CS314 User Interface Design

for F1J 2007

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Mission Statement: The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.


CS 314 User Interface Design


F1J 2007 DN


Pfauth, Mike J


Adjunct Faculty


BS Interdisciplinary Engineering, University of Michigan
MS IOE Engineering, University of Michigan



Class Days


Class Time

5:30 - 9:50 PM

Credit Hours



  • Cooper and Reimann ,About Face 2.0, ISBN 0-7645-2641-3.

Use one of the following custom-edition textbooks (prepared for Park University, fall 2006) for the Visual Basic 2005 portion of the course:

·         Programming the User Interface for Database Connectivity Using Visual Basic 2005, Custom Printed Edition, Primis McGraw-Hill, ISBN 0390-731285

·         Programming the User Interface for Database Connectivity Using Visual Basic 2005, Custom eBook Edition, Primis Online McGraw-Hill, ISBN 0-390-731277

Software: Visual Basic.Net 2005 from Microsoft
Need Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition for the Database Connectivity which is key for a User-Interface Design course today. SQL Server Express, a one-computer stand-alone edition, comes with Visual Studio 2005 and will be used for the database connectivity. Go to the Information and Computer Science Department
home page for directions on how to obtain the Visual Studio with Visual Basic.NET 2005 and SQL Server Express from the Microsoft MSDN Academic Alliance Software Center! [At the Department site, choose Software and then MSDN Academic Alliance.] Students enrolled in the course will receive a password from the Park MSDNAA Administrator on the first day of class so that they can download the software free from Microsoft MSDN.


**Visual Studio Professional Edition will not work with XP Home Edition.

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Course Description:
The student will learn techniques of programming a user interface in a graphic environment. Topics include the common tools for creating graphicinterfaces, rules for consistency, human factors, intuitive design and feedback. Interface downfalls in common software packages will be identified. Students will work in groups to test an interface of their own design. PREREQUISITE: CS 219. 3:0:3

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Communicate the importance and benefits of design.
  2. Examine the social concepts involved in interface design, including human factors, learning curve and intuitive design.
  3. Use the principles of good screen design to evaluate existing software interfaces.
  4. Demonstrate how and determine when to use the interface tools common to all environments, including radio buttons, check boxes, list boxes, dialog boxes, command buttons, and text boxes.
  5. Program database connectivity.
  6. Develop menus and navigation schemes.
  7. Explain how and determine when to use icons, graphics and color effectively.
  8. Write clear and meaningful text and messages.
  9. Demonstrate several ways to provide guidance and assistance (user documentation) in the interface.
  10. Create an interface for a specific database using Visual Basic as the implementation language.
  11. Demonstrate the steps involved in testing an interface.

Core Assessment:

All Park University courses must include a core assessment tool that measures the degree to which students learn the course's learning outcomes. School policy dictates that a student's performance on the core assessment tool must count for at least 20% of the student's total course grade. For this course, the tool consists of the final exam. Therefore, the final exam must count for at least 20% of the student's total course grade. School policy dictates that the core assessment tool must cover at least 75% of a course's learning outcomes. To ensure compliance, all CS 314 instructors are required to give the same final exam. See the attached final exam artifact and artifact solution. To prevent cheating, students are strictly forbidden from keeping the final exam, the solutions, or copies of either.

There are four categories covered in the final exam: 


(relevant learning outcomes – 4, 5, 6, 10)

Given a problem description, produce a design ( a sketch) of the interface with meaningful object names.

Exam questions: Part 2:  Project 2


See the exam solution for details on how to score the questions.



(relevant learning outcomes – 4, 5, 6, 10)

Given a problem description, create a solution in the form of a Visual Basic.Net  program that uses the proper concepts and methods studied in Chapters 1 – 7 of Beginning VB and Chapters 3, 4, 5, of Advanced VB.

Exam questions: Part 2: 1and 2


See the exam solution for details on how to score the questions.



(relevant learning outcomes – 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9)

Short-answer questions that ask the student about User Interface Design concepts.

Exam questions: Part 1: 1-10


See the exam solution for details on how to score the questions.


Technical skills:

(relevant learning outcomes – 4, 5, 6, 10)

Given a problem description, choose the correct interface tools, methods and functions to produce a solution. Debug the code to get a working program.

Exam questions: Part 2: 1and 2


See the exam solution for details on how to score the questions.

The ICS Program Coordinator will analyze core assessment results for a sampling of all ICS courses offered. In analyzing the results, the ICS Program Coordinator will grade the exams using the (very specific) grading criteria shown on the exam solution. The final grade is in the form of a percentage where the percentages equate to the following levels of success:


Exceeds expectations

Meets expectations

Does not meet expectations

No evidence

≥ 85%

65% to 84%

< 65%

No exam submitted.


The ICS Program Coordinator will use the core assessment scores to compare results across all instructional modalities.


COURSE ASSESSMENT: Course assessment is based on successful completion of group projects, individual projects, homeworks, quizzes, presentations of homework and tests. The weighting of the assignments will be as follows: Grading weights are as follows:              Letter grades are assigned (based on your overall score) as follows:

                                    90 –100                      A

                                    80 –89                        B

                                    70 –79                        C

                                    60 –69                        D

                                    less than 60                  F


 The instructor may change this weighting as found and letter grades as found necessary. Students shall be informed of grade progress on a periodic basis.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:


VB Assignments

  • Complete 5 to 6 Chapter HW assignments in “Programming in VB.net”. We will cover roughly 1 to 2 chapters per week. Programming assignments shall be handed in at the beginning of the following class period on floppy disk. I prefer this over having assignments emailed as attachment due to the problems I had with opening these. There will be a late penalty determined by the instructor for all late assignments –no exceptions. Each student will be required to do a minimum of one in class presentation of their homework assignment. All homework assignments shall conform to good programming practices…sufficient comments in the code to explain how the problem is being solved, using correct coding conventions as dictated by the book(ie naming).-50 pts each
    • Week 1 -Read Chaps 1 and 2. Do Page 90/89v2 Problem 2.2
    • Week 2 - Read Chap 3 and 4. Do Handout(Page 194-195/192-193v2 Prob 4.1 and 4.2)
    • Week 3-Read Chap 5 and 6. Do Page 240/237v2 Problem 5.4
    • Week 4- Read Chap 7 and 1Adv. Do Page 318/314v2 Problem 7.4.
    • Week 5- Read Chap 2Adv and Chap3Adv. Page 148/462v2 Problem 3.2
    • Week 6- Read Chap 4Adv and Chap5Adv. Page 186/500v2 Problem 4.1.
    • Week 7-Read Chap 9Adv and Chap 12Adv…Page 440/602adv Problem 9.1
    • Week 8- VB final exam. 100 points.
  • In class presentation of a VB assignment-part of HW pts. Total VB HW points worth 300 points total.
  • Implementation of Database Connectivity in the Group Projects

UI Assignments

  • Students are responsible for analyzing, designing and prototyping(limited) a practical User Interface of their choosing. Students may work in teams of up to 3 team members. The depth of analysis and prototyping required will depend on team size (more team members more work expected). Project must include documentation of all techniques used, data collected, users interviewed and any other relevant data. Design must justify decisions based on UI practices learned in course. Project will be due week 7 and will require both a report to be handed in and an in class presentation-200 pts
    • Week 1- Read Chap 1 in UI book. Identify team members and discuss possible projects.

After a course overview, the lecture centers on basic human characteristics and limitations. Students are to write-up a short description of their proposed project. This is to assure that the problem is of sufficient complexity and that the student will have users who are available to collect data from (and not just be something they design for themselves).

    • Week 2- Read Chap 2-4 in UI book. Submit a short description of project and team members. 50 points possible.

This series of lectures deals with identifying who the users are. The students are required to observe and/or interview the users. They then are required to develop goal statements that capture their client’s perspective and explain who their intended audience is for their projects.

    • Week 3- Read Chap 5-7 in UI book. Hand in goals for your project.50 points possible

These lectures describe the techniques for gathering data and developing personas. Students show the results of the initial data gathering session by documenting their interviews and observations. Copies of artifacts are handed in. Personas are created if the problem has sufficient users.

    • Week 4- Develop personas if possible. Define and hand in requirements and scenarios per pages 78 to 83. 50 points possible.

In this class we discuss how to translate goals and understand users into a project design. Students will start developing scenarios and requirements around their data. At this point they will be encouraged to present several alternative paper-based designs. We discuss the various window/VB controls and how we can translate their design into VB prototypes.

    • Week 5- Develop and hand in the interaction framework/conceptual design per pages 83 to 88. 50 points possible.

This discussion focuses on the entire process of iterative design and usability testing. Students take one of their scenarios and create a happy path of screens. They are required to take paper designs to users and perform usability testing. Students then attempt to revise their design using what they have learned in the usability tests.

    • Week 6- Read tbd in UI book. Usability test either a prototype or screens developed. Hand in a summary of who was tested and what was learned.

These lectures deal with the details of putting a UI together which starts to cover UI guidelines and the use of VB controls.

    • Week 7- Present final project to class. Hand in final report. 100 points for UI testing and final report.

    • Week 8 –UI exam. 100 points.
    • UI projects worth 350 points total
    • Other chapters of this text are referenced and reviewed in class. Close to the entire textbook is covered.

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85-86

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  3. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  4. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  5. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  6. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  7. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87-88

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: http://www.park.edu/disability .


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Last Updated:8/3/2007 12:47:05 PM