Courses

 

Courses

IN 900C Human Factors and the User Experience

Note: CEUs: 1.4

Designing usable products and an effective user experience requires an understanding of the human behaviors underlying the user's interaction with the product or service. Human Factors in Information Design introduces you to the applied theories relevant to the design of information products, systems, user interface designs and the larger user experience. This course is particularly relevant to those working with critical applications, diverse user populations, and new technologies. Foundations in Human Factors helps you design applications compatible with the user's goals and the strengths and weaknesses of the user's perceptual and cognitive processing systems. This course helps you to anticipate user requirements before product development, to explain the user's performance during usability and prototype testing, and to foster a smooth transition for users facing new technologies or information.

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IN 915C Prototyping the User Experience

Note: CEUs: 1.2

Prototyping is a key part of the user centered design process. A prototype can be used to sell ideas, create a shared vision, test and refine an interface, and provide the development team with exact specifications. In this course, you gain hands-on experience in creating prototypes for software and web sites using both paper prototyping techniques and software tools. You’ll learn what types of prototypes work best at different stages in the design process and will identify the appropriate level of fidelity required in your prototype. We’ll also cover the practical aspects of prototyping, including scheduling the activities and identifying who owns the prototypes throughout the process.

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IN 919C Information Architecture in Web Design

Note: CEUs: 1.2

Information architecture provides a variety of best practices that can make information more readily accessible. In helping you design a more usable web presence, this introductory course examines various types of sites, audience goals, and user-centered design heuristics. In particular, we focus on information organization, categorization and labeling. We also tackle issues of navigation (local and global), searching, browsing and scalability. Typical information architecture deliverables under discussion may include content and site maps, site outlines, wireframed pages, taxonomies thesauri, information asset inventories and site "blueprints."

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IN 920C Ethnography for Work and Design

Generally speaking, ethnographic research involves naturalistic inquiry aimed at capturing social phenomenon as they occur in a particular setting. Ethnographers can employ multiple data collection strategies to do this, but typically focus on participant/observation methodologies as a primary approach. While primarily found in social science disciplines such as anthropology and sociology, ethnographic approaches increasing are being applied in IT/IS fields for the purposes of achieving better technological designs, improving the user experience, and facilitating collaborative work. This course will introduce the student to the origins of the ethnographic method, discuss the theoretical bases of its use, identify strategies for successful ethnographic inquiry, develop initial skills for data analysis and reporting, and provide examples of how ethnographic studies of work and technological use have been used in a variety of business and organizational contexts.

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IN 921C User and Task Analysis

Note: CEUs: 1.3

This course introduces product designers and user researchers to the theory and practice of user and task analysis. It removes the analysis responsibility from the hands of an elite few and empowers all members of the development group with the analytical tools needed to identify, prioritize and accommodate user goals and requirements. This methodology builds on contextual and task analysis in a rapid application model, with a goal of moving usable products to market in a timely fashion. Topics include thinking like an analyst, establishing business goals, framing the problem, defining the end-user profile(s), formulating user goals, identifying universal behaviors relevant to the case, using field-based data-gathering methodologies, interviewing the user, interpreting user requirements, analyzing the task and documenting your findings.

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IN 922C Usability Testing

Note: CEUs: 1.3

Usability testing has become the most preferred method for evaluating the ease of learning and use of high-tech products. It is used throughout the product development cycle, from early prototypes to released versions. It also is used to evaluate all types of technologies, from cell phones to Internet software, as well as online help and print manuals. In this course, you learn about the strengths and weaknesses of usability testing, including what the research literature says, and how to plan, conduct and interpret the results of a usability test. You also participate in live usability test sessions and watch videotapes of interactions between participants and test administrators. Special topics such as remote testing, building usability labs, and competitive testing will be discussed based on participant interest.

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IN 923C Designing for Accessibility

Note: CEUs: 1.3

Web accessibility is fast becoming an important facet of user experience design and development. Designing accessible interfaces is easier if you understand the key principles of accessibility, how assistive technologies work, how users actually use them, and the pros and cons of technologies like AJAX, Flex, and Silverlight. But even after you ensure the accessibility of your content, how do you create truly equivalent experiences for everyone? How should blind users access financial charts? How can you get Google to index your Flash content? How can you move beyond standards compliance to integrate accessibility in a way that creates equivalent, universally usable, and engaging web experiences for everyone? Using case studies, we'll examine the key principles of accessibility - apart from standards or technology. We then explore user needs, implementation, testing methods, and ways to engage users with disabilities in your testing process.

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IN 924C Research 2.0: New Insights Through Technology and Social Media

Note: CEUs: 1.3

Over the last five years, many technology tools have emerged that streamline the research process while increasing sample size and cutting costs. This class will explore the different remote research methodologies and the suitability of each based on study goals. We will discuss research tools imbedded into web sites (exit surveys, integrated feedback, etc.) and off-site techniques (online card sorting, dedicated communities, online usability testing, etc.). A section has also been added that will explore 1-on-1 remote usability testing. Expert guests will present some of the leading tools in the marketplace. Discussion will be augmented with case studies and exercises.

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IN 926C User-Centered Interface Design

Note: CEUs: 1.3

This course reviews a range of human factors and design issues as they relate to the design of graphical and web user interfaces. Topics cover the entire design life cycle. Methods of conducting user research are reviewed in order to show how requirements are ultimately gathered. A structured approach to create the interface design begins with the identification of key tasks, conducting task analysis, and defining a structure for the tasks based on navigational efficiency, content and requirements. A focus on the details of the user interface includes the screen layout, color principles, widget selection, and error prevention. Visual design aspects are covered by discussing the value of style guides and icon/graphic libraries. This course covers emerging technology areas in human-computer interaction, such as interface design for information appliances, pdas and mobile technology. In this course you will complete a design from start to finish using paper prototyping methods.

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IN 927C Usability Inspections: Methods for Evaluating Product Usability

Note: CEUs: 1.3

This course examines the principles and practices of a variety of inspection methodologies and considers these methods as a valuable complement to a larger usability-testing program. Usability inspections can identify major usability deficiencies in a product design with fewer demands on resources, specialized personnel, and expensive facilities. This session focuses on the most popular methods, including cognitive walkthroughs, heuristic reviews, style guide and guideline based models. This two-day course is divided into sessions presenting frameworks for comparing and selecting the most appropriate inspection methods and workshops offering participants the opportunity to apply these methods to a variety of system designs.

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IN 928C Visualizing Information

Note: CEUs: 1.3

Examine how visualization enhances our ability to think. The course begins by comparing the visual and verbal worlds, their strengths and limits, and how these media interact with various thinking tasks. Moving from this analysis, this course helps you to design a visual-verbal system in which the strengths of one medium support the weakness of the other. This approach more fully integrates the visual and verbal message in a way that dramatically increases the reader's understanding of the information. You examine a range of visualization formats including illustrations, icons, mind maps, decision diagrams, schematics, information maps, and dynamic visualizations. Learn to use these formats to support the complex cognitive tasks of problem solving, analysis, and decision support and learning.

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IN 929C Field Methods and User Research

Note: CEUs: 1.3

This course focuses on the different methods employed when researching your user population, and understanding which methods to apply under certain circumstances as well as the various methods of conducting user research throughout the design life cycle. Methods such as the basic interview, focus groups, usability round tables, surveys and log books are reviewed. Special consideration is given to cost and resource time that must be allotted to completing the different methods. The most challenging part of any user research is to analyze the data - helpful tips and techniques in taking the data apart are covered in the class. Challenges in conducting user research and the value of using the persona approach are combined into the 2 day long course. Hands-on activities take students through the major steps of preparing to implement a field method. Students will also have the opportunity to review data and draw conclusions.

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IN 930C Managing a User-Centered Development Process

Note: CEUs: 1.3

This course helps participants re-engineer their development process to accommodate user needs more effectively. Beginning with the analysis of the user needs and ending with the assessment of a product in the field, this course guides you step-by-step through the world of user-centered design. Participants examine a variety of management topics within the context of cost benefits and the value added to your product. You and your clients realize the full range of economic and productivity gains possible from this process. Potential pitfalls and dangers associated with a user-centered philosophy are also examined through a diverse range of case studies.

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IN 931C Developing IA Deliverables

An Information Architect is responsible for delivering various documents that will be used by different groups in an organization. These documents identify how a Web site, Web application or software program should be designed. This class will teach you how to produce common Information Architect deliverables, such as: site maps; task flows; wireframes and functional specifications. We will also review the types of software that can be used to generate these deliverables. You will learn the difference between designing for content-rich sites, such as CNN.com, and task-driven sites, such as eTrade. We will also look at Rich Internet Applications (RIAs), such as mint.com, and learn about the RIA specific behaviors and components that will need to be detailed in your documentation. Class exercises will focus on developing these documents for real-world business situations. By the end of the course, you will have developed a mini-portfolio that showcases examples of your deliverables.

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IN 932C Internationalization and the User Experience

Note: CEUs: 1.3

This course introduces you to the theory and practice of localizing product designs, including documentation, web hardware and software designs, and training programs. Moving beyond issues of translation, this course discusses localization from a comprehensive intercultural psychology perspective that includes language, verbal vs. visual presentation styles, communication patterns, issues of time and disclosure, and local customs. We also demonstrate techniques for engineering a culturally neutral global core for each aspect of your product design.

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IN 933C Back to the Future: The Next Wave of UI Design

We're currently transitioning from sites and wayfinding back to workflow, transaction rich applications. Today's UX designers need the full body of knowledge developed over the past 25 years, from design solutions to how we do it. Experienced interaction designers present the best of GUIs, games and web. Pre-web interaction design expertise is once more in demand, don't be left behind!

This course is for beginner to experienced interaction and website designers moving from web design into RIA or AJAX interaction design. Day one provides an overview of past screen design solutions while contextualizing current design solutions by comparing and contrasting web and game GUIs as well as previous needs with today's needs. Day two focuses on techniques and methods for designing workflows that address the question: what do you do when information architecture doesn't work?

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IN 935C Designing the User Experience

This course will explore the propagation of user requirements into design solutions. Students will investigate the design space through multiple perspectives to identify opportunities for innovation. The class will examine design stages and techniques through real-world examples and hands-on prototype development. Student teams will generate scenarios and storyboards providing a foundation to synthesize features into logical areas comprising an information architecture and interaction design. User experience concepts will be visualized in the form of paper prototypes as teams explore the relationship between content types, navigational metaphors, and creating a branded experience. Teams will share, critique, and defend their progress.

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IN 937C Why People Buy

Organizations design websites to make money, save money or use money responsibly. So, if organizations are driven by conversion, how do you design for conversion? Persuading people to buy (or click) isn't only about what you say, but when and how you say it. How can we choreograph a successful experience on a website? In this course, you will learn how designs can be crafted to influence people to convert. You will understand how to identify and develop designs that are persuasive. Additionally, the course will cover the research techniques that lead to understanding the motivations that drive human behavior, and specifically, people to buy. Although the course will have a heavy focus on e-commerce, the material can be applied to any website where the goal is to motivate people to convert.

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IN 940C Strategic Usability Engineering

Note: CEUs: 1.3

This course offers strategies for promoting and practicing usability engineering in the real world, that is, in software development organizations. It first outlines how to make the business case for usability engineering in general - and specific usability project plans in particular - by adapting cost-justification techniques to estimate expected ROIs for usability initiatives across a wide variety of contexts, including both commercial and internal traditional business applications, public web sites and web-based applications, and global applications and web sites.

In addition, the course teaches a variety of other organizational strategies for: 1) Gaining the initial support you need to introduce usability engineering, 2) Designing a usability engineering organization tailored to your company, and winning approval and funding to implement it, and 3) Institutionalizing usability engineering across your entire development organization.

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IN 944C Measuring the User Experience

The goal of this course is to teach participants how to effectively use a wide variety of usability metrics as part of their everyday work. Participants will learn all the common usability metrics, as well as lesser known, but equally effective metrics. Participants will learn the strengths and limitations of each metric, when to use (and not use) each metric, and how to present usability data in a simple yet compelling way. Five distinct types of usability metrics will be covered: Performance, self-reported, issues-based, behavioral/physiological, and combined/comparative metrics. The course will be oriented towards practical use, with a strong emphasis on hands-on exercises and real-world examples.

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IN 945C Sparking Your Creative Juices: Innovation and Invention for User Centered Design

Creativity and Innovation are important elements in good user experience, which can be sparked through a systematic approach to problem solving. Creativity is a vital element for coming up with unique idea. However, creativity alone does not produce usable products and services, it must be combined with a structured process for the best results. This presentation will outline the process of innovative user-centered design based on proven techniques from related fields such as psychology, creative arts, design and engineering. Examples from history, as well as current inventions will be discussed. Elizabeth has 4 unique patents in the USA for intelligent user interface design and these will be presented as examples of innovation of user centered design. Exercises will focus on real-world solutions and provide participants with tools to take the work outside the classroom.

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IN 946C Beyond Usability: Developing a Comprehensive Understanding of User Experience

We will discuss the importance of using converging lines of information (triangulating data from multiple sources) to create a comprehensive view of user experience. Through lectures, case studies, and hands-on exercises, usability practitioners will learn how important it is to collect both qualitative and quantitative data to build an end-to-end view of how your customers actually use and view your product, and what you can do to improve it. We will provide practical advice, plus review the strengths and weaknesses of different techniques within four broad classes: 1. Techniques that capture how customers actually use a product or service (e.g., web analytics); 2. Techniques that provide insight on use in realistic contexts and situations (e.g., ethnography, diary studies); 3. Techniques that focus on product interaction (usability studies, including remote testing); and 4. Techniques that reveal how customers feel about a product (e.g., surveys, social media monitoring).

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IN 948C Driving Design with Research, Personas & Scenarios

An effective design process has two objectives: first, get to a great design in a reasonable amount of time, and second, get that design into the hands of real users. The second objective is by far the more difficult, so an effective process starts with building a shared understanding of your users, followed by agreement on what it will take to delight them. This foundation then helps you create--and make a persuasive case for--a great design. The first day of the course begins with efficient, effective field research techniques. You'll learn how to extract behavior patterns from the data and express them in the form of personas: user archetypes used to drive design and help you build consensus with colleagues. On day two, you'll learn how to generate compelling scenarios describing the future user experience, then use those scenarios to start sketching and iterating your design solution.

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IN 949C Think-Make-Show: Methods That Drive Rapid, Product Innovation

Think-Make-Show is a 2-day workshop that teaches students how to use quick cycles of development to visualize ideas, gain consensus and rapidly implement innovative ideas. Inspired by the Maker Movement, hack-a-thons, and design charrettes this class will focus on resurgence of the "do-it-yourself" spirit within companies big and small. It will provide each student with hands-on methods for accelerating the creation of break-through products and services. This course will provide case studies on Facebook, YCombinator, eBay, and other companies that are utilizing rapid development to increase the speed of their inventions. Students will also learn to utilize illustrative prototypes and persuasive storytelling to communicate the value of their inventive ideas to key decision makers.

This applied course is appropriate for certificate students from all backgrounds.

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IN 950C User Experience Capstone

Note: CEUs: 1.2

This course, which completes the certificate program, is a practicum experience supervised by a faculty member. Using a workplace case, participants propose a project that would apply two or more of the courses from the program. Once the proposal is approved, the faculty adviser is available for critiques, guidance and support, typically electronically. Submission of a final project completes the certificate requirements. Projects might include minimalist instruction, localizations project, user task analysis, usability testing, and prototype development. Registration for this course is preceded by the submission and acceptance of a formal project proposal. Guidelines are available upon request.

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IN 953C On the Go: User Experience for Mobile Devices

By now, most people we know own a mobile device. But, are people really getting the most from their devices? What is a good user experience for mobile? Do people use their mobile devices differently then desktop computers and systems? This course will teach you how to evaluate and design mobile interfaces, including software apps and hardware devices. Students teams will not only learn to evaluate mobile devices, but will generate use cases and scenarios to be used as the basis for understanding the user experience and then testing the devices. Not only will you learn about the latest research and UX techniques for mobile, but you will have the chance to test the devices in our labs.

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IN 960C User Experience Boot Camp

The program highlights the growing importance of the user experience as a strategic business advantage and a point of differentiation in mature or hypercompetitive markets. As a leading business university, Bentley is uniquely positioned to deliver this perspective in a thoughtful and challenging learning experience. The five-day program is organized around five themes: Elements of the User Experience, User Research and Market Segmentation, Design Implementation and Innovation, Assessment and Measurement, and Process Improvement and Success Metrics.

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IN 954C  Creating Persuasion and Influence in Organizations

Your success as a user experience professional hinges on your ability to clearly communicate research results, negotiate change and to influence stakeholders in the product organization.  This course focuses on developing skills to optimize the interplay among the speaker, the audience, messaging channels and the message, in order to maximize the effectiveness of persuasive strategies and presentations.  Students will learn a variety of approaches to address concerns and potential objections from target audiences.  Students will gain skills in choosing appropriate channels, from face-to-face communication to electronic media, to enhance influence and persuasiveness. Students will learn how to use research-generated data to craft persuasive proposals and responses to clients; how to leverage logic based on audience beliefs to support or deflect change; and how to build on psychological insights to enhance influence. Students will present orally and receive both verbal and written feedback for improvement.