10 Things You Must Know to Pass Interface Design

  1. Your (corky) lecturer is Andrew (ac.ufs@h.werdna)
  2. Your (coolest-ever) TA is Mia Cole (ac.ufs@eloc_aim)
  3. Allow up to 2 business days for email replies. We may reply sooner, but not always.
  4. We do not provide critique via email. Please arrange a meeting or attend office hours.
  5. Please remember than an 'A' means you are 'exceeding expectations'.
  6. Attendance is required, and random grade-affecting checks will be held.
  7. Late submissions receive 10% per day; 10 minutes late? 10% off.
  8. If you are having concerns finishing a project on time, talk to Andrew before it is due.
  9. All grade concerns must be brought up within 10 days; this is SFU policy.
  10. Plagiarism is never tolerated. When in doubt, cite it.

On the waitlist?

Super-secret tip: If you are on the waitlist, the best recommendation is to talk to the instructor and attend all the labs and lectures while you wait. That way the instructor may be more interested in having you join the course, as they don't have to catch you up on missed material!

The Complete Course Syllabus

A detailed breakdown of the course and its expectations.

Course website

Instructor edition


Andrew Hawryshkewich
Room 2816, Podium 2, SFU Surrey


Mia Cole
TA for D101, D102, D103.

Email Rules

Assuming you have read the '10 Things to Pass' you should already know to allow up to two business days for responses. Please make sure to include the following in your email for speedier response times:

  1. The subject contains "IAT-334:"
  2. The message contains your full name
  3. The message contains your lab number; D100 or E100 are not labs
  4. A clear question

We do not provide design critique via email, please visit office hours or arrange a meeting time.

Projects or lab questions?
Email your TA — Mia (D101/D102/D103).

Course, attendance, quizzes, or grading questions?
Email Andrew (your instructor) at ac.ufs@h.werdna.

Labs and lectures

A reminder that attendance is required and random grade-affecting checks will be held. Please also know your lab number. Please.


Mondays, 12:30-2:20pm
SFU Surrey, Room 2740

Lab D101

Mondays, 2:30-4:20pm
SFU Surrey, Room 3300
TA: Mia Cole

Lab D102

Mondays, 4:30-6:20pm
SFU Surrey, Room 3240
TA: Mia Cole

Lab D103

Mondays, 6:30-8:20pm
SFU Surrey, Room 3240
TA: Mia Cole

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 include:

  1. List and identify rules for interface design.
  2. Analyze requirements for an interface.
  3. Identify design opportunities within a given scenario and ideate design concepts based on these opportunities.
  4. List examples of different design methods (e.g. sketching, user-centered design methods, scenarios, storyboarding, prototyping) and select and apply these appropriately in a given context and design space.
  5. Organize and conduct a design process within an interdisciplinary team.
  6. Independently produce a working prototype that satisfies given design requirements.
  7. Critique and evaluate interface design projects.


Participation will be checked at random points through the term. Each participation check will be an equally weighed portion in 5% of your final grade, and participation can only be excused for legitimate reasons (i.e. doctor's notes, large calamities, emergencies). When in doubt, email Andrew.


All readings are provided on Canvas or through the SFU Library digitally or as PDFs.


There will be three in-lecture quizzes — two on readings, one on critiquing interfaces — that assess their understanding of the theoretical and technical content of the course. All materials covered in the lecture or readings are open to testing.

UI Sketchbook

Each week in the course there will be an interface sketch prompt posted that will require students to sketch and submit a response the evening before the next lecture. Each student's top ten submissions will count towards the sketchbook grade for the term.


There are three projects in this course:

  1. Mockups - 10% (Individual)
  2. Feature Design - 20% (Group)
  3. UI Design - 40% (Group)


You will be allowed to select your groups for any teamwork in this course and team contracts are used in to ensure that team members who are not supported have an option to remove themselves or others from the team. Consider your group member options carefully.

All Courses Are Equal

Please remember that all courses are created equal, no one course should monopolize all your time at the detriment of your other courses. If you should find yourself in such a situation, please let your instructor know sooner rather than later.

Lab Switching

Is not permitted unless under special circumstances. You must first speak with Andrew, though keep in mind that there must be an opening and nobody on the waitlist to be able to switch labs (often unlikely).


Please note that the following – according to SFU policy 4.1.2 – 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.

Late or Incorrectly Submitted Deliverables

Late deliverables receive 10% per day late starting immediately after the deliverable is due. Allow yourself sufficient time to submit deliverables without incurring late penalties.

Files incorrectly submitted to Canvas - for example, submitting a PDF that cannot be opened - will receive a penalty on the resubmitted file of 25% plus 10% per day not resubmitted after you were contacted about the problematic submission. For example, if you do not resubmit the file until two days after the you were notified the penalty will be 35%. It is your responsibility to ensure that your deliverables make it in on-time and in an uncorrupted fashion.

Grading Breakdown

5% - Participation
15% - Quizzes
10% - UI Sketchbook
10% - Individual Projects
60% - Group Projects

Grading Scale

All the grades in this course tally to 100% to make it easier to track progress through the term. To translate the percentage to a letter grade, this course uses the SIAT standard grading scale for final letter grades:

A+ > 95%
A > 90%
A- > 85%
B+ > 80%
B > 75%
B- > 70%
C+ > 65%
C > 60%
C- > 55%
D > 50%
F < 50%