Summer 2021 - IAT 334 D100

Interface Design (3)

Class Number: 3885

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 10:30 AM – 12:20 PM

  • 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 the information system and other humans via computers is directly shaped by the user interface. Thus, the successful user experience with an information system depends on this crucial component. This course provides students with an introduction to the design of graphical user interfaces for computing devices, covers design methods, prototyping and evaluation of user interfaces. Issues of interactivity and its relation to human contexts and technological systems will be examined. The role of aesthetic, symbolic, affective and cultural factors will be assessed in concert with scientific and technological issues as well as qualitive design evaluation methodologies. The class is primarily focused on visual interfaces on computer monitors and hand held devices. The course starts with hands-on assignments on fundamental interface-design principles. It culminates with a final project that is implemented to the level of a fully working prototype, which 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. Identify design opportunities within a given scenario and ideate design concepts based on these opportunities.
  4. List examples 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.
  5. Organize and conduct a design process within an interdisciplinary team.
  6. Independently produce a working prototype that satisfies given design requirements.
  7. Critique and evaluate interface design projects.


  • Participation 10%
  • Quizzes 20%
  • Projects 70%


Grading Scale
This course uses the SIAT standard grading scale for final letter grades, the cutoffs for which are:
A+    95%
A      90%
A-     85%
B+    80%
B      75%
B-     70%
C+    65%
C      60%
C-     55%
D      50%
F <   50%


Due to the continuing effects of the pandemic this term will be conducted entirely via online classes. This will result in some changes in format, tools and requirements.

- Access to a personal computer: This is essential for the course. If you don't have such access and would require a technology purchase in order to complete the course then you should consider contacting SFU Financial Aid as you may be able to apply for special funding. 
- Access to reliable internet: Teamwork and portions of the class will require live (real-time) communication. As a result you'll need consistent access.
- Access to a non-distracting space to work: Live classes mean you will need a space where you can be participating in the class without interruption.



Readings will be delivered digitally through the online course-platform.

The course will require access to a vector-graphics editing program (i.e. Illustrator or Sketch) and a prototyping software (i.e. Axure or XD).

Due to the online delivery this term it is essential that you have ready access to your own laptop or desktop computer for use with this course, as well as stable access to internet service.


Delivery Method: Lecture (LEC), Studio Lab (STL) and Open Lab (OPL)


Readings will be available digitally through the course platform.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site 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.


Teaching at SFU in summer 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods, but we will continue to have in-person experiential activities for a selection of courses.  Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning ( or 778-782-3112).