HDCC 106
Section 0301
Introduction to Digital and Creativity II (Users, Technology, and Design)
Instructor: Evan Golub egolubUMD@gmail.com


When designing, it is crucial to consider the "users" of your creation and the experiences they will have. As you are building something, you will want to assess its usability at several stages. In computing this can be done early, with paper prototypes, and again during the process, using medium-fidelity prototypes, all the way up to when you are ready to move to final production.

In the 0301 section of HDCC106, we will look at how techniques and tools from the field of Human-Computer Interaction, one that spans many disciplines (such as Computer Science, Psychology, Information Studies, Journalism, Sociology, Business, and English) can allow teams whose members bring a wide range of background knowledge to work with each other and with "end users" to design and assess new technologies.

In this course, we will have hands-on exercises and project related to the design and assessment of software that would run on some form of existing technology (desktops, tablets, smartphones, VR headsets). A fair amount of our building and assessing will take place with low-fidelity prototypes, built using arts supplies or tools such as photo editors. However, we will also explore several ways that medium-fidelity prototypes can be built using existing tools, with perhaps a little programming mixed in.

Much of the focus will be on the things that should be done when designing what you want to have programmed/built. As a class, we will look at various prototyping tools and explore some introductory programming concepts, but not with the intent of full-fledged programming from scratch. Paired programming approaches, where we can embrace the diverse nature of the DCC population by having students with previous programming experience paired with students without any, will allow everyone to work on building some small programs with ample support and codiscovery.

Potential Course Topics
• Defining the field of Human-Computer Interaction and exploring how it grew to include such diverse fields
• HCI -vs- User Interface Software and Technology
• Exploring the history and current issues in HCI through classic/historic readings and TED (or TED-like) talks
• Psychology of Everyday Things
• User, Task, and Joy -centered design
• Idea-ation/Brainstorming/Prototyping
• Team building across disciplines
• Overview of rapid prototyping tools (software and hardware)
• An introduction to how limited elements of computer programming can still be part of early exploration and prototyping.
• Graphical Design
• Evaluating and critiquing (not criticizing) the work of others
• Finding the strengths in both qualitative and quantitative evaluation (social science versus natural science approaches)
• The future direction of HCI and UIST in a more technologically diverse society
• Ethical considerations such as avoiding Shneiderman's "Ten Plagues"
• Creating and giving short presentations about technology