Dr. Jon Froehlich
Assistant Professor
Twitter: @jonfroehlich
CS Office: 3173 AV Williams
HCIL Office: 2117F Hornbake
Office Hours: By appointment
Matthew Mauriello
Teaching Assistant
CS Office: 4122 AV Williams
Office Hours: Tuesdays from
9:45AM – 10:45AM (AVW TA Room)
or by appointment

Course Overview

This is the only course in the undergrad computer science catalog with the word human in its title. This is not insignificant. In this course we will reposition ourselves to think about computer science not just in terms of algorithmic performance and technical sophistication but in terms of how technology can be perceived, used, and adopted by people. By placing humans at the center of our design focus rather than technology, our concerns shift in interesting and, hopefully, illuminating ways. For example, there are many ways to design and build a user-facing application—how do we know which path is the right one? What methods and guidelines can we apply to maximize our chances that our design is the most useful, usable, and enjoyable? In this class, you will learn to ideate, critique, prototype, evaluate, design and refine interactions, interfaces and applications for people.


The slides for each lecture are available on the Calendar page as PDFs. Note, however, that my lectures contain ample use of animation and video. If you would like the original PowerPoint files, please email me.

Lecture time: Tuesdays and Thursdays 11AM-12:15PM (75 minutes)
Class location: Computer Science Instructional Center (CSIC) 1121
Credit Hours: 3
Class website:
Course syllabus:
Final Exam: 8-10AM on Saturday, May 11th, 2013 in CSIC1121

Primary Sources

This course is primarily based on two sources: (i) lectures/course curricula from "Intro to HCI" (and related) classes taught previously at UMD as well as at other universities and (ii) books.

"Intro to HCI" Lectures/Course Curricula

This course is an amalgamation of my own thoughts and ideas, content from the assigned readings and books, as well as course materials from Professors James Landay, James Fogarty, Julie Kientz, and Jeff Heer at the University of Washington, Björn Hartmann at the University of California, Berkeley, Scott Klemmer at Stanford (now UCSD), Eytan Adar at the University of Michigan, and Ben Bederson, Ben Schneiderman, Leah Findlater, and Evan Golub at the University of Maryland--all of whom have kindly allowed me to use their course materials in my class. I do my very best to acknowledge my sources in my lectures.


There are no required textbooks for this course. However, I've found the following books useful in helping shape my lectures and my own thoughts (this list will update throughout the semester). The books are arranged by course topic and, as such, some books may be listed multiple times (as they informed multiple topics). Note: I am by no means suggesting that you must purchase any of the following, I am only listing them for thoroughness and, perhaps, to satisfy curiosity.

The Design Process

  • Bill Buxton, Sketching User Experiences: Getting the Design Right and the Right Design, 2007 [Amazon]
  • Saul Greenberg, Sheelagh Carpendale, Nicolai Marquardt, Bill Buxton, Sketching User Experiences: The Workbook, 2011 [Amazon]
  • Tom Kelley and Jonathan Littman, The Art of Innovation: Lessons in Creativity from IDEO, America's Leading Design Firm, 2001 [Amazon]
  • Bill Moggridge, Designing Interactions, 2007 [Amazon]

Data Gathering / Understanding Users

  • Yvonne Rogers, Helen Sharp, and Jenny Preece, Interaction Design: Beyond Human-Computer Interaction, 2011 [Amazon]
  • Hugh Beyer and Karen Holtzblatt, Contextual Design: Defining Customer-Centered Systems, 1997 [Amazon]


  • Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things, 2002 [Amazon]
  • William Lidwell, Kritina Holden, Jill Butler, Universal Principles of Design, 2010 [Amazon]

Information Visualization

  • Colin Ware, Visual Thinking for Design, 2008 [Amazon]
  • Edward Tufte, The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, 2001 [Amazon]
  • William Lidwell, Kritina Holden, Jill Butler, Universal Principles of Design, 2010 [Amazon]


  • Yvonne Rogers, Helen Sharp, and Jenny Preece, Interaction Design: Beyond Human-Computer Interaction, 2011 [Amazon]. In particular, Chapters 12 - 15.
  • Tom Tullis and Bill Albert, Measuring the User Experience: Collecting, Analyzing and Presenting Usability Metrics, 2008 [Amazon]