Course Information (Spring 2020)

CSCI-499 User Interface Design/Independent Study


Cyndi Rader, , website:

Course Goals:

The user experience is a critical, but often neglected, component of software design. The purpose of this course is for students to learn how to incorporate UI Design/UX into an agile software environment. Topics we will explore include (this is a subset):

Bottom line: I want you to come away from this independent study with a strong passion for the user experience; with the confidence that you know the tools and processes to effectively translate your designs into awesome products; and with sufficient knowledge of design fundamentals to be comfortable taking the lead in a design context.

Required Textbooks:

There are a number of options to obtain these books for a reduced price (e.g., used, rent, library loan).

Student Evaluation:

Activity Percent
Individual Units 45%
Final Paper 5%
Participation ( piazza) 5%
Group Project 45%

Unlike many (most?) CS courses, the assignments in this course will not have point values. Instead, each unit will be assigned a letter grade (A, A-, B+, B, B-, F.). The Evaluation section at the bottom of each assignment provides guidance regarding the evaluation criteria. Be sure to read this section before beginning the assignment!

Some units cover multiple topics (e.g., multiple chapters, exercises, etc.). To provide adequate weight, separate grades may be assigned for each section. This will be specified in the Evaluation section.

As an independent study, I expect students to be motivated and engaged. Any submission that would be evaluated as lower than B- will receive a grade of F (hopefully this will not occur!) I will be disappointed if most submissions are not worth a grade of A or A-.

Overall course grade will be determined as a numeric average, assuming A = 5, A- = 4... F = 0. For example, if you had 3 assignments assigned a grade of A and 2 assigned a grade of A-, the grade would be (3*5+2*4) = 23/5 = 4.6 = A. Note that end-of-semester grades are submitted as letter grades, so this numeric scheme is ONLY for figuring out your grade for this course.

Late Policy:

Because this independent study is graded via letter grades rather than points, standard late policies will not work well. If you need to turn in an assignment after the due date, please contact me.