ahandrewh teaches IAT-235information design

Syllabus for the Fall 2021 version of IAT-235Information Design

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Andrew is not currently teaching IAT-235. This material is left online for reference only.

Your lecturer and teaching assistants (TAs)

The Fall 2021 teaching team is:

Andrew Hawryshkewich (lecturer)

Pouria Delfanazari (TA)

Kimia Aghaei (TA)

Email and conduct rules

Please make sure to follow our email and conduct rules when emailing or chatting with your instructors or fellow students.

Email rules

Please allow up to 2 business days for responses. We may be able to answer questions about code via email or course chat depending on the complexity. We do not provide design critique via email or course chat. Please arrange a meeting or attend office hours for design critique or complex code questions.

To make our responses faster, please include the following in your email:

  • Your full name.
  • The course number (IAT-235).
  • Your lab number.
  • A clear question.

Conduct rules

We will be offering an online chat service for students to make use of as part of the course. Sign-up for the service is available through the course Canvas site.

Please treat our online interactions the same way you would in-person interactions. As a teaching team we are dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone in this class, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, or religion. Harassment of any form is not tolerated. Sexual language and imagery is not appropriate in this class.

If you have concerns with anyone's conduct either in-person or online, please direct message or email Andrew. If you do not feel comfortable reaching out to Andrew, please contact SIAT's advisors.

SFU's complete student conduct policy is available online.

Illness policy

What to expect if you (a student) or the teaching team cannot attend the class in-person due to illness.

You (the student) is feeling ill

Please stay home. No doctor's note is needed for short term (5-day) absences from class. To keep up with course materials:

If you will be missing class for more than a week or will be missing a major deadline please email Andrew to discuss accommodations.

If Andrew or your TA is ill

If one of the teaching team is feeling ill you can expect a notification on Canvas and course chat by 8:30am on the day of the lecture or lab. Information on how content or materials will be offered will be included in the announcement.

Mask policy

Clarifying mask use in the lecture and labs.

Mask etiquette

Our return to campus likely includes layers of protection to help keep our students, faculty, staff and visitors safe, and wearing a mask is part of this effort.

Unless you have an approved exemption, you are required to wear a mask in all indoor common and learning spaces, including classrooms. Please come to campus prepared with a non-medical mask.

Please remember to be kind to each other. If you see someone not wearing a mask, do not make assumptions or judgments as that person may be exempt.

If you forget your mask

Disposable masks are available from the information desks on campus, at the SIAT offices, or at the front of the class.

If you require a mask exemption

If you require a mask exemption in the classroom for medical reasons, please email the Centre for Accessible Learning for assistance. If you are requesting mask exemptions on other protected grounds, such as religion, you can email the Office of Student Support, Rights and Responsibilities.

If you have an approved exemption and are not wearing a mask in class, please maintain social distancing with your classmates.

Lecture and labs

Attendance in lecture and labs is strongly recommended but not required this term.


Lectures will be available in-person and remotely. It is preferred you attend in person.

IAT-235 lectures are held:


Lab times will be used for critique and working on code exercises.

Please remember your lab number.

Lab D101
Lab D102
Lab D103
  • Time: Thursdays, - pm
  • Room: SRYC 3100
  • TA: Kimia Aghaei (ac.ufs@35aak)
Lab D104
  • Time: Thursdays, - pm
  • Room: SRYC 3100
  • TA: Kimia Aghaei (ac.ufs@35aak)
Lab Switching

Students are not allowed to attend or change labs without permission of the lecturer (Andrew). There has to be an opening in a lab with nobody on the waitlist before being able to change labs.

IAT-235Information Design (IAT-235) course description

This is a course that will lay out the foundational elements required for a professional practice in User Experience (UX) design. This primary goal of this course will be to provide students with the essential foundations required for professional practice in UX — design process, visual design, content design and interaction design. At term's end a minimal viable product, will be produced that synthesysizes these four elements. Students who gravitate more to development interest will be provided the opportunity to develop more to this area of professional practice.

Learning outcomes

Learning outcomes expected for students of the course:

Course materials

All course materials are available through SFU Canvas. Most course materials are also available on the instructor's website.


All readings in this course are provided as online readings or as PDFs through Canvas or the SFU Library. A listing of readings is also available on the course website.


For this term you will need access to:

  • A laptop or tablet
  • Headphones
  • Paper and a pen
  • A prototyping tool (we will use Figma)
  • A code editor (we will use Visual Studio Code)
  • A web browser (we will use Chrome)
  • An FTP client (we will use Cyberduck)

If you have a preference for another type of software you are welcome to use it as long as it allows you to complete project requirements.

Projects and assessments

Below is an overview of course projects and assessments for IAT-235.


  1. Layout — 15% (Individual)
  2. Research and Present — 15% (Individual)
  3. Wireframes — 25% (Group)
  4. Design and Develop — 25% (Group)

Projects use knowledge learnt from all parts of the course — readings, lectures, tutorials, etc.


Instead of in-lecture quizzes, reading reflections are used in this course to allow for more flexible completion.


Exercises are short practice in sketching and coding meant to help get you feedback early in your process.


You will be allowed to select your groups for any teamwork in this course. Team contracts are used to establish clear expectations between team members as well as provide a means of leaving the team (if needed). Consider your group member options carefully.


This course is worth three units. This means you can expect to spend 6-9 hours per week on coursework — for example readings, projects, assignments, etc. — not including time in lecture or labs.

Please remember that other three-unit courses share a similar workload. No one course should take time away from your other courses. If you find this course is requiring work above 9 hours per week please email Andrew.


Graded items in this course will usually make use of a rubric to define grading criteria. While we try to make the rubric and criteria clear and understandable, please make sure to bring up any questions you may have about the rubric before a project comes due.

When submitting projects please pay attention to the late/problematic submission policy and plagiarism policy.

The graded items in this course include:

For participating in SIAT research studies you can receive up to an additional 2% on your grade. 1% is given per study participated in. Confirmation email from the lead researcher indicating your participation is required before final course grades are released.

Late submissions

Items submitted late receive 10% per day late starting when the deliverable is due. Please allow yourself sufficient time to submit deliverables without incurring late penalties.

Problematic submissions

Submitting files that cannot be opened or are not in the specified form is considered problematic. Penalties are as follows:

  • A penalty of 20% is applied immediately to problematic submissions and students are notified via email about the problem with their submission.
  • For every day after being notified about the problematic submission with no reply from the student an additional 10% penalty is applied.
  • For example: if the file is not resubmitted until two days after being notified the penalty will be 40%


Please note that according to SFU policy 4.1.2, the following constitutes plagiarism:

  1. Submitting or presenting the work of another person, including artistic imagery, as that of the student without full and appropriate accreditation;
  2. Copying all or part of an essay or other assignment from an author or other person, including a tutor or student mentor, and presenting the material as the student's original work;
  3. Failing to acknowledge the phrases, sentences or ideas of the author of published and unpublished material that is incorporated into an essay or other assignment.

Plagiarism will result in a grade reduction or school disciplinary action at the instructor's discretion. In this course a zero will be applied to the complete grade of a project that plagiarizes. For further reference and clarification, please see SFU's academic honesty policy or ask Andrew for clarification.

Concerns with grades

Any concerns with grades or grading should be brought up with Andrew. Please email Andrew to start a grade review. Reconsideration of grades may result in a grade being raised, lowered, or remining unchanged.

Concerns should be emailed to Andrew within 10 days of the release of the grade as described in SFU's policy on Grading and the Reconsideration of Grades (T20.01 section 2.4).

Grading scale

All the grades in this course tally to 100% to make it easier to track progress through the term.

This course uses the SIAT standard grading scale for final letter grades:

Letter gradePercentage range
A+ 95% to 100%
A 90% to 95%
A-85% to 90%
B+80% to 85%
B75% to 80%
B-70% to 75%
C+65% to 70%
C60% to 65%
C-55% to 60%
D50% to 55%
F0% to 50%