Course description

CS 378 (Introduction to Human-Computer Interaction) is the introductory course to the field of Human Computer Interaction (HCI). In this class, students will learn to design, prototype and evaluate user interfaces. Unlike most classes, CS 378 (Introduction to Human-Computer Interaction) will not focus on any particular set of algorithmic techniques, instead students will learn techniques for user-centered interface design (e.g., prototyping, contextual inquiry, heuristic evaluation etc). This summer, we will use front-end web development technologies (HTML, CSS and JavaScript) and a backend for prototyping.

The course features two parts: (1) 8 weeks of curriculum and practice, and (2) 6 weeks of a final project.

Curriculum and practice

For the first eight weeks, lecture occurs three days a week (Monday-Wednesday), and studio will occur around once a week (typically, Wednesdays during lecture). While lectures and studio focus on core HCI concepts, optional supplemental material will be provided to help students improve technical skills. Outside of class, students will work individually or in pairs on practice projects. Practice projects allow students to engage in the design cycle and develop technical skills.

Final project

Using design metholodologies and technical skills learned during the first eight weeks, students will work in groups for the last six weeks to ideate, prototype and implement a final project. Students will choose their own design methologogies and project topic within a theme. During the last six weeks, final project studio will take the place of lecture and studio. Final project studio provides in-class time for teams to work together and recieve feedback from course staff. In addition, we will hold ╬╝HCI sessions covering technical and communication skills to aid students in implementing and presenting their final projects.


The syllabus, lecture slides, web content, and assignments of this course are only the most recent iterations of a long history of HCI classes. This iteration of the course, at the very least, draws from prior coursre materials by Sarah Sterman, Andrew Head, Cesar Torres, Bjoern Hartmann, Eric Paulos, Valkyrie Savage, Maneesh Agrawala, Scott Klemmer, John Canny, James Landay, and Brad Myers.

Key logistics
Dates January 19th, 2022 - May 6th, 2022 (Spring Semester)
Lecture MWF 11am-12pm, ohyay (in-person when possible)
Midterm March 23rd, 2022 (remote)
Final critique May 2nd - 6th, 2022 (Location TBD)
Contact Piazza class-wide or staff-only posts.
Course staff
Amy Pavel Instructor Tuesday 10-11am, Thursday 4-5pm (Amy's Office on ohyay)
Ishan Nigam TA Monday 12-1pm, Friday 10-11am (Ishan's Office on ohyay)