IEOR 170: Industrial Design and Human Factors

Announcements | Course Organization | Administration | Schedule

Spring 2006 Syllabus
Co-Instructors: Professor Ken Goldberg and Dr. Cecilia Aragon
Industrial Engineering and Operations Research (IEOR) Dept
University of California at Berkeley
Lectures and Labs: MW 5-6:30, 3106 Etcheverry Hall
Web Page:

3 Credits. Three hours of lecture per week. Prerequisites: upper division standing.

This course surveys topics related to the design of products and interfaces ranging from alarm clocks, cell phones, and aircraft cockpits to logos, presentations, and web sites. Design of such systems requires familiarity with Human Factors and Ergonomics, including the physics and perception of color, sound, and touch, as well as familiarity with case studies and contemporary practices in interface design and usability testing. Students will solve a series of design problems individually and in teams.

In addition to lectures, the class will analyze a number of case studies in depth and expert speakers from local design firms will present current perspectives. Students individually and in teams will design and prototype a series of projects which will be analyzed through in-class critique. The goals of the course are to familiarize students with fundamentals of human factors/ergonomics, increase student awareness of design in everyday experience, and enhance student skills in creativity and presentation. This course is intended primarily for engineering students. It requires senior standing in Engineering but no prior knowledge of design.




Course Organization

The course is organized into four major topics as described below.  The first two will be covered before spring break; the second two afterwards.  The midterm will cover only material presented in class up until that date.  The final exam will be comprehensive and will cover all class material.

1. Design Process (Jan 18 – Feb 13)

Design process (10 steps)

Brainstorming, market research


Questionnaire design


2. Sensory Perception in Design (Feb 15 – Mar 15)

Visual perception and website design

Auditory perception and sound models

Tactile perception, haptic interfaces.

Design applications of sensory perception.


3. Human Factors Theory - Design for Safety and Efficiency (Mar 27 – Apr 5, Apr 24 – Apr 26)

Fitts' Law


Physiology and cognition

Ergonomics and anthropometrics


4. Design Applications, Interactive Design and the Internet (Apr 10 – May 8)

Aircraft user interfaces

Internet telerobotics

Sustainable design



  1. Co-Instructors: Professor Ken Goldberg, 4189 Etcheverry Hall. Office Hours: MW 4:15-5pm, or by appointment.
    Dr. Cecilia Aragon, 4173 Etcheverry Hall. Office Hours: W 6:30-7:30 and by appointment. Office Phone: 510-642-3615.
  2. Teaching Assistant: Chris Becherer, Office Hours: W 4-5pm and by appointment (1116 Etch).
  3. Grader: TBD.
  4. Lab Adminstrator: Jay Sparks By Appointment.
  5. There is no required textbook. Required readings will be handed out in class.
  6. Grading: based on:
  1. Design Assignment Grading: Design Assignments will be graded on a scale of 0-10.
  2. Design Notebook Grading: Students will develop individual Design Notebooks that illustrate good and bad design concepts learned in the class. These will be turned in after very short (3 minute) individual highlight presentations to the instructors and TA.
  3. Example Design Notebook: Gloria Lo, Spring 2003 Note: This is just an example: please don't treat it as an exemplar.
  4. Team Design Project Assignment
  5. Individual Assignment and Team Design Project Schedule
  6. Design Process: Ten Steps
  7. Spring 2003 Team Design Projects: Final Presentations
  8. Related Links
  9. Other: We welcome constructive criticism. Please email us with feedback on the course, teaching and format at any time during the term.



Final Projects

Group 1
Group 2
Group 3
Group 4
Group 5
Group 6
Group 7
Group 8
Group 9

Tentative Schedule (will be updated):




Jan 18 

Introduction, IDEO Video

Jan 23, 25 

Mon: Design Process: 10 Steps. Industrial Design. Intro to Brainstorming
Bad Design Examples

Design Assignments 1 and 2 Due

Wed: Guest Lecturer from IDEO on Design Process/Brainstorming - Peter Skillman

Jan 30, Feb 1

Mon: Software Prototyping, Prof. Christine Strotthote
Lecture Notes

Design Assignment 3 Due

Wed: Questionnaire Design, Prof. Priya Raghubir, Haas School
Read the following before class:
Consumer Product Testing
Lecture Notes

Team Formation 

Feb 6, 8 

Mon: Market Research. Berkeley Innovation Group
Read the following before class:
CMO Magazine Article
Trends of Evolution courtesy of Jono Hey
BI Group PPT presentation
Photostream from today's class

Wed: Rapid Prototyping and Product Development. Berkeley Innovation Group
Design Assignment 4 and 'Berkeley Innovation Group' Team Exercise Due

Pictures from today's class

Feb 13, 15 

Mon: Guest Lecturer on Design: David Lance Goines
Read the following before class:
The Bauhaus Isn't Our House
Art and Beauty

Wed: Visual Ergonomics, Color physics
Visual Ergonomics: Color Notes

Feb 20, 22

Mon: President's Day

Wed: Team Project Meetings

Citris Presentations:
Prof. Carlo Sequin's slides on the CITRIS Building
Prof. Alice Agogino's slides on the MacroLab concept ideation

Feb 27, Mar 1 

Mon: Visual Perception
Reading for this class: Healey
Visual Perception lecture

Wed: Website Design
Website Design lecture

Design Assignment 5 Due

Mar 6, 8 

Mon:Auditory Perception and Sound Models
Auditory Perception lecture

Video: How the Ear Functions
Animation: What is a Wave?
McGurk Effect Demo

Team Report 1 Due

Wed: Tactile Perception and Haptic Interaction
Tactile Perception lecture

Practice Midterm Due (not graded)

Mar 13, 15 

Mon: Mid-Term Quiz, Mid-Course Evaluation

Wed: ButterflyNet, Prof. Scott Klemmer, Stanford
Scott Klemmer presentation


Mar 20, 22

Mon: Time and Motion Models, Fitts' Law and Alternatives

Wed: Latency, Dr. Stephen Ellis, NASA
Read before class: What are Virtual Environments? and Discrimination of Latency
Optional reading: Head Tracking Lag in Virtual Environments
Stephen Ellis presentation


Mar 27, 29 

Spring Break


Apr 3, 5 

Mon: User Interface Models, Dr. Asaf Degani, NASA
Reading: Automatic Generation of User Interfaces

Wed: Aerobatic Flying

Team Report II Due


Apr 10, 12 

Mon: Team Project Meetings and Design Notebook mid-course review. Each team will meet with Instructors for 15 mins during class, while other teams work on their projects. Please bring your Design Notebooks for review also. The Design Notebook mid-course status review is a very short interaction between each student and the instructors to confirm that students are making good progress on their notebooks, which will be due on the last day of class.

Wed: Team Project Meetings and Design Notebook review

Design Assignment 6 Due


Apr 17, 19 

Mon: Airflow Hazard Visualization
Airflow Hazard Visualization lecture
Reading: Improving Aviation Safety with Information Visualization (CHI 2005 paper)

Wed: Art with Technology, Ken Goldberg


Apr 24, 26

Mon: Office Ergonomics and OSHA
Ergonomics lecture

Wed: Ergonomics at Cal, Mallory Lynch
Ergonomic Requirements for Labs at Cal
Mallory Lynch lecture


May 1, 3

Mon: Sustainable Design, Chris Becherer
Sustainable Design
Less Is More at Interface Carpet

Wed: Team Project Report IV Presentations


May 8

Mon: Course Wrap-up Discussion, Final Quiz, Design Notebooks Due

May 10: No class. Team Project Report V Due