Carnegie Mellon University

Introduction to Human Computer Interaction for Technology Executives

Course Number: 45888

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Human computer interaction (HCI) is an interdisciplinary field in which computer scientists, engineers, psychologists, social scientists, and design professionals play important roles. The goal of HCI is to solve real problems in the design and use of technology, making computer-based systems easier to use and more effective for people and organizations. Ease of use and effectiveness are critical to the success of any systems that interact with people, including software systems, home, office and factory appliances, and web and phone applications.

This course provides an overview and introduction to the field of human-computer interaction, with a focus on how it applies to managers, technology executives, and others who will work with HCI professionals. Particular emphasis will be placed on what HCI methods and HCI-trained specialists can bring to design and development teams. The course will provide a hands-on introduction to proven tools and techniques for creating and improving user interfaces, such as Contextual Inquiry, Rapid Prototyping, Heuristic Analysis, and Think-Aloud Usability Testing. Students at the end of the course will have learned how to perform some useful techniques and will have an understanding of systematic procedures for creating usable and useful designs and systems. The class welcomes everyone from non-programmers to expert programmers.


None. No background in HCI is expected, and no programming experience is required. Assignments will have you performing user testing, paper prototyping, and implementing a working design, using some computational medium. However, you can select how to implement your solutions, and you can choose whether to use a tool like Axure, Balsamiq, JavaScript, html, or even PowerPoint.

Some anonymous evaluation comments from last year (2016):

"I learned a lot through the homeworks. Thank you for such a great class!" "Thank you very much for conducting the HCI class in an awesome manner. I really enjoyed the class and I believe that you have a great teaching style and content for the class. I interned at Google in past summer where I interacted with many usability designers. With this course, I feel more equipped to work with those people."

"Excellent course. Especially practical for people working/worked in the industry." "Professor Myers is one of the top people in the HCI field, and I am glad I was able to take this class as part of my MBA experience. I did not want to graduate from CMU without taking a CS/HCI class, and I am happy I chose this one. The quality of the presentations and the guest speakers were excellent..." "I liked learning about interface design and the processes that take place."

"Great intro to HCI. Even though the homeworks were time consuming, it was a great way to actually go through the whole process."

*Note: This course is an approved elective in the Tepper School of Business, MBA Track on Technology Leadership.

Degree: MBA
Concentration: Business Technologies
Academic Year: 2020-2021
Required/Elective: Elective
Units: 6


Lecture: 100min/wk and Recitation: 50min/wk