Fall 2024 - IAT 334 D100

Interface Design (4)

Class Number: 5956

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 4 – Dec 3, 2024: Thu, 12:30–2:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    Completion of 48 units, including IAT 235 with a minimum grade of C-.



Provides an introduction to the art and design of human-computer interfaces, design methods, prototyping and evaluation of user interfaces. Examines issues of interactivity and its relation to human contexts and technological systems. The role of aesthetic, symbolic, affective and cultural factors will be assessed in concert with scientific and technological issues. The class is primarily focused on visual interfaces on computer monitors and hand-held devices, but culminates with considerations of increasingly physical interactions in ubiquitous environments.


Interaction with systems and humans via computers is directly shaped by the user interface (UI). As a result, a successful user experience with an information system depends on the UI. This course introduces students to the design of graphical user interfaces for computing devices and covers design methods, prototyping, and evaluation of user interfaces. Interactivity and its relation to human contexts and technological systems will be examined. In addition to scientific and technological issues and qualitative design evaluation methodologies, the role of aesthetic, symbolic, affective, and cultural factors will be discussed. The class is focused on visual interfaces on computer monitors and handheld devices. The course starts with hands-on assignments on fundamental interface design principles. It culminates with a final project implemented to the level of a fully working GUI prototype, including some application logic. That prototype is then evaluated with methods covered in the course and redesigned according to the outcomes.


  1. List and identify rules for interface design.
  2. Analyze requirements for an interface.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of different design methods (e.g., sketching, user-centered design methods, scenarios, storyboarding, prototyping) and select and apply these appropriately in a given context and design space.
  4. Understand the underlying concepts of qualitative evaluation and the differences between design evaluation methods.
  5. Organize and conduct a qualitative design evaluation process within an interdisciplinary team.
  6. Have an understanding of interactive prototyping tools and be able to independently produce a working prototype that satisfies given design requirements.
  7. Critique and qualitatively evaluate interface design projects.
  8. Justify changes based on the outcomes of evaluations and integrate them into the prototype.


  • Reading Quizzes 20%
  • Individual projects 35%
  • Group projects 45%


This course uses the SIAT standard grading scale for final letter grades:

Letter grade Percentage range
A+ 95% to 100%
A 90% to 95%
A- 85% to 90%
B+ 80% to 85%
B 75% to 80%
B- 70% to 75%
C+ 65% to 70%
C 60% to 65%
C- 55% to 60%
D 50% to 55%
F 0% to 50%



For this term you will need access to:

  • A laptop, tablet, or desktop computer
  • Paper and a pen
  • A modern web-based, collaborative GUI prototyping tool



Readings will be available digitally through the university library system and Canvas.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the term are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.