ahandrewh teaches IAT-334interface design

Syllabus for the Summer 2021 version of IAT-334Interface Design

This is old content

Andrew is not currently teaching IAT-334. This material is left online for reference only.

Your lecturer and teaching assistant (TA)

The Summer 2021 teaching team is:

Andrew Hawryshkewich (lecturer)

Ladan Fathi (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 do not provide design critique via email. Please arrange a meeting or attend office hours for design critique.

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

  • Your full name.
  • The course number (IAT-334).
  • Your lab number.
  • A clear question.

Conduct rules

As the course will be purely online this term 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, 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.

Lecture and labs

This course is being held entirely remotely for Summer 2021.


Condensed, pre-recorded lectures on course theory and concepts will be made available on a weekly basis. The course lecture timeslot will be used for sketching exercises, project support, critique, completing readings and answering questions.

IAT-334 lectures are held:


Lab times will be used for critique. If you are in a timezone that makes it difficult to attend lectures or labs, please email Andrew.

Please remember your lab number.

Lab D101
Lab D102
Lab D103
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-334Interface Design course description

Provides an introduction to the art and design of human-computer interfaces, design methods, prototyping and evaluation of user interfaces. Examines issues of interactivity and its relation to human contexts and technological systems. The role of aesthetic, symbolic, affective and cultural factors will be assessed in concert with scientific and technological issues. The class is primarily focused on visual interfaces on computer monitors and hand-held devices, but culminates with considerations of increasingly physical interactions in ubiquitous environments.

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:

If you have a preference for another type of software you are welcome to use it.

Projects and assessments

Below is an overview of course projects and assessments for IAT-334.


  1. Features — 10% (Individual)
  2. Heuristics — 20% (Individual)
  3. Interface Proposal — 15% (Group)
  4. Interface Design — 25% (Group)

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


For this term quizzes will instead be reading reflections completed through the term. More details will be provided in the first lecture.


Participation items this term will be sketching exercises meant to help get feedback early and quickly on your sketching practice.


We have tried to minimize required group-work in the course. If you have concerns about completing a team project please email Andrew.

As we are working remotely this term, you will be allowed to work with students across labs as long as your class schedule permits.


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. 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%