General information
academic year 2020/2021
& office hours

Joanna McGrenere (ICICS/CS x665)

Insructor office hour: Time and Zoom link provided on Canvas, or by appointment. I will also often be available right after class for a half hour.

TAs will be available during workshop. Please make this your first mode of contact whenever possible.

When this is not sufficient, please book appointments via email on an as-needed basis. Your TA is usually the best initial resource for project questions, being most familiar with your project details.
TA(s) Mint Tanprasert (L2A)
Kevin Chow (L2B)

IMPORTANT Note: Getting into CPSC 310 has become impossible for non-CS students, and we are in the process of changing this requirement. With that in mind:

CPSC 344 (or equivelent) and one stats course are hard requirements. STAT 200, STAT 241 are the listed accepted pre-req stats courses. STAT 241 is no longer being offered and has been replaced by STAT 251.

There are a whole series of stats courses that we accept in lieu of STAT 200/241/251. These include: STAT 200, 203, BIOL 300, COMM 291, ECON 325, 327, EPSE 482, 483, FRST 231, GEOG 374, KIN 371, POLI 380, PSYC 218, 278, 366, SOCI 328 (These come directly from the credit exclusion list for STAT 200 found here: http://www.calendar.ubc.ca/vancouver/index.cfm?tree=12,215,410,414)

CPSC 310 will be waived as a pre-req this year, although it is still officially as a pre-req.

Bottom line: If you are interested in taking 444, but do not think that you meet the CPSC 310 and stats prerequisites please go ahead and register for 444 and we will sort this out.

lectures, tutorials & labs

Lectures: Tuesday 3:30-5:20PM, ZOOM link available in Canvas

Workshops: ZOOM link available in Canvas

section L2A Fri 2:00pm - 4:00pm
section L2B Fri 10:00am - 12:00pm


There is no required text.

Readings and pre-lecture quizzes will be required for most lectures. The readings will generally be available online.

Some of the readings are available on-line in the ACM Digital Library. You must be on a UBC ip address in order to access without hitting a paywall. To access from off campus, use VPN, or alternately use the the Library EZ proxy.

(Course slides will be available on Canvas, linked to the schedule page.)

You may find the required text for CPSC 344 (Interaction Design: Beyond Human Computer Interaction) to be a useful reference. UBC Library has a number of copies available (details) and there is also a slightly older edition available online (e-text).

prep-assignments and submission of other deliverables

On Canvas: https://canvas.ubc.ca/

other requirements

Expenses may include (unlikely to be used in 2020/21):

project prototyping materials ($0-25/individual)
lock for team locker (to be retained by team at end of term)
flip chart pad(s) - e.g. available from Staples for about $12 / 50 sheet pad. Your team may choose to use a couple of these during term

If you need information or to discuss something, here's what to do:

For basic info: the course website (here) and Canvas course overview page

Questions about content or logistics:

  1. Face-to-face: Instructor (office hours), TAs during workshop sections.
  2. Post to piazza: piazza.com/ubc.ca/winterterm22020/cpsc444
  3. If the question is not of possible relevance to the rest of the class, then post a private message to ALL course staff in Piazza.
  4. Instructor confidential email: For personal items only, talk to or email the instructor (joanna@cs .ubc .ca)
  5. For any email communication, put 444 in the subject line to ensure email gets through filters.

For project-related questions, please first use your weekly workshop time with your TA. If you need more time with your TA, you may be able to book an extra appointment by talking to your TA during your workshop.

Your instructor is also happy to talk to you about your project, but your TA should be the first stop.

If you have missed a class, make arrangements with a classmate to get the material.

Course overview

CPSC 444 is the second component in the two-course sequence of 344 and 444.

This course builds on the design process presented in CPSC 344 and focuses on the underlying models of the user used in human-computer interaction (including visual, motor, and information processing), the theory of and advanced methods for design and evaluation (including laboratory experiments and field studies), and research frontiers. The main deliverable is a team project in which students will apply the material taught both in this course as well as in CPSC 344.

444 is structured similarly to 344. That is, it uses a combination of lectures, weekly pre-readings for prep assignments, and 2 hours of workshop time (predominantly for team project work, design reviews with course staff, and the occasional hands on tutorial).

Upon completion of this course, students will:

  • have knowledge of models of the user and how they apply to the design of user interfaces

  • be familiar with the variety of techniques and methods for interface design, evaluation, and analysis

  • have experience designing and running a field study and performing qualitative data analysis

  • have experience designing and running a controlled experiment and performing quantitative data analysis

  • have experience working with video in an HCI context: (1) to capture user data, and (2) to create a project video

  • have experience with some sophisticated tools for interface prototyping and analysis and user observation

  • be familiar with research issues in HCI

  • have enough background to apply these principles and practices in industry, and to continue to further education and research in this area 

  • have experience reading research papers and identifying the contribution of those papers

  • have honed their team skills through the completion of an iterative design term project

Course policies

In addition to all university rules, regulations, and academic guidelines, the following policies will hold in CS444:

  • Attendance and prompt arrival is expected at all lectures and workshops. Quiz, assignment and team project marks will suffer from absences. A doctor's note is required to substantiate any illness.

  • A student must pass the final exam in order to pass the course.

  • To request that a deliverable be fully or partially re-graded:  the request must be submitted formally in writing (not verbally) within 2 weeks of receiving the grade. We reserve the right to re-grade the entire deliverable. 

  • Use of laptop computers during lectures is prohibited, except for note taking.

  • Late assignments or project components will receive no credit. You are free to submit them, and we may review them during marking. However, your mark for the late work will be 0.

Contact the instructor or your TA promptly (i.e., as soon as you are aware of the problem) if a medical or family reason prevents you or your team from handing a project component in on time.

In other extraordinary circumstances, we may allow late turn-in if you contact course staff (post a private message on Piazza) with a clear explanation of the problem well in advance of the dealine (i.e., at least 48 hours). (Note: poor planning or procrastination do not constitute extraodinary circumstances.)

Deliverables & marking scheme


Weekly prep Assigments (10%)  
  Team project (50%)  
  Teammate peer evaluation (5%)  
  Final exam (30%)  
  Discretionary (5%) - attendance and participation in workshop/lecture
Diversity and Inclusion Statement

In an ideal world, academic teaching and scholarship would be representative of the voices from the diverse individuals who engage in academic pursuits. However, historically, academic teaching and scholarship is built on a small subset of privileged voices. In this class, we will make an effort to acknowledge, where possible, a diverse group of HCI practitioners, researchers, and computer scientists, but limits still exist on this diversity. We acknowledge that it is possible that there may be both overt and covert biases in the material we present.

Please contact us (in person or electronically) or submit anonymous feedback if you have any suggestions to improve the quality of the course materials.

Furthermore, we would like to create a learning environment for our students that supports a diversity of thoughts, perspectives and experiences, and honours your identities (including race, gender, class, sexuality, religion, ability, etc.) To help accomplish this:

  • If you have a name and/or set of pronouns that differ from those that appear in your official UBC records, please let us know. If your name or pronouns are being used incorrectly within the course, please let us know so we can look into it.

  • If something was said in class, workshops, or the discussion forum (by anyone) that made you feel uncomfortable, please talk to us about it. We want to be a resource for you. Remember that you can also submit anonymous feedback (which may lead to us making a general announcement to the class, if necessary to address your concerns).

  • If you prefer to speak with someone outside of the course, the Equity and Inclusion Office at UBC is an excellent resource.

  • As a participant in the various components of the course, we expect you to also strive to honour the diversity of your classmates.

UBC Senate syllabus policy content

UBC provides resources to support student learning and to maintain healthy lifestyles but recognizes that sometimes crises arise and so there are additional resources to access including those for survivors of sexual violence. UBC values respect for the person and ideas of all members of the academic community. Harassment and discrimination are not tolerated nor is suppression of academic freedom. UBC provides appropriate accommodation for students with disabilities and for religious and cultural observances. UBC values academic honesty and students are expected to acknowledge the ideas generated by others and to uphold the highest academic standards in all of their actions. Details of the policies and how to access support are available here: https://senate.ubc.ca/policies-resources-support-student-success


Advanced Methods for Human Computer Interaction - McGrenere 20/21