Required Seminar Readings


The syllabus lists weekly readings and the schedule below lists those with links to the material. Each week a student will lead an online discussion based on the assigned readings. Everyone will participate in weekly online discussions and related class activities. The goal is to engage participants to experience the issues.


     Readings are intended to promote critical thinking and in-depth discussion of ideas and concepts, and to help you apply HCI concepts, methods and measures to your pilot study and interface assessment journal. What do these readings tell us about the human dimension in system use that we can apply in our own research design?


     Emphasis is on critical analysis of research design, measurement of variables, particularly affective and cognitive variables, and insights gleaned. Students will gain experience constructing and critiquing research designs for human studies of information system use.


Online Research Literature Discussions


Seminar participants lead two (2) sessions on the readings via chat in the 677 Google Group. Choose readings for two specific sessions and sign up on the Google Spreadsheet. You will be on the schedule to lead the online discussion that includes the text chapter and the other readings for the week.


On the Monday before the session, post a question or two and ask people to respond to one or two questions only. Or give them a choice among several questions. Post your own opening discussion and address your own ideas, realizations and insights, as well as the issues, concepts, ideas, controversies, challenges, etc. found in the readings that contribute to the knowledge base and to assignments. It is not necessary to address everything, be selective and integrate points you consider to be most interesting and useful. Respond to some of the subsequent posts in the discussion, and after the discussion closes, summarize the ideas people came up with by the Friday after the class session it is due.


Human Research Ethics  [1/19] UH Committee on Human Studies (Institutional Review Board IRB)  UH policy on class assignments involving human participants:

“While [research] practica are not under the purview of the CHS, the CHS staff is available for consultation with students and for class presentation regarding issues of the protection of the rights and welfare of human subjects. It is important to note that data collected as practica cannot at a later date be used for presentation at conferences, publications, or doctoral dissertations.”


Create an account and complete the entire tutorial, take the quizzes, get the Certificate (est. time 45’–60’), and turn in the Certificate by January 26: Protecting Human Research Participants, NIH

“46.101 (b) Unless otherwise required by department or agency heads, research activities in which the only involvement of human subjects will be in one or more of the following categories are exempt from this policy:

    (1) Research conducted in established or commonly accepted educational settings, involving normal educational practices, such as (i) research on regular and special education instructional strategies, or (ii) research on the effectiveness of or the comparison among instructional techniques, curricula, or classroom management methods.”


Second Life Community Standards (CS) and Terms of Service (ToS)


Print, sign and submit the VW Consent Form


SL Orientation Exercise site (themed build):


UX Design: Mixed Reality  [1/26]


Chapter 2. Information Needs and user Studies


ECAR National Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2011 Report (PDF link under Resources)


Nardi, Bonnie. 2008. "Mixed Realities: Information Spaces Then and Now" Information Research, 13(4) paper 354.


Reidsma, Matthew. 2011. Why We Do Usability Testing.


User Studies: Usability Testing [2/2]


Chapter 4. Usability Study Basics


Hepburn, Peter and Krystal M. Lewis. 2008. What’s in a Name? Using Card Sorting to Evaluate Branding in an Academic Library’s Web Site. College and Research Libraries 69(3) (May): 242-250.


Norlin, Elaina. 2002. Chapter 1. Foundations of Usability Testing. Chapter 6. Usability Testing Example. In Usability Testing for Library Web Sites: A Hands-on Guide. Chicago: ALA, pp. 1-9; 49-64.


Reidsma, Matthew. 2011. How We Do Usability Testing. (download his materials)


Kupersmith, John. Library Terms Evaluated in Usability Tests

Recently updated reports on the terminology users did and did not understand, as reported in several studies, linked here. Avoid using any of the poorly understood words on library web sites.


User Studies: Information Seeking in Virtual Worlds  [2/9]


Chapter 5. Usability Study Participants


Mon, Lorri. 2009. Questions and Answers in a Virtual World: Educators and Librarians as Information Providers in Second Life. Journal of Virtual Worlds Research 2(1), (April), Pedagogy, Education and Innovation in 3-D Virtual Worlds.

Nahl, Diane. 2010. Affective Load and Engagement in Second Life: Experiencing Urgent, Persistent, and Long Term Information Needs, International Journal of Virtual and Personal Learning Environments 1(3), (July-September): 1-16.


UX Design: Affective Aspects  [2/16]


Chapter 6. Usability Data Analysis


Rogers, Yvonne, Sharp, Helen, and Jenny Preece. 2011. Chapter 5. Emotional Interaction. In Interaction Design: Beyond Human-Computer Interaction, 3rd Ed. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley, pp. 127-156.


Krug, Steve. 2005. Chapter 1: Don’t Make Me Think!: Krug’s First Law of Usability.  Chapter 2: How We Really Use the Web: Scanning, Satisficing, and Muddling Through.  In Don’t Make Me Think!: A Common Sense Approach to Usability, Second Edition. Berkeley, CA: New Riders, pp. 10-29.

e-book via UH libraries


Affective Load  [2/23]


Chapter 7. Web Usability


Mentis, Helena. 2007. Chapter 11. Memory of Frustrating Experiences. In Information and Emotion: The Emergent Affective Paradigm in Information Behavior Research and Theory. Medford, NJ: Information Today, pp. 197-210.


Nahl, Diane. 2005. Affective and Cognitive Information Behavior: Interaction Effects in Internet Use. Proceedings of the 68th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Information Science & Technology, October 28-November 2, Charlotte, NC, Medford, NJ: Information Today.


UX Design: Social Interfaces [3/1]


Chapter 8. The Usability of Digital Libraries


Rogers, Yvonne, Sharp, Helen, and Jenny Preece. 2011. Chapter 4. Social Interaction. In Interaction Design: Beyond Human-Computer Interaction, 3rd Ed. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley, pp. 100-126.


Interaction Design Theory and IB Models [3/8]


Chapter 3. Human Information Behavior Studies and Models


Kaptelinin, Victor and Bonnie A. Nardi. 2006. Chapter 2: Do We Need Theory in Interaction Design? In Acting With Technology: Activity Theory and Interaction Design. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, pp. 15-28.


Education in Virtual Worlds  [3/15]


Chapter 9. The Digital Divide, Digital Natives and Usability


de Freitas, Sara. 2008. Serious Virtual Worlds: A Scoping Study. JISC e-Learning Programme.


This report of the Joint Information Science Committee (JISC) is a review of the use of virtual worlds to support learning and training in the UK, including a review of the field and case study examples. The report also provides a typology and a list of virtual worlds.


UX Design: Future Trends  [3/29]


Chapter 10. Issues and Trends in Usability Research


Gosselin, Kadley. Situated Research. 2011. The Future of Gaming: A Portrait of the New Gamers


Roettgers, Janko. 2011. 5 things my 4-year-old taught me about technology.

Read the comments.


Centrality of the Affect in Decision Making [4/5]


Isen, Alice M. 2004. Positive Affect and Decision Making. In M. Lewis & J.M. Haviland-Jones, Eds., Handbook of Emotions. New York: Guilford Press, pp. 417–435.


Jokaydia Virtual Worlds Wiki. Explore other VEs using Alternate viewers and VWs:


Use-Design Improvements [4/12]


Nielsen, Jakob. 2007. Lifelong Computer Skills. Jakob Nielsen’s Alertbox. (February 26)
Usability Heuristics:


Hunt, Ben. 2010. The Top 10 Web Design Skills You WILL Need!


Manjoo, Farhad. 2011. Save the Scrollbar! Slate


User-Centered Revolution  [4/19]


Hoekman, Robert. 2006. Chapter 2: Understand Users, Then Ignore Them. In Designing the Obvious: A Common Sense Approach to Web Application Design. Berkeley, CA: New Riders, pp. 17-51.


Nahl, Diane. 2010. The User-Centered Revolution: 1995-2008. Encyclopedia of Library and Information Sciences Online, 3rd Edition. London: Taylor & Francis.


Victor, Bret. 2011. A Brief Rant on the Future of Interaction Design

Read responses and follow-up link.