CS 449/649 Spring 2019

MWF | 1:30 pm - 2:20 pm (MC 4040) | 2:30 pm - 3:20 pm (MC 4063)


Questions from the quizzes and
Example exam questions from slides .

Course evaluation is open until Tue, Jul 30 11:59 p.m.
Your feedback is very important to us since it gives us very important information about what you think of different components of this course. Excellence in undergraduate education is of vital importance at the University of Waterloo in general and the Faculty of Mathematics in particular. These evaluations are anonymous and will not be viewed until after the course has been completed.

Groups for heuristic evaluation:
Section 1:30-2:20:
Food Fiends <-> Ethos; SmartParking <-> RSQ; FitMe <-> Communi; B.R.U.H. <-> BudgetMates; Returners <-> HML; MedsNow <-> Travellers; CatchIt -> TimeMe -> TODOs -> CatchIt.
Section 2:30-3:20:
Kapital <-> Ridify; Retriever <-> SuperMarketers; Team Awesome <-> Room8z; SplitWiser <-> ICONic; CRAFT-BERRY <-> GivR; To be determined <-> PadPiper; Accomplife <-> Billie.

Poster presentation 2 location - DC Fishbowl (DC3101)
Groups presenting July 24 1:30-2:20:
Food Friends; Communi; HML; RSQ; TimeMe; BudgetMates; Returners.
Groups presenting July 24 2:30-3:20:
Kapital; Team Awesome; Ridify; Retriever; SuperMarketers; SplitWiser; To be determined.
Groups presenting July 26 1:30-2:20:
MedsNow; SmartParking; CatchIt; TODOs; Ethos; Travellers; FitMe; B.R.U.H.
Groups presenting July 26 2:30-3:20:
CRAFT-BERRY; GivR; Billie; ICONic; PadPiper; Room8z; Accomplife.

Video Demo requirements:
3 min video demonstrating your high-fi prototype. Think of it as a video presentation of your final product. You should have supporting comments in the video to explain what is being shown. You can also include any other aspects of work you have done, if you would like to and if time on the video allows you (for example, your paper prototype to show the progression of the design).
Submit to Dropbox on Learn (an original video file and a link to an uploaded YouTube video) by 8:59 pm, July 26.
Final Poster Presentation requirements:
4.5 min (sharp), you should tell the story of your project, from the beginning to the high-fidelity prototype. Don't forget about introduction - what you are doing and why. You must include description and results of your exploratory study, evaluation of paper prototype and high fidelity prototype, as well as reflection on design changes you have made throughout the project. If you find any models or graphs helpful to illustrate your story, it is always good to have graphical representations. However, remember, that any work model is not a result itself, it is a method to analyze data, so it can serve only supporting purposes. You should have functioning high fidelity prototype ready to show. You may want to bring your paper prototype as well - while not required, it would nicely support your design story. Remember about aesthetics and readability of your poster - use proper font sizes, spacing, content organization, etc.

Marks for Quiz 7 and the first poster session are posted.

Just a reminder for the announcements made in class on Friday:
1) You need to include a work breakdown for each future assignment, starting from assignment 2 (due tomorrow). If you indicate, that work was done equally by all team members, you do not need to include additional details. However, if work was not performed reasonably equally, please, include details on what was done by which student.
2) Deadline for A3 is extended until July 9th.

Marks for Quiz 6 are posted.

Marks for Quiz 5 are posted.

Poster presentation 1 location - DC Fishbowl (DC3101)

Groups presenting June 19th 1:30-2:20:
MedsNow; SmartParking; CatchIt; TODOs; Ethos; FitMe; B.R.U.H.

Groups presenting June 19th 2:30-3:20:
Kapital; GivR; Ridify; ICONic; PadPiper; Room8z; Retriever.

Groups presenting June 21st 1:30-2:20:
Food Friends; Communi; HML; RSQ; TimeMe; Travellers; BudgetMates; Returners.

Groups presenting June 21st 2:30-3:20:
CRAFT-BERRY; Team Awesome; Billie; Accomplife; SuperMarketers; SplitWiser; To be determined.

Marks for A1 and for Quiz 4 are posted on Learn.

Poster presentation 1 requirements:
Your talk and your poster should cover the work you have done so far. This includes: the initial broad problem you started with, the process of narrowing down your focus through desk research (and results of desk research), target user group(s) and personas, goals and methods for exploratory studies, results of exploratory studies, initial design ideas. In addition to the poster you need to have your paper prototypes ready for demonstration.
Your talk should be 4-5 min long.
The mark for the poster presentation will include assessment of your talk (clarity, structure, included work process, timing), visual presentation (clarity, structure, included work process, relation to the talk), quality of paper prototypes, individual participation (required evaluation of your classmates` presentations).

Final exam date (August 9, 12:30 PM - 3:00 PM, Location: TBA) is posted. Also, marks for Quiz 3 are posted on Learn.

A1 deadline is extended until Saturday, May 25th, 8:59pm.

Marks for Quiz 1 and Quiz 2 are posted.

Dates for midterm Project Presentations and final Project Presentations are posted.

My office hours this week are 10:00am-12:00pm on Wednesday (May 15) instead of Friday (May 17) due to the CEMC Workshop in Computer Science.

Welcome to CS 449 and CS 649! :)
Our class schedule for the Spring 2019 term can be found under the "Classes" tab. Slides will be posted not later than an hour before each class. Other materials related to each covered topic will be posted there as well.

Assignment 0 is due May 13, Assignment 1 is due May 24.

Course Policies:

For assignments and the final report deliverables: submit a soft copy by 08:59 pm on the due date.
You are not allowed to submit the next assignment if the previous assignment was not submitted.
Failing to submit all the assignments and final report by the end of the term may result in failing the course.

Use the provided LaTex template or Word template to write your assignments and the final report.
Late penalties for deliverables: -1% for each additional day (9:00 pm to 8:59 pm).
If assignment was not submitted before the next assignment due date, you will get 0% for this assignment, however, next assignment will not be considered submitted until you submit all the previous assignments.

Students in CS 449 and CS 649 will give a public presentation of their projects, at the end-of-term demo day. This requirement is independent of any choice students may make regarding any intellectual property connected to their course projects.

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 www.uwaterloo.ca/academicintegrity/ for more information.]
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 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, TA, or the undergraduate Associate Dean.
For information on categories of offences and types of penalties, students should refer to Policy 71, Student Discipline, www.adm.uwaterloo.ca/infosec/Policies/policy71.htm. For typical penalties check Guidelines for the Assessment of Penalties, www.adm.uwaterloo.ca/infosec/guidelines/penaltyguidelines.htm.
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.
Note for Students with Disabilities:
The Office for persons with Disabilities (OPD), located in Needles Hall, Room 1132, collaborates with all academic departments to arrange appropriate accommodations for students with disabilities without compromising the academic integrity of the curriculum. If you require academic accommodations to lessen the impact of your disability, please register with the OPD at the beginning of each academic term.

Course Description & Objectives:
Human-Computer Interaction teaches the fundamental issues that underlie the creation and evaluation of usable and useful computational artifacts.
By the end of course, you will be able to:
  • Identify the primary luminaries relevant to Interactive Design and HCI
  • Identify major movements in HCI research, and their motivations, philosophies, and goals
  • Identify your target users, design studies to understand your users and their needs within a sociocultural context
  • Create user data driven designs and prototypes of different levels of fidelity
  • Design studies to evaluate design on different stages of development
  • Properly gather and analyze qualitative and quantitative data from user studies including data from: in-situ observations, semi-structured interviews, field studies, in-house experiments, heuristic evaluations
  • Distinguish bad and good experimental design
  • Add a high quality design of your own product to your portfolio
The course mainly consists of four types of students' activities:
  • Lectures
  • In-class activities
  • Assigned readings
  • Individual group project performed throughout the term in groups of 3-4 students

Marking Scheme:
Deliverable Due Date Weight
CS 449 CS 649
In-class quizzes May 6 - July 29 5% 5%
Assignment 0 May 13
Assignment 1 May 25 5% 6%
Assignment 2 June 16 8% 10%
Presentation 1 June 19, June 21 5% 5%
Assignment 3 July 9 10% 12%
Presentation 2 (+ video of demo) July 24, July 26 12% 12%
Final Report July 29 25% 30%
Final Exam August 9, 12:30 PM - 3:00 PM, TBA 30% 20%

Group Work:

Students are to work on the course project in groups of 3-4 people. Project groups must be formed at the beginning of the term (by Monday, May 13) and are expected to stay the same throughout the term. Assignments, presentations and final reports are submitted per group and marked accordingly.

Group Project:

Choosing your project topic:
Each project group is required to choose a unique project topic from the list of suggested projects. Topics are assigned to project groups on first come, first served basis, thus it is recommended to choose several topics of interest at the beginning. If your group wants to work on a different project, not listed among the suggested projects, it necessarily requires an instructor's approval.
Project topics must be finalized Monday, May 13.

Project details and expectations:
Throughout the course each project group is working on the project chosen at the beginning of the term. At the end of the course each project is expected to result in a high fidelity interactive prototype of an application. Original project topics are outlining the general area and goal of the application. During the term students are required to identify specific functionalities required for the successful adoption of a specific application (based on exploratory user studies), meet with an industry specialist for a design consultation session, create and prototype an initial design of the application (low fidelity prototyping), further iterate on the design based on the results of the user studies (high fidelity prototyping) and asses the final design through the user studies.

Project deliverables:
Students are expected to submit 3 assignments (+ assignment 0) throughout the course. These assignments help the instructor to monitor the intermediate progress of the projects and to provide forehanded feedback on the next steps to ensure correct and effective work flow. Assignments all together are building up to a final report. There are also two group presentations during the term: to present an intermidiate progress and to present final design. In addition to the final presentation and final report each project group is required to submit a 3 minute video to demonstrate the final high fidelity interactive prototype of their application. Please note that all videos will be posted on the course website and publicly available for watching.

In-class Quizzes:

To monitor class attendance and familiarization with class materials and additionally assigned materials, there are short quizzes occasionally (read ''randomly'') given in some classes. Each quiz will have 3 questions and there will be 5 minutes in class to answer them individually, on paper. There are 12 quizzes in total during the course. Quizzes weight 5% of the final mark and are marked as following: 2% for writing 10 out of 12 (0.2% for each). 3% for quality of answers (0.1 for each correct answer). If you have less than 10 quizzes written by the end of the course, you will have a chance to write one of the missed quizzes at the last class.


There are 2 presentation sessions happening during the course.
Main goals of the presentations are to practice verbal presentations of the product design, obtain feedback from HCI specialists, classmates and additional feedback from the course staff, explore other projects presented by classmates.
Students are required to prepare a 4 min talk to describe their project, pitch and justify their design idea and describe the design process. The talk should be supported by visual materials.

CS 649 Additional Requirements:

Graduate students are expected to perform an academic literature review related to each assignment topic and to the final report content. For more details see the assignments description.
Note that CS 649 has a separate marking scheme with weights distribution that differs from CS 449.

Syllabus PDF version.