Fall 2024 - IAT 351 D100

Advanced Human-Computer Interaction (3)

Class Number: 5957

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 4 – Dec 3, 2024: Mon, 10:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    Completion of 48 units, including IAT 201 and IAT 265, with a minimum grade of C-. Strongly recommended: IAT 267.



Students will learn about and gain experience with a wide variety of interaction technologies, environments and architectures supporting user interaction with systems in work, learning and play. Applied topics may include, but are not limited to, collaboration and computers; ubiquitous and responsive environments; security, trust and privacy; networking; and distributed and heterogeneous interfaces. Emphasis is on practical experience, involving a group design/analysis project in advanced topics in human computer interaction.


Advanced Human Computer Interaction builds upon human-centred design concepts from IAT 201 Human-Computer Interaction and Cognition, extending them to what Don Norman calls “humanity-centred design”: the design and evaluation of advanced computer interfaces for the benefit of diverse individuals, organizations, and society. Lectures and readings focus on models, theories, and frameworks from the behavioural sciences -- human perception, cognition, communication, and sociotechnical systems and how they can provide a scientific basis for the design of interactive technologies that support human experience, reasoning, creativity, and social interaction. Students will be encouraged to consider the contributions, limitations, tradeoffs and synergies of a variety of perspectives, “unflattening” the behavioural sciences as they ground them in the process of interface design in the larger context of humanity-centred design. Group learning activities ask students to reflect on their design approach and how they integrate knowledge from the behavioural sciences in the form of “design rationales”— evidence-based justifications for their design choices and how they can be confirmed in empirical tests.

The emphasis of the course is on combining multiple perspectives in collaborative design processes, and we encourage participation from students with diverse backgrounds and different majors who wish to learn how to design technology for use in their chosen field. Successful completion of the course will support students in the design and implementation of interfaces with design rationales grounded in scientific theory and practical experience.




Key learning objectives are:

* Learn to read and understand research publications in cognitive and social sciences
* Learn to critically analyze these papers from a design perspective
* Learn to incorporate science knowledge in a reflective design cycle (Schön)
* Understand a variety of cognitive theory and research methods
* Consider the impacts and social and ethical implications of design decisions
* Make and justify design decisions that are informed by evidence and outcomes
* Document this process in the form of a design rationale document that explains why your design decisions were made


  • Group project proposal 10%
  • Group project report, focusing on design rationale and process 20%
  • Group presentation 10%
  • In-class quizzes 40%
  • Individual analysis and response to each week's reading 10%
  • Participation, includes individual response to each week's lecture 10%


Readings will be drawn from online sources and linked on the course Canvas shell

Ongoing interaction will be supported by a class Discord channel

Details on the requirements for successfully completing the assignments will be given in the assignment on Canvas. 

Quizzes will be based on assigned readings, lectures and homework.

Students will be expected to complete a multi-part group project during the second half of the course.


Computational experience is useful but not required. Coursework in cognitive and social sciences is useful but not required.



"HCI Models, Theories, and Frameworks. Toward a Multidisciplinary Science"
Editor: John Carroll (available online)
ISBN: 9780080491417

"The human-computer interaction handbook fundamentals, evolving technologies, and emerging applications" Editor: Julie A. Jacko. (available online)
ISBN: 9780429103971

Additional readings from design practice and research on an ongoing basis.


"Unflattening" by Nick Sousanis
Harvard University Press.
ISBN: 9780674744431


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.