Paul F. Marty, Ph.D., Professor, School of Information, Florida State University
Office: 240 LSB
Office Hours: By Appointment
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This syllabus is available online at http://marty.cci.fsu.edu/lis5275/
This course provides a comprehensive overview of usability analysis and its role in user-centered design. The course materials are intended to familiarize students with the concepts and procedures necessary to incorporate usability analysis into the information systems design process. By the end of the course, students will possess the resources and skills necessary to conduct usability analyses and evaluate information systems from a user-centered design perspective.
After the completion of this course, students will be able to:
- Demonstrate knowledge of the basic concepts and terminology of usability analysis and user-centered design;
- Critically analyze and assess an information system from a user-centered perspective;
- Conduct usability evaluations with or without test users;
- Effectively report the findings of usability testing and recommend improvements to product usability; and
- Use feedback from usability evaluations to iteratively design and develop interfaces to information systems.
There is no required text for this course. Instead, we will read a variety of scholarly and professional articles each week, all available online or on reserve in our course management system.
Please see the detailed assignment descriptions at http://marty.cci.fsu.edu/lis5275/assignments.html
The following list is provided for quick reference:
Individual Writing Assignments (45%)
- Designing for Users (10%)
- Heuristic Evaluation (15%)
- Representative User Test (20%)
Group Writing Assignments (35%)
- Group Topic Selection (5%)
- User Scenarios and Representative Tasks (10%)
- Iterative Design Project (20%)
Individual Participation Assignments (20%)
- Weekly Participation (15%)
- Usability Disaster of the Week (5%)
Grading and Evaluation
The most important criteria for grading are timeliness, completeness, and quality. Please complete all parts of each assignment, and please make every effort to present your thinking clearly at each stage. The effort you put into your assignments is just as important as the final outcome.
Assignments that have not been demonstrably spell-checked, grammar-checked, and proofread for absolute nonsense will not be accepted. Unacceptable assignments will receive a zero, and may be resubmitted only at the instructor's discretion.
Please note that all of your work for this class must be original.
If a situation arises where you will not be able to meet a deadline, please let the instructor know well in advance. Work submitted late with a reasonable excuse will be accepted only at the instructor's discretion.
Percentage weights for each assignment are listed above. Final letter grades will be allocated using the following scale: 100-93 = A, 92-90 = A-, 89-87 = B+, 86-83 = B, 82-80 = B-, 79-77 = C+, 76-73 = C, 72-70 = C-, 69-67 = D+, 66-63 = D, 62-60 = D-, 59-0 = F.
Please see the detailed course outline at http://marty.cci.fsu.edu/lis5275/outline.html
A graphical overview of the semester is available at http://marty.cci.fsu.edu/lis5275/overview.png
The following list is provided for quick reference:
Part 1: Think Different
- Week 01: Why Usability?
- Week 02: Thinking Like a User
Part 2: Usability Analysis and Evaluation
- Week 03: Usability 101
- Week 04: Inspection Methods 1
- Week 05: Inspection Methods 2
- Week 06: Representative User Testing 1
- Week 07: Representative User Testing 2
- Week 08: Representative User Testing 3
- Week 09: Representative User Testing 4
Part 3: Usability in the Design Lifecycle
- Week 10: The Importance of Iterative Design
- Week 11: Iterative Design Workshop 1
- Week 12: Advocating for Usability
- Week 13: Iterative Design Workshop 2
- Week 14: Thanksgiving Day -- No Synchronous Session
- Week 15: The Future of User-Centered Design
University Attendance Policy
The attendance policy for this course is consistent with Florida State University policy as stated in the Bulletin. Your regular attendance at class meetings is expected, and you are required to participate in class discussions. All students are expected to abide by this attendance policy.
Excused absences include documented illness, deaths in the family and other documented crises, call to active military duty or jury duty, religious holy days, and official University activities. These absences will be accommodated in a way that does not arbitrarily penalize students who have a valid excuse. Consideration will also be given to students whose dependent children experience serious illness.
University policy requires all students to attend the first class meeting of all classes for which they are registered. Students who do not attend the first class meeting of a course for which they are registered will be dropped from the course by the academic department offering the course. To enforce this policy, instructors are required to take attendance at the first class meeting and report absences to the appropriate person in their department. For further information, consult the FSU General Bulletin at: http://registrar.fsu.edu/bulletin/grad/apdefault.htm.
Class Communication Policy
You are required to check your official FSU email accounts and the course blogs or discussion boards regularly. It is highly recommended that you use your FSU email accounts for all course-related emails. Emails to the instructor must have a subject line that includes the number of the course. You should set up your email account so that your full name accompanies each email (i.e., emails should come from John Smith, not from js44f). Emails that include neither your name nor the course number will not receive a response.
Some materials in this course may be copyrighted. They are provided in compliance with the provisions of the Technology, Education, And Copyright Harmonization (TEACH) Act: http://www.copyright.gov/legislation/archive/
Academic Honor Policy
The Florida State University Academic Honor Policy outlines the University's expectations for the integrity of students' academic work, the procedures for resolving alleged violations of those expectations, and the rights and responsibilities of students and faculty members throughout the process. Students are responsible for reading the Academic Honor Policy and for living up to their pledge to "be honest and truthful and [...to] strive for personal and institutional integrity at Florida State University." (Florida State University Academic Honor Policy, available online at http://fda.fsu.edu/Academics/Academic-Honor-Policy/.)
Americans with Disabilities Act
Students with disabilities needing academic accommodation should:
- register with and provide documentation to the Office of Accessibility Services; and
- bring a letter to the instructor indicating the need for accommodation and what type.
Please note that instructors are not allowed to provide classroom accommodation to a student until appropriate verification from the Office of Accessibility Services has been provided.
This syllabus and other class materials are available in alternate format upon request.
For more information about services available to FSU students with disabilities, contact the
Office of Accessibility Services
874 Traditions Way
108 Student Services Building
Florida State University
Tallahassee, FL 32306-4167
(850) 644-9566 (voice)
(850) 644-8504 (TDD)
Sexual Harassment Policy
It is the policy of the University that its employees and students neither commit nor condone sexual harassment in any form. For more information, see: http://registrar.fsu.edu/bulletin/grad/info/university_notices.htm
Hardware and Software Requirements
A list of all hardware and software requirements for students participating in School of Information courses can be found at the following location: http://ischool.cci.fsu.edu/academics/online/requirements/
Student Eligibility for an Incomplete Grade
Incomplete ("I") grades will not be assigned, except in the case of exceptional unforeseen circumstances that occur within the last three weeks of the semester and your work has otherwise been satisfactory (C average).
Syllabus Change Policy
This syllabus is a guide for the course and is subject to change with advanced notice.