CS 349 User Interfaces (Spring 2021)

This course teaches the principles of creating user interfaces (UIs) including underlying UI architecture and algorithms, how to implement UIs from scratch and using UI frameworks, theories and methods for UI design, and an introduction to the field of human-computer interaction.

Course Structure

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, there are no in-person meetings for the Spring 2021 offering of this course.

Course material will be delivered through recorded lectures and slides that will be posted on the Schedule page. You are expected to watch the videos, read the slides and follow along with the content. Lectures are provided asynchronously to make the content available regardless of your physical location, time-zone, or high-speed internet availability. To supplement recorded lectures, we will also have a number of ways for you to interact with the course staff.

Course Staff

We have a large number of people involved in running the course this term.


Jeff Avery

Jeff Avery


Caroline Kierstead

Caroline Kierstead


Licheng Zhang

Licheng Zhang


Nabil Bin Hannan

Nabil Bin Hannan


Yuan (Constant) Chen

Yuan (Constant) Chen


Nikhiti Joshi

Nikhita Joshi


Marvin Pafla

Marvin Pafla

Getting Help

We are here to help you! There are multiple ways to connect with us.

(a) Online Forum

We use Piazza for discussion about course content. Course announcements will also be made here.

(b) Office Hours

We have office hours where you can connect with course staff over MS Teams. Office hours will begin the week of May 17.

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM Nabil
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM Marvin Jeff
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM Jeff
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM Nikhita
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM Yuan (Constant)
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Instructions for Office Hours

Video calls are very useful for screen-sharing and helping with assignments. However, you are welcome to leave your camera turned off if you wish!

(c) Email

If you have a question that you wish to ask privately, you can always contact us at our email addresses (above).


There are no required textbooks for this course; students are expected to read the provided lecture notes and watch the lecture videos to learn this material. The Reference page has additional readings by topic.

Assessment & Grading

Your grade will be based on quizzes (20%), and programming assignments (80%).

There is no midterm or final exam in this course.

Your grades will be returned through LEARN. Once grades are released, you have up to 2 weeks to request a remark. After that time, grades will not be changed.

General Course Policies

Intellectual Property

Students should be aware that this course contains the intellectual property of their instructor, TA, and/or the University of Waterloo. Intellectual property includes items such as:

Lecture content, spoken and written (and any audio/video recording thereof); Lecture handouts, presentations, and other materials prepared for the course (e.g., PowerPoint slides); Questions or solution sets from various types of assessments (e.g., assignments, quizzes, tests, final exams); and Work protected by copyright (e.g., any work authored by the instructor or TA or used by the instructor or TA with permission of the copyright owner).
Course materials and the intellectual property contained therein, are used to enhance a student’s educational experience. However, sharing this intellectual property without the intellectual property owner’s permission is a violation of intellectual property rights. For this reason, it is necessary to ask the instructor, TA and/or the University of Waterloo for permission before uploading and sharing the intellectual property of others online (e.g., to an online repository). Permission from an instructor, TA or the University is also necessary before sharing the intellectual property of others from completed courses with students taking the same/similar courses in subsequent terms/years. In many cases, instructors might be happy to allow distribution of certain materials. However, doing so without expressed permission is considered a violation of intellectual property rights.

Academic Integrity

In order to maintain a culture of academic integrity, members of the University of Waterloo community are expected to promote honesty, trust, fairness, respect and responsibility. Check http://www.uwaterloo.ca/academicintegrity/ for more information. The assignments page also has specific information on academic integrity as it pertains to course assignments.


A student who believes that a decision affecting some aspect of his/her university life has been unfair or unreasonable may have grounds for initiating a grievance. Read Policy 70, Student Petitions and Grievances, Section 4, [www.adm.uwaterloo.ca/infosec/Policies/policy70.htm]. When in doubt please be certain to contact the department’s administrative assistant who will provide further assistance.


A student is expected to know what constitutes academic integrity (check http://www.uwaterloo.ca/academicintegrity/ to avoid committing an academic offence, and to take responsibility for his/her actions. A student who is unsure whether an action constitutes an offence, or who needs help in learning how to avoid offences (e.g., plagiarism, cheating) or about ‘rules’ for group work/collaboration should seek guidance from the course instructor, academic advisor, or the undergraduate Associate Dean. For information on categories of offences and types of penalties, students should refer to Policy 71, Student Discipline, [http://www.adm.uwaterloo.ca/infosec/Policies/policy71.htm]. For typical penalties check Guidelines for the Assessment of Penalties, [http://www.adm.uwaterloo.ca/infosec/guidelines/penaltyguidelines.htm].

MOSS (Measure of Software Similarities) is used in this course as a means of comparing students' assignments to ensure academic integrity. We will report suspicious activity, and penalties for plagiarism/cheating are severe. Please read the available information about academic integrity very carefully.


A decision made or penalty imposed under Policy 70 (Student Petitions and Grievances) (other than a petition) or Policy 71 (Student Discipline) may be appealed if there is a ground. A student who believes he/she has a ground for an appeal should refer to Policy 72 (Student Appeals) [www.adm.uwaterloo.ca/infosec/Policies/policy72.htm]

Students with Disabilities

AccessAbility Services collaborates with all academic departments to arrange appropriate accommodations for students with temporary or permanent disabilities without compromising the academic integrity of the curriculum. If you require academic accommodations, please register with the AccessAbility Services at the beginning of each academic term.

Mental Health Resources

If you or anyone you know experiences any academic stress, difficult life events, or feelings like anxiety or depression, we strongly encourage you to seek support.

On-Campus Resources

Off-campus Resources


It is our intent that students from all diverse backgrounds and perspectives be well served by this course, and that students’ learning needs be addressed both in and out of class. We recognize the immense value of the diversity in identities, perspectives, and contributions that students bring, and the benefit it has on our educational environment. Your suggestions are encouraged and appreciated. Please let us know ways to improve the effectiveness of the course for you personally or for other students or student groups. In particular: