LIBR 555 (3) Information Design I: Systems


MAS students: Completion of the MAS Core courses, plus permission of the instructor.

MLIS and Dual students: Some electives can be taken in conjunction with the MLIS Core courses; consult with the MLIS Program Chair for recommendations.

GOAL: The goal of this course is to develop within students a user-centred design perspective that can be used to optimally frame the logical and physical design of information systems in a variety of information environments.  An additional goal of the course is 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.


Upon completion of this course students will be able to:

  • Knowledgably apply a user-centred analysis and design perspective throughout the entire information design lifecycle [1.1, 4.1]*
  • Collect and analyse data on user needs [4.2, 2.2]*
  • Assess usability of design artifacts [4.2]*
  • Think critically about the role of both analysis and design and its place in a variety of information system contexts [1.4]*
  • Apply the components and practices of Information Architecture [1.2]*
  • Design a Website, or similar system, at the macro (prototype) level [1.3]*
  • Effectively report the outcomes of their design practice and artifacts [2.1]*
  • Effectively work in both individual and team settings [3.1]*
  • Employ “design thinking” and the methods associated with it to a variety of other design problems and environments [1.1]*

* Course objectives are stated in terms of student learning outcomes and reference the iSchool Statement on Graduate Competencies.


The course will cover the following topics:

  • The information system design lifecycle
  • Research practices in information design
  • Design Thinking and other problem solving perspectives in information analysis and design
  • Contextual design
  • Missions, goals, objectives and design within constraints
  • Identifying and assessing stakeholder requirements and user needs
  • Analysis of tasks
  • User modeling including development of personas and scenarios
  • Information architecture
  • Information representation
  • Usability evaluation and assessment
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