LIBR 556 (3) Information Design II: Documents


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 provide students with the theoretical and technical knowledge required to understand and utilize the processes and techniques involved in creating, representing, and interacting with information in electronic form.


Upon completion of this course students will be able to:

  • Knowledgably apply the theoretical and research literature on user needs and information interaction as they relate to use of electronic documents [1.1, 4.1]*
  • Knowledgably apply specific design models of information interaction and use [1.3]*
  • Employ design thinking in the creation of electronic documents [1.1]*
  • Collect and analyse data on user needs in relation to the purpose of electronic documents of different kinds [2.2, 4.2]*
  • Evaluate the usability and efficacy of designed documents [4.2]*
  • Effectively report the outcomes of their design practice and design artifacts [2.1]*
  • Usefully employ various tools used in designing and creating electronic documents [1.3, 2.2]*

* 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 opportunities and challenges of electronic document use
  • Relative affordances of electronic and paper documents
  • Tasks, information models, manipulation capabilities, and ergonomics as they relate to electronic document creation and use
  • Electronic text and the reading process
  • Cognitive issues surrounding document use
  • Contexts of electronic documents use
  • Structure and genre of information spaces in electronic environments
  • Frameworks for design
  • User-centred design
  • Usability evaluation
  • The role of mark-up languages in structuring information
  • Using XHTML, CSS, and jQuery to create electronic text
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