Course Syllabus

Learning Goals
Design innovation shapes our daily experience. In this course, you will learn the foundations for designing, implementing, and evaluating interactive software that solves problems that people experience. The problem solving skills, knowledge, and confidence gained from this course will prepare you for a career in user experience design and will transfer to many job contexts. Course topics will include human abilities, user research, prototyping, evaluation techniques, event-driven programming, design communication, and team skills. The course materials emphasize mobile interaction design, though content will also draw from the Web, desktop, and product design domains. You are expected to participate in the lectures and design studio sessions. Your questions, comments, and responses should be topically relevant and respectful.

Brian P. Bailey
4222 Siebel Center
Office hours: M W 11-12 CT in my office.

Teaching Assistants

Frederick Choi
Office Hour: W 1-2 CT outside 4102 Siebel Center for CS

Christopher Perdriau
Office Hour: Tue 3-4 in 222 (lower level of Siebel)

Wendy Shi 
Office Hour: Thursdays 2PM-3PM CT by Zoom

Kaiyue Zhang
Office Hour: Thursdays 3-4 PM on Zoom

M W 9:30 - 10:45 a.m. CT in 1320 DCL.

Students are expected to attend the lectures in-person. However, the lectures will be recorded and the videos will be available to all students for the purpose of review. The links for the lecture videos will be posted on the associated pages in the course schedule as soon as the videos are available (usually 1-2 hours after the lecture). Lectures will be recorded using the in-room capture system which gives a birds-eye view of the room.  Lecture videos are hosted on MediaSpace and can also be accessed from the CS465 channel on that platform. 


AD1 Fri: 09:30–10:50 a.m. CT 3117 Everitt Lab with Kaiyue Zhang
AD2 Fri: 11:00–12:20 p.m. CT  432  Armory with Wendy Shi
AD3 Fri: 12:30–13:50 p.m. CT 3117 Everitt Lab with Fred Choi
AD4 Fri: 14:00–15:20 p.m. CT 3117 Everitt Lab with Fred Choi
AD5 Fri: 11:00–12:20 p.m. CT 209 Huff Hall with Christopher Perdriau
AD6 Fri: 15:30–16:50 p.m. CT 3117 Everitt Lab with Kaiyue Zhang
AD7 Fri: 14:00–15:20 p.m. CT 11 Psychology Building with Wendy Shi
CHI Thursday: 3:30 - 4:50 p.m. CT in the DPI building, Room TBD

Students must participate in the studio sessions that they are enrolled. There is no online option for the studio. Studio sessions will not be recorded. 


Course Questions
Please send course-related questions to: This will reach the instructor and all teaching assistants. Course-related questions may also be posted to the Q&A discussion forum on the course Web site. The course does not use Piazza. 


Students are expected to have experience with data structures, algorithms, and computer programming. CS 225 (CS majors) provides this background and should generally be taken before this course. Students should have competence programming in modern object-oriented languages such as Java and should have the ability to learn a new language and programming tools quickly.  The course values students from disciplines outside of engineering with strengths in other areas such as design, psychology, and human factors. 



  • The Design of Everyday Things (revised and expanded edition, 2013) by Donald Norman. This book is a classic introduction to the human side of user interfaces. You can access the book through the library and might find PDF copies online.
  • Task-Centered User Interface Design by Lewis and Rieman. This shareware book is an efficient introduction to user-centered design.


Computing Labs
All students enrolled in the course should have access to the Engineering Workstation Labs (EWS). Labs are located in Siebel, Grainger Library, MEL, and Engineering Hall. Please see the EWS pages for hours, locations, and installed software. Android Studio is available on the lab computers in ENGR Hall and MEL.


Course Components and Grading
Final letter grades will be weighed as follows: Team project (60%), Exams (20%), Studio (10%), and Workbooks (10%). The course is typically graded on a nominal scale; some form of an A for >= 90%, some form of B for >= 80%, etc. However, these cutoffs may be adjusted in either direction depending on the final distribution of scores.


Team Project
All students must complete a team project. The project will require designing, building, and testing a user interface project of your choice. Students must work in teams (about 5 students per team) on the project. Teams will need to meet outside of class, as well as in class, to complete the project. Students are not allowed to work individually as a team of one. The project will require a large time commitment and will contribute significantly to your course grade.

The project will be completed in stages and the deliverables for each stage will be graded separately. There is a Project Guide page describing the project, deliverables, and peer evaluations. While projects will receive a single grade per group, group members may receive different grades if there is evidence that not all group members contributed equally to the project.

Working in project teams may be new for some of you and can be challenging for all. Remember that you will have a better group experience if your group is diverse in talents and interest, but united in goals and compatible in work habits. I will do my best to help your group resolve problems, but it typically works best if the group can resolve problems on their own. This will better prepare you to manage group work in "real life." Be aware that the peer evaluations of the level of effort that you contributed to the team project will play a role in determining your final course grade.

Teams will be formed using the online platform called CATME. The platform automates team formation by matching students with compatible skills, working styles, and backgrounds. This computer-assisted team formation process also allows us to keep pace with the growing number of students in courses and create a more consistent team formation experience for students between courses. You will be assigned to a team based on the studio section because this will allow your team to meet and present project deliverables during that section. CATME will also be used for peer evaluations, in addition to a research prototype of a data-centric peer evaluation tool. 


Design Studio
The design studio provides a small group learning environment in which students will receive project mentorship from the course staff, exchange feedback on team project deliverables, and practice design communication skills. The studio format requires participation in order to be successful. Each student must enroll and participate in a design studio section. Each section meets weekly for up to 80 minutes. You MUST attend the studio section that you selected during registration because it will be used for project team formation.

Your participation in the design studio will be scored after each session according to the rubric: 0 (not present); 1 (present); 2 (engaged). Engaged means you added value through your participation, questions, and comments. Students must join within 5 minutes of the scheduled start time to be eligible for full credit and within 30 minutes to receive any credit. Students must also remain attentive for the duration of the studio to receive full credit. 


There will be a midterm (10% of total) and a final exam (10% of total). Do not miss an exam. Please note the dates of the midterm (scheduled) and the final exam on the lecture schedule and arrange job interviews and travel plans accordingly. The midterm will be held during the scheduled time of lecture. 


Lecture Workbooks
A lecture workbook contains in-class participation activities to promote reflection and learning during the lecture. A workbook is associated with most of the lectures. Each workbook is linked in the page for each topic in the course schedule as a Google Form and printed copies will be available in the lecture room for those who prefer this modality. Workbooks are due 5 minutes after the end of each lecture (10:50 a.m. CT) unless otherwise indicated. A workbook is worth 2 points total. Full credit is given for responses that demonstrate meaningful effort. Please review the Workbook rubric for further details. A few ad hoc assignments will also count toward the workbook category. Workbooks use Google Forms. To access the forms, login to your Google Apps @ Illinois account and be sure it is turned on in the cloud dashboard ( A student who submits a workbook for someone else or while skipping the in-person lecture will receive a 0 for this category of work. 


Grading Policies: Regrades, Late Penalty, and Absences

Late penalty
There will be a penalty applied to any team project deliverable submitted within 24 hours after the due date. The penalty will be 20% of the earned points (e.g., if an assignment earns 80 out of 100 points but is submitted late, then the final score would be 64). After the late period expires, project deliverables will not be accepted for credit. Studio submissions and lecture workbooks cannot be submitted late. 

A student / team may submit one regrade request per individual / team assignment. The request must describe what score the student or team believes they deserve and explain why. The explanation must focus on the content and its relation to the rubric or supporting evidence. Explanations that are irrelevant to the assignment (e.g., wanting to maintain a perfect GPA or to ensure an A in the course) will be declined without review. The request must be submitted within two weeks after having received the score for the assignment. Requests will not be considered after the regrade period has expired or if a request was previously made for the assignment. The entire assignment will be re-evaluated.  Send all regrade requests to the course staff list ( 

No make-up work is allowed unless the absence is excused. Team members who miss a scheduled presentation of their project work during studio without an excused absence will receive a 10% score deduction for that project deliverable. Excused absences include those absences defined in the student code (see and absences due to illness or other medical reason for which the student is able to provide a meaningful medical note. The note must cover the date of the missed lecture or studio and must be submitted to the instructor in a time frame considered reasonable given the particular circumstance. If the absence is approved by the instructor, students will be allowed to submit make-up work within a defined time window without penalty. Please note that job interviews do not qualify for excused absences unless the prospective employer (not the student) submits documentation to the instructor indicating that no other interview slot was available. Because there is an excused absence policy, no grades will be dropped.

Late Adds
Students who register for the course late must initiate requests for makeup assignments from the course staff within one week of joining the course. Makeup work will not be allowed otherwise. This includes but is not limited to extensions for missed lecture workbooks and alternative assignments for missed studio sessions.

Scholastic Conduct
All students enrolled in this and other University courses are expected to complete coursework responsibilities with fairness and honesty. Failure to do so by seeking unfair advantage over others or misrepresenting someone else's work as your own will result in disciplinary action. For more information, please review the University Student Conduct Code for Academic Integrity.

Because of the team work requirement in the course, an Incomplete grade will generally not be assigned except in rare cases of medical or family emergency. Making up an incomplete grade will usually require completing a new project the following semester. An incomplete grade will require a written agreement on the work to be completed.

Special Circumstances
Students with special needs or circumstances should contact the instructor as soon as possible to make any necessary arrangements. Accommodations such as large-print exams and private exam rooms can be arranged in cooperation with disability services.


Anti-Racism and Inclusivity
The Grainger College of Engineering and the staff of this course are committed to the creation of an anti-racist, inclusive community that welcomes diversity along a number of dimensions, including, but not limited to, race, ethnicity and national origins, gender and gender identity, sexuality, disability status, class, age, or religious beliefs. The College recognizes that we are learning together in the midst of the Black Lives Matter movement, that Black, Hispanic, and Indigenous voices and contributions have largely either been excluded from, or not recognized in, science and engineering, and that both overt racism and micro-aggressions threaten the well-being of our students and our university community. The effectiveness of this course is dependent upon each of us to create a safe and encouraging learning environment that allows for the open exchange of ideas while also ensuring equitable opportunities and respect for all of us. Everyone is expected to help establish and maintain an environment where students, staff, and faculty can contribute without fear of personal ridicule, or intolerant or offensive language. If you witness or experience racism, discrimination, micro-aggressions, or other offensive behavior, you are encouraged to bring this to the attention of the course director if you feel comfortable. You can also report these behaviors to the Bias Assessment and Response Team (BART). Based on your report, BART members will follow up and reach out to students to make sure they have the support they need to be healthy and safe. If the reported behavior also violates university policy, staff in the Office for Student Conflict Resolution may respond as well and will take appropriate action.


Statement on Mental Health
Diminished mental health, including significant stress, mood changes, excessive worry, substance/alcohol abuse, or problems with eating and/or sleeping can interfere with optimal academic performance, social development, and emotional well-being. The University of Illinois offers a variety of confidential services including individual and group counseling, crisis intervention, psychiatric services, and specialized screenings at no additional cost. If you or someone you know experiences any of the above mental health concerns, it is strongly encouraged to contact or visit any of the University's resources provided below. Getting help is a smart and courageous thing to do -- for yourself and for those who care about you.

Counseling Center: 217-333-3704, 610 East John Street Champaign, IL 61820
McKinley Health Center:217-333-2700, 1109 South Lincoln Avenue, Urbana, Illinois 61801
University wellness center:


Statement on CS CARES and CS Values and Code of Conduct
All members of the Illinois Computer Science department - faculty, staff, and students - are expected to adhere to the CS Values and Code of Conduct. The CS CARES Committee is available to serve as a resource to help people who are concerned about or experience a potential violation of the Code. If you experience such issues, please contact the CS CARES Committee. The Instructors of this course are also available for issues related to this class.