11 mins)
  • 2.2: HCI 3 (8 mins)
  • 2.3: HCI 4 (15 mins)
  • 2.4: 5 Stages in the Interaction Design Process (14 mins)
  • 2.5: Learn to Prioritize in Your Interaction Design Process (8 mins)
  • 2.6: User Focus - Personae (11 mins)
  • 2.7: User Focus - Probes (11 mins)
  • 2.8: Scenarios (17 mins)
  • 2.9: Introduction and Structure (9 mins)
  • 2.10: Navigation Design - Four Golden Rules (15 mins)
  • 2.11: Navigation Design - Global: Between Screens, Within the Application (12 mins)
  • 2.12: Navigation Design - Wider Still: Between Applications and Beyond (10 mins)
  • 2.13: Design and Layout (18 mins)
  • 2.14: Whitespace (9 mins)
  • 2.15: Physical Devices Too (9 mins)
  • 2.16: User Action and Control (13 mins)
  • 2.17: Appropriate Appearance (23 mins)
  • 2.18: Exercise: Analysing Website Navigation and Screen Design (4 mins)
  • 2.19: Why do You Need Prototyping (9 mins)
  • 2.20: Windows 8: The Animated Evaluation (1 min)
  • 2.21: Discussion Forum (5 mins)

Lesson 3: Cognition and Perception

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 1 hour 46 mins.

  • 3.1: The Human: Perception and Cognition (5 mins)
  • 3.2: The Five Senses and Some More (17 mins)
  • 3.3: Eye and Vision (25 mins)
  • 3.4: Ear and Sound (Part One) (18 mins)
  • 3.5: Ear and Sound (Part Two) (21 mins)
  • 3.6: Activity: Optical Illusions - How Do They Work? (3 mins)
  • 3.7: In Short - Sight and Sound (12 mins)
  • 3.8: Selective attention test (1 min)
  • 3.9: Man-Machine Nightmares: Chaos buttons human error and healthcare (1 min)
  • 3.10: Discussion Forum (5 mins)

Lesson 4: Memory

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 1 hour 23 mins.

  • 4.1: Memory - Part 1 - Types of Memory (9 mins)
  • 4.2: Memory - Part 2 - Short-Term Memory (9 mins)
  • 4.3: Memory - Part 3 - Long-Term Memory (17 mins)
  • 4.4: Memory - Part 4 - Mezzanine Memory (5 mins)
  • 4.5: Memory - Part 5 - Reliable Memory (7 mins)
  • 4.6: Exercise: Using Memory (3 mins)
  • 4.7: Activity: Memory and Education - Do the politicians get it right? (2 mins)
  • 4.8: In Short - Memory (26 mins)
  • 4.9: Discussion Forum (5 mins)

Lesson 5: Thinking and Action

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 39 mins.

  • 5.1: Thinking (13 mins)
  • 5.2: Exercise: Wason -Does it work? (6 mins)
  • 5.3: Into Action and Into the World (13 mins)
  • 5.4: Activity: Fitts' Law - Try it yourself (3 mins)
  • 5.5: Discussion Forum (5 mins)

Lesson 6: Emotion and Experience

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 3 hours 2 mins.

  • 6.1: Emotion and Experience - Introduction (7 mins)
  • 6.2: Why UX Now? (15 mins)
  • 6.3: Emotions in Systems (11 mins)
  • 6.4: Emotion and Experience - Application Areas 1 (14 mins)
  • 6.5: Emotion and Experience - Application Areas 2 (13 mins)
  • 6.6: Emotion and Experience - Application Areas 3 (3 mins)
  • 6.7: Emotion Theory - kinds of emotion, reason and emotion (19 mins)
  • 6.8: Emotion Theory - the happy mean, experience and enchantment (13 mins)
  • 6.9: Exercise: Does theory help? (3 mins)
  • 6.10: Designing Experience - Crackers case study (28 mins)
  • 6.11: Designing Experience - Exercise (3 mins)
  • 6.12: Designing for Peak Experience (16 mins)
  • 6.13: Designing for peak experience - Exercise (3 mins)
  • 6.14: Extended episodic experience - Introduction (5 mins)
  • 6.15: Extended episodic experience - Exercise (2 mins)
  • 6.16: The Drift Table (1 min)
  • 6.17: Extended episodic experience - Theory (21 mins)
  • 6.18: Extended episodic experience - Theory Exercise (1 min)
  • 6.19: Kursaal Flyers - Little does she know 1976 (1 min)
  • 6.20: Discussion Forum (5 mins)

Lesson 7: Implementation

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 2 hours 17 mins.

  • 7.1: Introduction: Implementation Support (5 mins)
  • 7.2: Screen and Resource Management (12 mins)
  • 7.3: Management and Architecture (14 mins)
  • 7.4: Toolkits (8 mins)
  • 7.5: Paint Models (18 mins)
  • 7.6: Event Models (26 mins)
  • 7.7: Exercise: Reviewing Code (10 mins)
  • 7.8: Software Architecture and General Frameworks (29 mins)
  • 7.9: Exercise: MVC in nuclear control room (3 mins)
  • 7.10: Exercise: Seeheim Scenario (4 mins)
  • 7.11: Activity: Learn to Programme a UI (3 mins)
  • 7.12: Discussion Forum (5 mins)

Lesson 8: Evaluation

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 1 hour 56 mins.

  • 8.1: 4 Types of Evaluation (14 mins)
  • 8.2: Studies and Experiments (16 mins)
  • 8.3: Exercise: Mobile App Evaluation (8 mins)
  • 8.4: Numbers and Statistics (23 mins)
  • 8.5: Exercise: Fitts' Number Crunching (11 mins)
  • 8.6: From Data to Knowledge (15 mins)
  • 8.7: Exercise: Analysing and Interpreting Wason Card Test Data (8 mins)
  • 8.8: From Evaluation to Validation (17 mins)
  • 8.9: Discussion Forum (5 mins)

Lesson 9: Course Certificate, Final Networking, and Course Wrap-up

To be scheduled.

  • 9.1: Course Evaluation (1 min)

Learning paths

This course is part of 3 learning paths:

  • UX Designer
    UX Designer
  • Interaction Designer
    Interaction Designer
  • Front-End Developer
    Front-End Developer
  • How others have benefited

    Briane Paul Samson

    Briane Paul Samson, Japan

    “The course covered a large breadth of essential knowledge in order to start a research or practice in HCI. I liked how he used the same example or cases for some of the exercises to ensure coherence between the chapters.”

    Walter Darcie Neto

    Walter Darcie Neto, Brazil

    “I believe the content of the course its an must have knowledge for every person who works with technology, either if working with design or coding.”

    Francesco Manciocchi

    Francesco Manciocchi, Italy

    “One of the most comprehensive online lessons about designing a product for the user, thanks!”

    How to advance your career with IDF courses

    1. Attend lessons at your own pace

      Each week throughout the course, you get access to a new lesson, but you can move through the lessons at your own pace. This means you can learn before you leave for work, or in between breaks — in as little as 15 minutes per day.

    2. Network online and offline

      Network with your fellow course-takers online, through discussion forums inside lessons. You can also connect with your peers offline via IDF’s Local Groups. Local Groups connect you with other designers around your city who share the same passion in UX design as you.

    3. Advance your career

      Get a verifiable and industry-trusted Course Certificate once you’ve scored at least 70% on a course. Highlight your Course Certificates on your résumé, your LinkedIn profile, or your website to showcase your newly mastered skills.

    Start advancing your career now

    Become a member to take “Human-Computer Interaction - HCI”. Take any other IDF UX courses at no additional cost. Take a concrete step forward in your career path today.



    Can I take more than one course at a time?

    Yes, you can take all the courses you would like. For example, if there are 30 active courses, you can enroll in all 30 courses at the same time and move from one to the other as you please.

    There are no further charges once you’ve paid for your membership.

    Please note: If you have a student membership, you can take a maximum of three courses at the same time. As a student, you can thus still take all the courses you would like – free of extra charges – just as long as you finish them (or drop them) so that you don’t have more than three ongoing courses at the same time.

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    I missed the enrollment date and now the course is closed. Will I have any opportunity to take the course in the future?

    Don't worry if you missed the course. We will re-run it shortly. One of the reasons we continually open and close courses is to be able to control the classroom size.

    Networking is a large part of our value proposition, so we want just the right number of people inside the courses. That is also why we display the "XX % percent booked" on our course icons.

    We’ll re-schedule the course and make it available for sign-up on in only about a week (or perhaps a little bit longer). The actual start date of the course will be a few weeks after sign-ups begin too. We’ve found that this is the best way to maximize flexibility and convenience for everyone, especially you as you put your course program together.

    Do I have to be online at an exact time to study?

    No. You can set your own study schedule. There are no "live sessions" or "webinars" since our members are from all timezones around the world. We are a truly global community – with members in every single corner of the world.

    Thus, once you are enrolled, you can take all the time you want to complete a given course. Every "classroom" in each course will never close, so you’ll have permanent access to your classmates and your course material (as well as your own answers).

    Will I receive a Course Certificate?

    Yes. Every time you complete a course, you get an industry-recognized Course Certificate. There is no limit to how many Course Certificates you can earn during your membership. You will also receive a 3-step guide on how to include your Course Certificate on LinkedIn and in your résumé/CV.

    You can see an example of a Course Certificate at the bottom of the Course Catalogue.

    How can I drop a course?

    You can simply go to the course page and click on the “Drop Course” button — please bear in mind that this will also erase all your course progress and answers.

    I have answered questions in a lesson; when will they be marked/graded?

    We do the marking/grading in so-called "sprints," where we sit down and do all the marking/grading in one go. Your answers will be graded approximately one week after you submit your work.

    We do this because it is much more efficient than doing one little step every day. It's part of our lean/agile work philosophy, and that approach to efficiency is one of the factors that keeps our membership prices so incredibly low.

    We are doing it to save you money and as part of our mission to lower the cost of high-quality design education.

    I have updated my name, but my course certificate is not updated — how can I change it?

    Please contact us at and our member support will regenerate your certificate with the correct name.

    I have started the course/lesson later than the specified date, are my answers still going to be marked?

    We will be marking answers for as long as there are active members. Therefore, even if you are the only person taking a lesson at that particular time, your answers will still be marked.

    How are courses graded?

    Multiple-choice questions are automatically graded by our system, whilst open-ended questions are marked by the course instructors.

    I started a course after the official start date; for how long will I have access to the course materials?

    Regardless of when you have enrolled on a course, you will have access to the course materials for the entire duration of your membership. So, if you pay for a one-year membership, you will have access for one year, renewing your membership for a second year means you will have access for two years, and so on.

    English is not my first language so it takes me longer to learn through the course content, will I still be able to answer questions after the course completion date?

    Yes, you will be able to submit answers for the whole duration of your membership.

    New lessons are starting before I have had the chance to complete all aspects of the previous lesson(s); am I going to be locked out of these unfinished lessons?

    No, you will not be locked out of any lesson or course. You will have access to all course materials throughout your membership, so there is no pressure to keep at the same pace as the specified lesson release dates.

    All we recommend is that you try to stick to the same schedule as other participants. The reason is they may have moved on to other lessons, thereby meaning you could miss out on the social aspects of the course(s). However, we anticipate that there will be a constant flow of participants working through different lessons and courses, so overall you are unlikely to miss out. We will also be running all courses again — so there really is no rush.

    Are course certificates awarded on a specific date?

    No; you can generate your certificate as soon as you attain at least 70% of the total course points.

    When will I receive my Course Certificate?

    Course certificates will be given to participants when they have scored more than 70% or more of the total course points. For example, if a course contains ten lessons each with ten questions, you will receive a course certificate when the instructor has awarded you at least 70 points (70% of the total course points).

    There is no specified time that certificates will be awarded — instead, they are given to participants as and when they have answered all questions, even if this is long after the official end date.

    How do I add my Course Certificate to my LinkedIn profile?

    Below is a step-by-step guide on how to add your IDF course(s) to your LinkedIn profile:

    1. Log in to your LinkedIn account, then go to your profile.
    2. On the right, in the Add profile section dropdown, choose Background and then select the + next to Licenses & Certifications.

    3. In the following fields add:
      • Name – Course name
      • Issuing organization – The Interaction Design Foundation
      • Check the field “This credential does not expire”
      • Issue date - Input the date written on your certificate (e.g., May 2019)
      • Credential ID – Your membership ID number (it's written on your certificate)
      • Credential URL: Input the certificate URL provided on your course page

    4. Click on the save button.

    Congratulate yourself!
    You’ve made a great accomplishment by earning your course certificate, and now the world knows about it!

    How do I add the IDF Membership Certificate to my LinkedIn Profile?

    Below is a step-by-step guide on how to add your IDF membership certificate to your LinkedIn profile:

    1. Log in to your LinkedIn account, then go to your profile.
    2. On the right, in the Add profile section dropdown, choose Background and then select the + next to Licenses & Certifications.

    3. In the following fields add:
      • Name – Membership Certificate
      • Issuing organization – The Interaction Design Foundation
      • Check the field “This credential does not expire”
      • Issue date - Input the date when you joined our community (e.g., May 2019)
      • Credential ID – Your membership ID number (it's written on your certificate)
      • Credential URL: Input the certificate URL provided on your profile page
    4. Click on the save button.

    It is as simple as that. Now, anyone who visits your profile can see your certificate!

    How much will I have to pay for the courses?

    As a member, you can take as many courses as you want with no additional costs. This means you only have to pay our membership fee to take an unlimited number of courses. There will be no further charges on top of the membership fee, no matter how many courses you decide to take.

    Do you provide mostly beginners' or more advanced courses?

    We provide courses for all levels of mastery and accross the full spectrum. If you’re new to design, you can start from our beginner courses and progress all the way up to our advanced ones. If you’re an established designer, on the other hand, you will find some of our lower-level courses provide a good refresher—and the advanced ones, a bit of a challenge.

    How much time is needed to complete a course?

    Once enrolled in a course, you will gain access to a new lesson each week, which you are free to complete without any deadlines and no end date, either.