Summer 2024 - IAT 432 D100

Design Evaluation (3)

Class Number: 2050

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    May 6 – Aug 2, 2024: Tue, 8:30–11:20 a.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    IAT 334 with a minimum grade of C- and completion of 60 units. Recommended: IAT 201 and 235.



Examines evaluation concepts and methods for designers. Introduces a range of evaluation approaches including informal usability studies, lab experiments, field studies, and analytically-based evaluations. Students will explore techniques for feedback including usability tests, observation, interviews, heuristic reviews, and discursive evaluations. Underlying concepts of evaluation including scientific experimentation, ethnography, phenomenology, and aesthetics will be discussed. Students will learn how to design and implement appropriate evaluation studies for a range of design projects.


This course examines evaluation concepts and methods for interaction designers. Evaluation in Interaction Design is challenged by the breadth of issues to be evaluated.  For this reason, evaluation spans a range of approaches including interpretive analysis, empirical studies, and scientific analysis.  This course will enable students to design appropriate evaluation studies for a range of design situations and user experiences.   The course analyzes a range of evaluation approaches including informal evaluation, usability studies, heuristics, controlled experiments, query-based evaluation, observational studies and field studies. Students will explore techniques for generating feedback including observation, interviews, expert reviews, and quantitative and qualitative analysis.  Underlying concepts of evaluation including scientific observation, ethnography, and phenomenology will be discussed. Students will learn how to design and implement appropriate evaluation studies for a range of computing environments.


Learning Outcomes
Students will be able to:

  1. Understand foundational concepts and be able to differentiate between different approaches and methods that can be considered when undertaking evaluation during interaction design
  2. Analyze aspects of evaluation within a design situation including the goals, users, stakeholders, ethical considerations, context and desired outcomes
  3. Apply selected evaluation techniques such as controlled experiments, questionnaires, video evaluations, field studies, and analytically-based evaluations for single-user and/or collaborative systems for a particular design evaluation problem
  4. Critically analyze and document the results from a range of design evaluation techniques for different stakeholders
  5. Plan and work with an external client (e.g. industry, community group, NGO, government organization) to conduct a design evaluation to address the client's user research pr product evaluation problem, including the selection of an appropriate evaluation technique and critical assessment of the chosen method. 


  • Individual Assignments 35%
  • Group Assignments 40%
  • Exam 25%


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

  • 35% Individual Assignments 
  • 40% Group Assignments (Client Project)
  • 25% Exam
Students must get at least 50% in each of the above components of the course in order to pass.  

In the case of team / group assignments, they 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.

At the discretion of the current instructor, you can earn up to 2% bonus by participating in designated research studies within SIAT or if studies are not available, conduct a paper review (from a pre-selected/approved evaluation paper) as a learning experience to broaden your understanding of research in interactive arts and technology.  This includes 1% per study (or paper review) that you participate in.



Technology: You will need a stable internet connection, a web browser that can run Zoom (Google Chrome works well, you do not need the Zoom application), Microsoft Office available to SFU students  (Word and Excel), and the Slack application (download WinAndroid or Mac). 


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

Note: this is available as an ebook in the library.

ISBN: 9780470185483


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at:

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website 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.


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.