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CSE 441: Advanced Human Computer Interaction

Spring 2015


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Staff and Scheduling

James Fogarty Daniel Epstein King Xia
Instructor Teaching Assistant Teaching Assistant

Contact: cse441-instr [at] cs.washington.edu

Class Times & Location: Tuesdays and Thursday, 10:00-11:50am, MGH 284

Individual Project Group Meetings: To be scheduled, primarily during Thursday class time.

Office Hours: Check the calendar. Scheduled Wednesdays 10:30-11:30am, CSE 666. Other meetings by appointment.

Course Description

Students will work in groups of three or four on a single project that parallels the experience of delivering a high-fidelity interactive prototype within a company or with a customer.

Students are expected to already possess knowledge of appropriate HCI methods, and will focus on independently applying those methods in their work. There will therefore be little or no lecture material in this course. Course staff will instead work closely with students to critique and advise on their group project.

Prerequisite: CSE 440 or instructor’s permission.

Project Scope

Students will propose, design, and develop a high-fidelity interactive prototype. The definition of “high-fidelity interactive prototype” will be negotiated with each group according to the nature of their project. For example, a group delivering a mobile application or website will be expected to provide a complete interactive experience. But the prototype of that experience might be unlikely to scale in a large deployment, or might be limited in some other regard.

Project process will include:

It is appropriate, but not required, to choose to pitch proposals based on prior CSE 440 projects:

We welcome proposals based on any idea that has previously been explored and developed at a similar level of depth. But the demands of this course are too high for starting from scratch. You need an initial high-quality understanding of your problem and directions for your design.

Project Communication and Documentation

The overall structure of the course is intended to facilitate rapid feedback on project progress:

Project Dates and Guidance

Pitch Presentation: Tuesday, April 7

Pitches will be presented in class on Tuesday, April 7. Each pitch should last 3 to 5 minutes. We will then have time for questions and discussion, before moving to the next pitch. After all pitches are presented, we will have free time for talking with classmates before bidding.

An effective pitch will address these points:

For ease of in-class coordination, submit your presentation materials here:


Bidding: Tuesday, April 7

Bids will be collected in-class at the end of Tuesday, April 7. We expect to form teams the same day, or possibly on Wednesday April 8.

We ask that students be highly response to email in this time, for the sake of resolving any questions.

Proposal Presentation: Tuesday, April 14

Proposals will be presented in class on Tuesday, April 14. Proposals should last 5 to 10 minutes. We will then have time for questions and discussion, before moving to the next proposal. This is the final opportunity for feedback before your written proposal. You plans should therefore be detailed enough for the staff and your classmates to understand your proposed project.

It is understood that later elements of your project may change in response to knowledge gained or barriers encountered in the early elements of your project. But you should put forward a concrete proposal against which any later revisions can be compared.

An effective presentation will address these points:

For ease of in-class coordination, submit your presentation materials here:


Website: Tuesday, April 14

You will maintain a project website over the course of the quarter. This is where you will post all your project notebook and all of your project materials. We have created a placeholder project directory. By end-of-day Tuesday, submit a pull request that replaces the placeholder with a minimal project website.

For some examples of these sites, see those from prior offerings of CSE 477:


Proposal Document: Wednesday, April 15

Based on the content of your proposal presentation and any feedback received, prepare a 1-page proposal document. This document should address the same points as your proposal presentation. It should be written so that a person unfamiliar with your project and this class can understand the proposal.

Post the proposal document to your project website.

Stands Ups: Tuesday April 21, Tuesday May 5, Tuesday, May 19

Stand ups are an informal update to the class. They are intended to facilitate awareness within the class and support feedback to keep your project progressing. These do not need to be structured as a formal presentation.

Structure your update as a 3x3:

These are intended to support conversations, ideas, and feedback from the larger group. After each group updates, you will have the remainder of class for meeting with your group, seeking additional feedback from the staff, or following up on any points that were raised during the updates.

Milestone Update Presentations: Tuesday April 28, Tuesday May 12, Tuesday May 26

Milestone update presentations are a check on the trajectory of your project. They should convey the state of your project and your plans for the remainder of the quarter. This includes the same information as in your stand ups, but also higher-level reflection and planning. Presentation should last 5 to 10 minutes.

Structure your presentation to include:

For ease of in-class coordination, submit your presentation materials here:


Final Presentation, Poster, and Report: Tuesday June 2, Thursday June 4, Saturday June 6, Monday June 8

Prior presentations have focused on defining a project plan and receiving in-progress feedback. It is equally important to be able to effectively convey your design, the rationale behind it, alternatives considered, and the basis for your decisions.

Imagine you are presenting to somebody empowered to approve your project for more resources (e.g., a manager, a funder). They are motivated to understand and consider your design, but have not been involved in your work to date. Structure your presentation around effectively convincing your audience that your design is promising. This likely includes conveying:

Your process has included a variety of methods, but method is not the point here. Method is a powerful tool, but results and insight ultimately sell your design. So aim to use your process as support for your insight and your design, but remember you are selling the design itself.

You will present this content in three forms. The overall goal of these different presentation forms is the same. Your message will be therefore be largely the same, but delivered in a different format.

For ease of coordination, submit your presentation, poster, and report here:



Grading will be based on the project process and individual contributions to that process:

These three criteria will be weighted approximately equally.

Your grade will thus reflect project work as evaluated by the staff, fellow students, and any mentor. Feedback will be provided throughout the class, such that groups and individuals understand their performance. If any problems emerge with group dynamics, it is the student responsibility to notify staff as soon as possible.


This course website is a GitHub Repository.

You can submit pull requests to update this website, including publishing your project websites.

We have provided instructions for how to contribute.