Welcome to the
University of Saskatchewan - Department of Computer Science
CMPT 479/817 Usability Engineering;
Information website for Fall 2020NOTE: The official course will be delivered online via: moodle.cs.usask.ca
What this course is about
This course presents a requirements engineering
approach to usability engineering(UE). UE is a structured approach to developing usable user
UE integrates human-computer interaction (HCI)
design approaches within development projects managed by software
Engineering (a sub
discipline of SE) focuses on applying development
processes and documenting information items that support these
development processes in order to engineer large scale software
projects and to provide information that readily supports further
evolutionary development of these projects. While RE is most needed for
large scale projects, its processes and information items can also be
scaled down to smaller developments. This approach is being taken
because it can be applied to all types and sizes of developments.
This class focuses on
the needs of users
and their tasks, which are at the heart of all systems development. It
demonstrates how RE can be applied to engineering usable systems. While
it does not deal with technical issues (such as program or database
design and construction) it provides clear linkages to those SE
activities, which also fit into the same overall life cycle.
In addition to
providing students with an
advanced understanding of UE and RE, this class introduces them to a
variety of significant international standards in the fields of
Software Engineering and of Ergonomics.
Course Delivery for Fall 2020
This course will be delivered online via: moodle.cs.usask.caThis
course will be delivered asynchronously. That means that you are not
required to be online at a particular time of day. Participation can be
done at the time of day of your choice, as long as you meet the various
times and dates when your participation is due.
one exception is the class project presentations that will be held
during the last full week of the course. Project Presentations will be
done live using teleconferencing software.
focuses its requirements on weekday participation. You will be expected
to regularly work on this course throughout the week. The course had been
scheduled as a MWF class. Various due dates will occur weekly on
Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Other work will be scheduled for
Tuesdays and Thursdays. While no work is scheduled for Saturday or
Sunday, those days can be utilized for major work if the student wishes.
course is highly interactive. While it is based on a comprehensive text
(provided by the instructor) , it is designed to be customized to the
interests of the students who are enrolled this term. This will
be facilitated by focusing on selected topics in the content that the
students identify and discuss.
This course covers all of the
content and expectations that exist in regular face-to-face courses.
However, this content and these expectations are being delivered in a
style more suited to the online format that is being utilized this term.
Course Syllabus for CMPT 479 / 817 in Fall Term 2020
Catalog DescriptionThis course presents a requirements engineering
(RE) approach to usability engineering (UE) by providing in depth coverage
of the Usability Centered Development of information systems. UE is a structured
approach to developing usable user interface designs. UE helps
integrate human-computer interaction (HCI) requirements and design
approaches within development projects managed by software engineering
- CMPT 479 prerequisite: CMPT 370 or permission of instructor.
- CMPT 817 prerequisite: graduate student standing
Class Time & Location: This course is being offered as an online class this term via: moodle.cs.usask.ca
Instructor: Prof. Jim A. CarterWhile many student questions
can be handled via e-mail, Dr. Carter will set up teleconferencing
connections at mutually agreeable times for student questions requiring
more than can be readily accomplished by e-mail.
Carter expects to have at least one teleconference per student to
discuss ideas for their term project. This discussion is important in
ensuring that they have a project that can be successfully completed
within the course. Further project related teleconferences may also be
A student successfully completing this course shall be able:
- To identify opportunities for improving the usability and
accessibility of existing and proposed systems
- To apply the components of the definitions of usability and
accessibility to evaluating and developing interactive systems
- To apply usability methods in evaluating and developing
- To apply principles and other forms of ergonomic and user
interface guidance to evaluating and developing interactive systems
- To identify and analyze the various components of the
overall context of use of an interactive system
- To develop usability and accessibility specifications that
can be used in evaluating and developing interactive systems
- To identify techniques and technologies that can satisfy
usability and accessibility specifications
|20% Class Postings
30% Term Project
5% Context of Use
5% Completed Project
30% Final Exam
|20% Class Postings
60% Term Project
10% Context of Use
10% Completed Project
no final exam
Participation Expectations: Class Postings
This class requires regular participation via class postings on the
topics for Weeks 2 - 11, that are due before each week on Mondays,
Wednesdays, and Fridays before 11pm on those days.
On Mondays, students will post at least one Challenge related to each of the two chapters assigned for the week.
On Wednesdays, students will post at least one Elaboration related to each of the two chapters assigned for the week.
By Friday, students will post various discussions related to the challenge and elaboration postings made by other students.
Assignments and ProjectThe
class assignments and project have been broken into small components to
be done most weeks. (Two parts of the class project are given two weeks
each, in recognition of the amount of work expected for them.) This
will provide students with more timely feedback
on their work, and will keep students from getting behind.
Assignments and project reports are due before noon on the first day of the week.
Final Exam SchedulingThe final exam will be a take home exam that covers the
Students will be given at least 24 hours, starting from
the end of classes to complete the exam.
RegistrationAll students must be properly registered in order to be allowed to use the course materials on Moodle and to receive credit for this course.
The text is a manuscript of the book: Usability Centered Development
by Dr. Jim Carter. This has been regularly updated to contain the latest
international consensus on the various topics covered by this class. Free access to all chapters of the text will be
provided to students registered in the class via moodle.cs.usask.ca.
There is a considerable amount of reading to do as a preparation for
each week's topics. All class activities will be based on this reading.
The text chapters will be made available by Friday prior to the week
where they will be used (starting on Monday). Students can either read
the text ahead of Monday or should expect to take sufficient time on
Monday to read the text.The text and other course materials are
copyright by Dr. Jim Carter and freely provided for the use of
registered students in the class and
shall not be shared or published outside the class.
||Topics||Assignment / Project due
|0. Sept 3
|0. Course Introduction|
1. Introduction to Human-Centered Design and Usability-Centered Development
|1. Sept 7
2. Usability, Accessibility and related concepts|
|2. Sept 14
3. Usability Methods
4. Principles and Other Sources of Guidance
- due noon Sept 14
|3. Sept 21
Possibilities and Scenarios
6. Identifying Tasks
- due noon Sept 21
|4. Sept 28
7. Identifying Users
8. Identifying Content
- due noon Sept 28
Discuss Project Ideas
|5. Oct 5
9. Identifying Environments|
10. Needs Assessment
- due noon Oct 5
|6. Oct 13
11. Basic Task Characteristics|
12. Additional Task
- due noon Oct 13
|7. Oct 19
User Interaction Capabilities|
14. User Cognitive and Affective Capabilities
|Project Context of Use Report
- due noon Oct 19
|8. Oct 26
15. Group Characteristics|
|9. Nov 2||
17. Specifying Needs, Requirements, and Recommendations|
18. Interaction Design & 19. Guidance on Interaction Design
|Project Analysis Report |
- due noon Nov 2
| Nov 9||=== Mid-Term Break ===|
|10. Nov 16
||20. Interface (& Navigation) Design
21. Guidance on Interface Design
|11. Nov 23
22. Implementation Issues|
23. Usability Engineering
|Project Design Report
- due noon Nov 23
|12. Nov 30||
Student Project Presentations||Project Presentations |
- to be scheduled
|13. Dec 7||Final Project due||Completed project Report |
- due noon Dec 7
Course Work and Final Grades
"When a student has not completed the required course work, which
includes any assignment or examination including the final examination,
by the time of submission of the final grades, they may be granted an
extension to permit completion of an assignment, or granted a deferred
examination in the case of absence from a final examination. Extensions
for the completion
of assignments must be approved by the Department Head, or Dean in
non-departmentalized Colleges, and may exceed thirty days only in
unusual circumstances. The student must apply to the instructor for
such an extension and furnish satisfactory reasons for the deficiency.
Deferred final examinations are granted as per College policy.
In the interim, the instructor will submit a computed percentile grade
for the course which factors in the incomplete course work as a zero,
along with a grade comment of INF (Incomplete Failure) if a failing
If an extension is granted and the required assignment is submitted
within the allotted time, or if a deferred examination is granted and
written in the case of absence from the final examination, the
instructor will submit a revised computed final percentage grade. The
grade change will replace
the previous grade and any grade comment of INF (Incomplete Failure)
will be removed.
For provisions governing examinations and grading, students are
referred to the University Council Regulations on Examinations section
of the Calendar.
University of Saskatchewan
Calendar/Academic Courses Policy)
Further details of the Academic Course Policy can be found online at: http://policies.usask.ca/policies/academic-affairs/academic-courses.php
The University of Saskatchewan is committed to the highest standards of
academic integrity and honesty. Students are expected to be
familiar with these standards regarding academic honesty and to uphold
the policies of the
University in this respect. Students are particularly urged
to familiarize themselves with the provisions of the Student
Conduct & Appeals section of the University Secretary Website
and avoid any behavior that
could potentially result in suspicions of cheating, plagiarism,
misrepresentation of facts and/or participation in an
dishonesty is a serious offense and can result in suspension or
expulsion from the University.
All students should read and be familiar with the Regulations on
Academic Student Misconduct (http://www.usask.ca/university_secretary/honesty/StudentAcademicMisconduct.pdf
) as well as the Standard of Student Conduct in Non-Academic Matters
Procedures for Resolution of Complaints and Appeals (http://www.usask.ca/university_secretary/honesty/StudentNon-AcademicMisconduct2012.pdf
) Academic honesty is also defined and
in the Department of
Computer Science Statement on Academic Honesty (http://www.cs.usask.ca/undergrad/honesty.php
more information on what academic integrity
means for students see
the Student Conduct & Appeals section of the University
with Disability Services for Students (DSS)
who have disabilities
(learning, medical, physical, or mental health) are strongly encouraged
register with Disability Services for Students (DSS) if they have not
done so. Students who suspect they may have disabilities should contact
advice and referrals. In order to access DSS programs and supports,
must follow DSS policy and procedures. For more information, check
contact DSS at 966-7273 or email@example.com
registered with DSS may
request alternative arrangements for mid-term and final examinations.
must arrange such accommodations through DSS by the stated deadlines.
Instructors shall provide the examinations for students who are being
by the deadlines established by DSS.
Date of last revision: June 12, 2020