Human Computer Interaction Course: Foundations and Principles


You can contact me at:

My office is at Université Paris Sud, Batiment 660 - Claude Shannon. It is located on the Plateau de Saclay. If you would like to meet me in person arrange a meeting with me via email.


  • The course will start January 21

Course Description

Brief Version

This course provides an introduction to the process of designing and creating tools or artifacts for direct human use.

Long Version

Computing technology is rapidly becoming ubiquitous and embedded in our everyday lives, owing in large part to increasing miniaturization and exponential growth in processing power. This changes everything -- computers are no longer just things we sit in front of; instead, computation appears in all sorts of devices--our mobile phones, tablets, even in our homes! Today, we think of computation as enabling experiences. The focus of this class is learning how to design user experiences rather than just interfaces.

This means that we will need to investigate and understand how people currently use technology, and think about how they might be able to use new technologies. From here, we try to design technologies to suit the kinds of user experiences they want to have. This process of designing user experiences is a creative one, leveraging both your technical skills, and your decision making skills. You will learn to apply several state-of-the-art methods, aimed to help improve your programming, critical thinking and communication skills. Because this process always involves making trade-offs, the methods you learn will help you to be more creative, as well as to make informed decisions about which trade-offs to make.

Class / Tutorial Outline


The project is a hands-on opportunity to try the methods and ideas that we cover and discuss in class -- in particular, to engage in a user-centered design process. The two main lessons to be learned here is that: (a) designers do not rely on their intuition, but instead rely on real user research, and that (b) design is really about a process. This is a process that you can apply as a software developer in the real world.

You will choose a project idea to work from, and use that project idea for every component of the project. The project has four main components as outlined below.

The class project consists of four components with deliverables.


  • Class participation: 10%
  • Project: 40%
  • Exam: 50%

Late Policy

For assignments I will deduct 10% for each day (including weekends) the assignment is late. If you do not hand in your assignments (project components) in class, you are responsible for getting them to my desk at Université Paris Sud.


Course materials were prepared from material generated from various sources, including other people's course material. Thanks go to:

  • Anthony Tang
  • Nicolai Marquardt
  • Saul Greenberg
  • Anastasia Bezerianos
  • Raimund Dachselt
  • Tobias Isenberg