Spring 2019

INF 385P Usability

Unique ID: 27495


This course will give students a foundational introduction to user experience (also known as UX, CX, HCI) and introduce some of the core UX research methods in use today, as well as applying these methods to a product to create a final presentation that can hopefully be used in their portfolio/job seeking adventures. Accordingly, the class will cover 5 major areas: 1. Have an in-depth understanding of some primary UX methods relevant to product development (e.g. Heuristic evaluation, Moderated User testing, UX Benchmarking). 2. Understand the principles of other important UX tools/methods (e.g. Information architecture tests (card-sorts), RITE testing, Competitive Analysis, Thematic coding of qualitative data, etc.). 3. Have a working understanding of the most frequently used UX methods at each point of the development lifecycle, with a specific focus on which methods are best suited to evaluative research. 4. Learn the scientific underpinnings of the various methodologies, including the specific advantages and disadvantages of each. 5. The “real world” application of these skills to industry-paced projects


The roles and responsibilities of individuals contributing on a User Experience (UX) team vary widely from company to company. A common UX team would include members with specialties in Visual Design, Interaction Design, and User Research. This course will focus solely on the role of User Researcher and will teach the skills necessary to be successful in an industry environment. Students will learn the methods used during a typical product development lifecycle with a focus on data-driven results aimed at ensuring a successful product adoption. We will pull from methods created within Human Factors and other behavioral sciences to fully understand our users and adopt them to fit in the fast paced, Agile, development frameworks in most corporate settings. The class will cover three major areas: 1. user research methods used throughout the entire product development lifecycle; both generative/formative as well as evaluative methodologies 2. theoretical underpinnings of user behavior from the behavioral sciences 3. the justification (ROI) for the application of user research in a product development lifecycle Objectives: The student successfully completing this class will: - have a working understanding of the methods used by a user researcher during a product development lifecycle - understand the scientific background of the various methodologies and the advantages and disadvantages of using each methodology - learn the value of a data-driven approach to user research and how a focus on ROI can help you be successful in a business environment https://www.ischool.utexas.edu/sites/default/files/images/webform/Syllabus_15.pdf


Graduate standing.