Current Topics in IS & T: User Experience Design/Usability Engineering

Course number: 
CIS 4330/5303
Fall 2015
Name E-mail Office location
Kyle Romain
Science Education and Research Center (SERC) , Room 349

CIS 2168


There is no required textbook for this course and no additional supplies will need to be purchased.  However, students are expected to complete all exercises and deliverables and understand all covered material in order to be prepared for all class discussions and activities.

This course will require you to use Visio,, and Microsoft PowerPoint.  These tools will be reviewed but not explicitly taught during the class, but you will be expected to learn how to use them on your own if you do not already know how to do so.  Independent research and self-learning are incredibly important in our field/industry.

Everyone will be expected to utilize excellent written and verbal communication skills.  The Temple Writing Center is a resource available to you for improving your writing skills.

Topics covered: 
Cities like Philadelphia are quickly becoming a hybrid of both physical and digital environments. Not only are streets being equipped with devices, but almost every person walking the streets can be seen carrying smartphones or tablets in their pockets. With the explosion of mobile devices and advanced web technologies in virtually every industry, understanding how users interact with their surroundings and one another and having knowledge of User Experience (UX) design and principles is critical.
In this course, we will focus on the effective understanding and implementation of the iterative UX design process.  Students will learn to have empathy for users by putting into practice each phase of the design process, including Scoping, Research, Analysis, Ideation, Design, Validation, and more. 
Over the course of the semester, students will work in pairs as their own UX team to tackle a relevant design challenge that will be proposed to them by the instructor (the customer) hiring the team to solve his problem. The challenge will pertain to the topic of interaction with the city through digital means. Each team of students will create a compilation of their findings and deliverables, consisting of research findings, interview guides, sitemaps, wireframes, interactive prototypes, and more.  Each team’s solution will not actually go through to development, but students will learn the complete process of procuring and compiling a complete collection of deliverables that would be needed for real world customer presentations and implementation.
The course will conclude with a final pitch to the customer by each UX team in which they will present their proposed solution to the customer’s problem and explain how each step of the process led them to that conclusion.  Students will gain exposure and experience in a simulation of a real-world experience.
Course goals: 
By the end of this course, students should be able to demonstrate the following competencies:
  • Interviewing, listening, and note-taking skills
  • Presentation skills
  • Ability to interpret research findings into meaningful data
  • Core design skills (wireframing, prototyping, etc.)      
Attendance policy: 
Attending classes is critical for you to be successful in this course.  A lot of material will be covered in class each week.  If you miss class, it is your responsibility to get any work missed and to ensure that any assignments are submitted by the assigned time.  Unexcused absences will result in penalties to your “Class Preparedness, Participation, Attendance” grade. You are expected to review all covered material and complete any assigned deliverables prior to coming to class.  All late work will get a zero for that particular assignment, regardless of the reason.
Accomodations for Students with Disabilities: 
Any student who has a need for accommodation based on the impact of a documented disability, including special accommodations for access to technology resources and electronic instructional materials required for the course, should contact me privately to discuss the specific situation by the end of the second week of classes or as soon as practical. If you have not done so already, please contact Disability Resources and Services (DRS) at 215-204-1280 in 100 Ritter Annex to learn more about the resources available to you. I will work with DRS to coordinate reasonable accommodations for all students with documented disabilities. (
Student and Faculty Academic Rights and Responsibilities: 
Freedom to teach and freedom to learn are inseparable facets of academic freedom. The University has a policy on Student and Faculty and Academic Rights and Responsibilities (Policy #03.70.02) which can be accessed through the following