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Course Description

Examines and applies selected evaluation concepts and methods used by designers when undertaking the evaluation of selected design projects. This course exposes students to a range of evaluation approaches including controlled experiments, contextual inquiry, field studies, remote studies, and analytically-based evaluations for single-user and collaborative systems. Students will examine techniques for feedback including observation, interviews, heuristic reviews and discursive evaluations. Students will differentiate concepts of evaluation including the scientific method and ethnography. Students will learn how to design and implement appropriate evaluation studies for a range of design projects.

Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  1. differentiate the concepts, frameworks and approaches to be considered when undertaking evaluation of interaction design

  2. analyze aspects of evaluation within a design situation including the users, stakeholders, context and outcome

  3. apply selected evaluation techniques such as controlled experiments, contextual inquiry, field studies, remote studies, and analytically-based evaluations for single-user and collaborative systems to a particular design evaluation problem

  4. critically analyze and document the results from a range of design evaluation techniques for different stakeholders

  5. plan a design evaluation to address a user research problem, including the selection of an appropriate evaluation technique and critical assessment of the chosen method.



Your total course grade will consist of the following percentage breakdown.

  • 35% Individual Assignments

  • 40% Group Assignments

  • 25% Midtern Exam

Students must get at least 50% in each of the above components of the course in order to pass.

All team/group assignments must be completed as a group with your respective team members or you will receive 0 marks for them. All individual components must be completed individually or you will receive 0 marks for them.

Your TA and Instructor will have final say over who are your group/team members.

You can earn up to 2% bonus by participating in designated research studies within SIAT as a learning experience to broaden your understanding of research in interactive arts and technology. This includes 1% per study that you participate in (or 2% if the study is longer than an hour).

You will complete one or more team member evaluations during the term. If your evaluations illustrate you are not performing an adequate amount of work on team submissions, components of your grade may be adjusted to reflect the evaluation. Team members may also directly influence portions of your grade.

Required Textbooks

“Handbook of Usability Testing: How to Plan, Design & Conduct Effective Tests” (2008) by Jeffrey Rubin, Dana Chisnell, Jared Spool; 2nd Edition; Wiley; ISBN 9780470185483

“Doing Psychology Experiments” (2007) by David Martin; 7th Edition; Nelson; ISBN 9780495115779


Grading Schema

I use the following grade schema by default. This is subject to change though during the semester depending on overall student performance.

  • 95% ≤ A+

  • 90% ≤ A < 95%

  • 85% ≤ A- < 90%

  • 80% ≤ B+ < 85%

  • 75% ≤ B < 80%

  • 70% ≤ B- < 75%

  • 65% ≤ C+ < 70%

  • 60% ≤ C < 65%

  • 55% ≤ C- < 60%

  • 50% ≤ D < 55%

  • F < 50%

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