Human Computer Interaction and Design

Module summary

Module code: COMP1649
Level: 6
Credits: 15
School: Liberal Arts and Sciences
Department: Computing and Mathematical Sci.
Module Coordinator(s): Ralph Barthel


Pre and co requisites

Digitally literate with a basic understanding of mobile, web and other interaction technologies; Academic Scholarship Skills.


To teach the necessary technical knowledge and skills to design effective human computer interactions and carry out user-centred design activities to inform the creation of system and applications. The course will extend the student's knowledge and experience of managerial issues affecting the development of human-computer interactions, including relevant legal, social, ethical and professional issues.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course a student will be able to:
1. Deploy theory, design principles, tools and methodologies to implement and evaluate human- computer interactions;
2. Carry out design research to inform development of systems and applications;
3. Construct and create prototypes of human-computer interactions;
4. Demonstrate the origins of ideas by correctly citing and referencing sources used in the work;

Indicative content

Design Process, Prototyping, Prototyping Tools, User Research, Research Methods, Evaluation of HCI solutions, Usability testing, Cognitive Psychology, Information Processing, HCI methodologies, standards and guidelines, Multi-Modal Interactions, Multi-Sensory Interactions, Tangible User Interfaces, Brain Computer Interfaces, Natural User Interfaces, Dialog Systems, Metaphors, Conceptual Models, Relevant legal, social, ethical and professional issues.

Employability is enhanced through improving students’ individual problem solving skills. There is the opportunity to make sensible assumptions in real life scenarios and to reflect on skills gained and the impact of the proposed solution. There is a substantial written element in the assessment emphasising clear formatting, spelling and grammar within a clear, well-reasoned narrative. Students gain advanced prototyping skills.

Teaching and learning activity

Some weeks week there will be a 2-hour lecture and a 1-hour lab session. The lecture slot will be split up into a lecture and tutorial and contain interactive elements that are sometimes student-led. Some lab sessions will be combined into thematic coursework-related hackathons were students collaborate on small scale projects to solve HCI problems.

The lectures will focus on the issues affecting the design, research, prototyping and evaluation processes linked to developing effective HCI solutions.

The tutorials will consist of collaborative small group and student-led learning activities to explore practical applications of the lecture topics. The lab sessions will be used to apply what has been learned in lectures and tutorials to activities relating the coursework.

Learning Time
Lectures/Tutorials 24hrs;
Supervised practical sessions 12hrs;
Guided independent study 50hrs;
Other non-scheduled time 14;
Independent Coursework 50 hrs
Total hours 150.


Individual Coursework: 100% weighting, 40% pass mark.
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4.
Word Length: 3000 words.
Outline Details: A course work report that investigates a given design scenario. Students will carry out design research, create a prototype and evaluate a design solution for a human computer interaction problem. Authoritative academic background literature is being used to inform the writing of the report. (70% Report and 30% Prototype).
Formative Assessment: Interim Upload of the coursework.