Friday, September 21, 2012

HCDE 313 - Introduction to User Research - 5cr. / W : Open to CoE Students

HCDE 313 (Introduction to User Research) is a new 5 credit - W course - taught by HCDE Professor Jennifer Turns in Autumn 2012. This interdisciplinary course will serve all COE departments and provide students with an educational research experience that is unique to UW.

This course will introduce user research methods, how to apply them to engineering design problems, and how to effectively communicate the results of user research.   This course has two lectures weekly, as well as one quiz section. Throughout the quarter you will be introduced to a variety of user research methods, including interviews, surveys, and field research. Quiz sections will include hands-on workshops, and time for you to work on homework assignments. We will study samples of each of these methods, and review the circumstances that are appropriate for each method. In addition, we’ll discuss the process one follows when conducting research such as selecting research sites, sampling, and interacting with study subjects. We will also talk about ways to convey user research in ways that are effective and informative. Finally, we’ll discuss issues of research ethics.

HCDE 313 will help COE undergraduates become prepared for successful workplace interactions, teaching them how to elicit key information from subject matter experts and communicate effectively with colleagues in multiple domains.  Through this course, students will develop both written and oral communication skills that will allow them to talk about both theoretical and practical aspects of social research and its application to the engineering design process.  A background in user research will also provide students with a novel way of approaching engineering design problems, and a skill set that can be leveraged within an entrepreneurial context to come up with truly innovative, human-centered engineering solutions.
Students interested in registering, please contact HCDE advisor Stephanie White,, to request an add code.  Add codes will be distributed until October 8th.