Background: I will be a teaching assistant in a course on "Interactive Systems" with the following learning goals for the students.
- Analyze and criticize user interfaces
- Identify and describe important subsystems in the interaciton loop
- Implement efficient user interfaces from sensors and actuators
- Prototype interactive computer-implemented products
- Evaluate and judge user interface designs with respect to usability
I will be teaching computer science students and students from a programme called "IT" which focuses on protoyping, programming, and design. Both groups are second year university students. Having recently graduated with a master's degree in computer science myself, I know from experience and from fellow students that courses on these topics are not appreciated (some loathe them to the point of bullying others for liking them). From speaking to the IT students, I know that they see these courses as simple, but essential to their further education. So I am, roughly speaking, standing with two groups of students: One that would rather be anywhere else on Earth, and one that thinks the course is fine.
Now, as part of a course on teaching I have been asked to prepare a mini teaching session. I have decided on the goal for this session to be for the students to reflect on the role of interaction design and usability evaluations in a larger frame - for instance, what relations they have to database administration or to developers. I am hoping to motivate the students to see what their own future role could be, should they choose to go down that path, and otherwise to understand that it does play an important part along with the things that do interest them.
My question is: Do you have suggestions for examples that I could provide them with, such as case studies of software development processes, or can you think of good arguments to put forth?
Other comments are also very welcome!
(I have always been interested in usability and user experience, so I would especially like answers from people who might feel less interested and therefore understand my future students better)
Edit: I am not just looking for examples of good/bad end results but also of the design/development process, to showcase e.g. how interaction design relates to programming/development.