Human Computer Interaction:

Mick McQuaid




  • Q and A from last time
  • Discussion leading (Ty Chaney)
  • Design Critique (Jyotsna Vempati)
  • Article Presentation (Bhanu Kowshik)
  • Break
  • Modeling
  • Readings

Q and A from last time



What is a model?

  • an abstraction of reality
  • an oversimplified view of reality
  • omits irrelevant details
  • the catch: hard to know what’s irrelevant beforehand

(see Jacek’s slides for more detail)

Some famous models

  • UML (about nine main diagram types, each giving a different perspective on software development)
  • WordNet (models the English language as a network with several kinds of relationships, including component relationships and inheritance relationships)

Kinds of models of concern in HCI

  • Flow models
  • Task models
  • User models
  • Other, less prominent kinds

Flow Models

Austin Film Festival Flow

Discover Texas Flow

Flow model used as critique

MUTTS flow model

MUTTS flow model expanded

MUTTS flow model final

Physical models

MUTTS physical model

Problems with flow models

  • Informal (except UML data flow diagrams)
  • Not everyone agrees about meaning—two people could look at the same flow model and take away two different pictures
  • Consequently I prefer leveled data flow diagrams for easily understood detail (but dfds can take too much time!)

Task models

User models

Persona Example

Personas injected into scenarios

Path from contextual inquiry through personas to scenarios

Once you create a persona, you can inject that persona into a scenario. You should have an idea of how that persona will behave in that scenario because of your contextual inquiry.

Storyboarding is often used to represent scenarios


Readings last week include Hartson and Pyla (2019): Ch 7, 8

Readings this week include Hartson and Pyla (2019): Ch 9, 10




Cooper, Alan, Robert Reimann, David Cronin, and Christopher Noessel. 2014. About Face 4.0: The Essentials of Interaction Design. Indianapolis, IN: Wiley.
Hartson, Rex, and Pardha Pyla. 2019. The UX Book, 2nd Edition. Cambridge, MA: Morgan Kaufman.
McCloud, Scott. 2006. Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga and Graphic Novels. Harper Paperbacks.



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