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Department of Information Science and Telecommunications


INFSCI 2470 - Interactive System Design

(Spring 2003, CRN 20012)

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INFSCI 2470 Course Books

SIS Interactive System Design course is unique in the sense that you will need to learn several things in parallel. You have to get a good overview of the Human-Computer Interface Design field, master key design principles and evaluation techniques. At the same time, you have to get a practical experience in designing, developing, and evaluating interactive systems. No single book can provide all necessary readings. The books choosen by the instructor as main course books provide a good coverage of the course content without breaking your budget. The course readings will be assigned from these books. Those who need some more advanced treatment of selected course topics could use additional recommeded books. You may be able to get some of these books in the University Book Center, however, it could be a better choice to buy them on the internet (new or used) or from your fellow students who took this course in the past. One main course book and all the recommended books have been reserved for you in the Information Sciences Library. You can locate the reserved books through Course Reserves.

Main course books

Learning the principles of Interactive System Design

Newman and Lamming book provides the most complete and detailed support for the topics presented in this course. This book has clearly emerged as a winner in a competition of about 10 considered books. While being relatively old, it still provides a better treatment of the subject and for smaller price then a number of more recent book. This is not a surprize - the book was specially created to support a course on Interactive System Design. A good benefit of being "old" is the availability of many copies of this book (used or new) from private sellers on Amazon.com and similar cites. This book is also available from a publisher with a discount and through Pitt Book Center. Mandatory readings will be assigned from this book and your reading will be evaluated by quizzes. If you choose not to purchase it, make sure that you do your readings in the in the Information Sciences Library.

Interactive System Design
William M. Newman, Michael G. Lamming
Addison-Wesley Pub Co, 1995, 468 pp.
ISBN: 0201631628

Buy / read about this book at amazon.com ($45.95 new; $25 used)

Buy this book from a publisher ($41.35)

Mastering the Design and Evaluation of Human Computer Interfaces

While being a very good and comprehensive book, the Newman and Lamming book does not cover well a number of practical issues of interface design and evaluation. Instead of requiring you to get another popular but expensive book to cover the missing components of the course (some of them are listed as additional recommeded books) the instructor decided to use a well-known shareware book:

Task-Centered User Interface Design: A Practical Introduction
Clayton Lewis and John Rieman
University of Colorado, Boulder, 1994.

This book can be downloaded from the University of Colorado FTP site and also accessed as a hypertext from HCI Bibliography Site. You can use in in electronic form or print it. If you choose to use this book, please, pay the $5 shareware fee.

Supplementary Course Books

A Book on Human-Computer Interaction

An excellent textbook of Shneiderman has served as a main course book in several eralier offerings of this course. We had to change it for several reasons. First, this book does not cover the whole course content. Second, only about half of this book was used direcly in the coure. Third, this book is relatively expemsive. Still it provides a very good overview of the Human-Computer Interaction field and could be a good investment for those who selected an Information Science career. No mandatory readings will be assigned from this book, however, about half of the lectures will have assigned supplementary readings from it. This book has been used for IS 2470 in the past, so you may have a good chance to borrow it from the students who took this course in the past. It was also reserved for you in the Information Sciences Library. If you choose not to purchase it, make sure that you do your readings in the Library.

Designing the User Interface : Strategies for Effective Human-Computer Interaction
Ben Shneiderman
3rd Edition (2nd edition will also work)
Addison-Wesley Pub Co, 1998, 640 pp.
ISBN: 0201694972

Buy / read about this book at amazon.com ($67 new; $40 used)

An Alternative Book on Interaction Design

The following brand new book was a contender for the main course book, but has lost to the Newman and Lamming book for several reasons (quite similar to the book above). Still it is a very good book that offers a nice and extended treatment of most design/evaluation topics. It can be an excellent source for broadening your knowledge on the subject. It also can provide an alternative treatment of a few complicated topics. Supplementary readings from this book will be assigned for several lectures of the course. This book has a home page that can be used as an excellent source of relevant information. To help with supplementary readings, the book was reserved for you in the Information Sciences Library.

Interaction Design
Jenny Preece, Yvonne Rogers, Helen Sharp
John Wiley & Sons; 2002, 544 pages
ISBN: 0471492787

Buy / read about this book at amazon.com ($62.50 new)

Home page of the book

Additional Readings on Human-Computer Interface Design

The books listed in this section are not required to complete the course but can be used by the students who need to understand the subject better or in more details. The authors of these books are leading authorities in HCI. The first of these books (Raskin) can be used as a good addition to the Shneiderman textbook. The second (Norman) provides an excellent background for the interface design part. The third (Nielsen) is still one of the best handbooks on the evaluation of Interactive System. All three books have been reserved for you in the Information Sciences Library.

The Humane Interface: New Directions for Designing Interactive Systems
Jef Raskin

Addison-Wesley Pub Co, 2000, 256 pp.
ISBN: 0201379376

Buy / read about this book at amazon.com

The Design of Everyday Things
Donald A. Norman

Currency/Doubleday, 1990, 257 pp.
ISBN: 0385267746

Buy / read about this book at amazon.com

Nielsen Book Usability Engineering
Jakob Nielsen

Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, 1994, 362 pp.
ISBN: 0125184069 6

Buy / read about this book at amazon.com


Practicing the Interactive System Design: Java Programming

Some assignments and the main course project of this course will require you to develop practical interactive systems using Java programming language. We recommend two books that provide a comprehensive support for this part of the course. The Deitel & Deitel Book provides a good overall introduction to Java for those who starts the course with little knowledge of Java. Most of lecture slides in the Java part of our course is based on this book. It provides a reasonably good introduction to Java graphics, widgets (including Swing) and applets. It does not cover servlets enough though. The Callaway's book is one of the best introduction to servlets that is very suitable for the beginners. It explains all necessary prerequisits and comes with a CD full of examples and software.In addition to these books, a list of resources for learning Java is available from the Links section of the course Web site.

Inside Servlets: Server-Side Programming for the Java(TM) Platform (2nd Edition)
Dustin R. Callaway, Danny Coward
(2nd edition)
Addison-Wesley Pub Co, 2001, 912 pp.
ISBN: 0201709066 ;

Buy / read about this book at amazon.com ($40 new; $27 used)

Java How to Program
Harvey M. Deitel, Paul J. Deitel
4rd Edition (3nd edition will also work)
Prentice Hall, 2001, 1545 pp.
ISBN: 0130341517

Buy / read about this book at amazon.com ($74 new; $50 used)

Copyright © 2003 Peter Brusilovsky