This course trains students in the theory and practice of evaluating the user-friendliness of interactive products, prototypes or concepts with the goal to optimize them. Methods like usability testing, heuristic evaluation, web analytics, eye tracking and interaction modeling are introduced. Because of its relevance, special emphasis is spent on usability testing and its various techniques including thinking aloud vs. performance testing, and face-to-face testing vs. remote testing. Students are taught the elements of research such as care in collecting data, avoiding unsubstantiated interpretations and, in general, understanding the difference between qualitative and quantitative research. Several usability evaluation projects are carried out as part of this course, allowing students to practice the planning and organizing of an evaluation, effectively executing the study, and convincingly communicating the results to others in order to affect design changes as needed.
Topics will include design elements and visual composition, color theory, typography, interaction principles, graphic identity and communication design.