Journal of Information Systems Education (JISE)

Volume 31

Volume 31 Issue 3, Pages 179-186

Summer 2020

Teaching Tip
How to Teach Information Systems Students to Design Better User Interfaces through Paper Prototyping

Michael J. Scialdone
Texas A&M University
College Station, TX 77843, USA

Amy J. Connolly
James Madison University
Harrisonburg, VA 22807, USA

Abstract: Given the ubiquity of interfaces on computing devices, it is essential for future Information Systems (IS) professionals to understand the ramifications of good user interface (UI) design. This article provides instructions on how to efficiently and effectively teach IS students about “fit,” a Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) concept, through a paper prototyping activity. Although easy to explain, the concept of “fit” can be difficult to understand without repeated practice. Practically, designing “fit” into UIs can be cost-prohibitive because working prototypes are often beyond students’ technical skillset. Accordingly, based on principles of active learning, we show how to use paper prototyping to demonstrate “fit” in a hands-on class exercise. We provide detailed step-by-step instructions to plan, setup, and present the exercise to guide students through the process of “fit” in UI design. As a result of this activity, students are better able to employ both theoretical and practical applications of “fit” in UI design and implementation. This exercise is applicable in any course that includes UI design, such as principles of HCI, systems analysis and design, software engineering, and project management.

Keywords: Human-computer interaction (HCI), Paper prototyping, Active learning, Constructionism, Teaching tip

Download this article: JISE - Volume 31 Issue 3, Page 179.pdf

Recommended Citation: Scialdone, M. J. & Connolly, A. J. (2020). Teaching Tip: How to Teach Information Systems Students to Design Better User Interfaces through Paper Prototyping. Journal of Information Systems Education, 31(3), 179-186.