Introduction to CPSC 481: Human Computer Interaction

Overheads (Powerpoint)

Topics Covered

  • Administrivia
    • Interface design and usability engineering
    • Course structure, objectives and evaluation
    • Course resources



  1. Gould, J. (1988)
    How to design usable systems. In Readings in Human Computer Interaction: Towards the Year 2000 (2nd Edition). Baecker, R., Grudin, J., Buxton, W., and Greenberg, S. (1995). Morgan-Kaufmann.


  1. Buxton, W. (1996)
    Absorbing and Squeezing Out: On Sponges and Ubiquitous Media. Proceedings of the International Broadcasting Symposium, November 13-16, Tokyo, 91-96.
    • Bill Buxton's fun to read article presents a vision of future computing.
  2. ACM (1992)
    A Taxonomy of Human Computer Interaction, adapted excerpt from Section 2 of the ACM SIGCHI Curricula for HCI, ACM Press
    • gives details of a (somewhat dated) HCI taxonomy
  3. Overview and Taxonomy of HCI
    • A powerpoint presentation related to the ACM taxonomy. Now somewhat dated.


Videos are used in the first few classes to show futuristic and visionary interfaces. They not only inspire and motivate, but also illustrate how many major problems in Computer Science (outside of HCI) must be solved before these visions can be realized. For example, I ask students to write down all the innovations displayed in the Apple video. We then list them on the board, and relate them to computer science problems (here is an example list). I then use Ishii's delightful video because it goes beyond business users, showing kids and artists as well.

  • 2020, by Apple Inc. (~1992, distributed with the video set from the Apple Developer's Conference)
  • Seamless Media Design, by NTT - Ishii (1994, SGVR Issue 106)

Last updated January, 2007.