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Information Design - Systems
LIBR 555
Instructor: Rick Kopak
Office Hours:
Class Schedule:
Important Course Pages
Lecture Notes
Course Discussion

The goal of this course is to develop within students a user-centred development perspective that can be used to optimally frame the logical and physical design of information systems in a variety of information use environments. Additionally, the course seeks to ground students in “Design Thinking,” providing them with a methodology that can be applied to a wide variety of contexts in which ‘design’ is an important component.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course students will be able to:

• Carry out all aspects of user-centred analysis and design in the information system development process. • Think critically about the role of both analysis and design and its place in a variety of information contexts. • Apply the components and practices of Information Architecture. • Design a website or app at the macro (prototype) level. • Employ ‘design thinking’ and the methods associated with it to a variety of other design problems and environments.

Course Topics

• The systems design lifecycle • Design Thinking and other problem solving perspectives in information design • User-centred and contextual design approaches • Needs assessment • Analysis of tasks • Scenarios • User modelling including persona development • Information Architecture • Information Representation • Usability evaluation and testing


MLIS and Dual MLIS: LIBR Core MAS and Dual MAS: completion of MAS core and permission of the SLAIS Graduate Adviser MACL: permission of the MACL supervisor and Graduate Advisor

Format of the Course

A lecture/seminar approach is planned for the class. Foundational material will be delivered in a straightforward, knowledge transfer format. As the course progresses, it is intended that students will participate more fully in the discussion of course material and to participate in various in-class activities. Some lab sessions are planned for the course. Students are encouraged to actively participate. This may be done, for example, by asking questions when concepts are fuzzy or confusing, or perhaps more importantly, by sharing ideas and information that they have discovered in their readings and research.

Required and Recommended Texts

Required: Allen, J., and Chudley, J. (2012). Smashing UX Design: Foundations for Designing Online User Experiences. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons.

Recommended: Hartson, R., and Pyla, P.S. (2012). The UX Book: Process and Guidelines for Ensuring a Quality User Experience. Waltham, MA: Morgan Kaufmann. Morville, P., and Rosenfeld, L. (2007). Information Architecture for the World Wide Web, 3rd ed. Sebastopol, CA: O'Reilly. Brinck, T., Gergle, D., and Wood, S.D. (2002). Usability for the Web. San Francisco: Morgan Kaufman Publishers.