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2021/22 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

COMP2811 User Interfaces

10 creditsClass Size: 500

Module manager: Tom Kelly

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22


COMP1711Procedural Programming
COMP1721Object Oriented Programming

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

With user interfaces continuously evolving with the emergence of new devices, it is important to understand the fundamentals of user interaction design to enable their effective use. Developing new interfaces and ideas is fun and creative, but it needs to be grounded on systematic evaluation techniques and an appreciation of human factors. In this module students will be introduced to the thinking for user experience design and the process of needs analysis, design, prototyping and evaluation to translate ideas into artefacts. Principles of visual design, perception, and cognition will be covered to inform effective interaction design. The engineering realities of building graphical user interfaces in modern toolkits will be explored through project work.


This module provides an opportunity to develop an understanding of design consideration and implementation of user interfaces motivated from a practical and theoretical viewpoint. This modules contributes to developing responsible computer science practitioners who are aware of the impact of their software. In this module students will develop group working skills.

Learning outcomes
Upon successful completion of this module a student will have demonstrated the ability to:
- Discuss why human-centered software development is important.
- Summarize the basic precepts of psychological and social interaction.
- Develop and use a conceptual vocabulary for analyzing human interaction with software: affordance, conceptual model, feedback, and so forth.
- Define a user-centered design process that explicitly takes account of the fact that the user is not like the developer or their acquaintances.
- Create and conduct a simple usability test for an existing software application.
- For an identified user group, undertake and document an analysis of their needs.
- Create an application with a modern graphical user interface.
- Explain and use GUI programming concepts: event handling, constraint-based layout management, etc.
- Implement a graphical application using specified programming languages and toolkits, together with help and documentation that supports a graphical user interface.
- Conduct a quantitative evaluation and discuss/report the results.
- Discuss the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines


This module covers the following topic areas:
- Contexts for HCI (anything with a user interface, e.g., webpages, business applications, mobile applications, and games)
- Processes for user-centred development, e.g., early focus on users, empirical testing, iterative design
- Different measures for evaluation, e.g., utility, efficiency, learnability, user satisfaction
- Usability heuristics and the principles of usability testing
- Physical capabilities that inform interaction design, e.g., colour perception, ergonomics
- Cognitive models that inform interaction design, e.g., attention, perception and recognition, movement, and memory; gulfs of expectation and execution
- Social models that inform interaction design, e.g., culture, communication, networks and organizations
- Principles of good design and good designers; engineering trade-offs
- Accessibility, e.g., interfaces for differently-abled populations (e.g., blind, motion-impaired)
- Interfaces for differently-aged population groups (e.g., children, 80+)
- Elements of visual design (layout, colour, fonts, labelling)
- Task analysis, including qualitative aspects of generating task analytic models
- Low-fidelity (paper) prototyping
- Quantitative evaluation techniques, e.g., keystroke-level evaluation
- Help and documentation
- Handling human/system failure
- User interface standards
- Object-oriented implementation of GUIs

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours60.00
Total Contact hours40.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Coursework assignments

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
In-course AssessmentCoursework 115.00
In-course AssessmentCoursework 350.00
In-course AssessmentCoursework 235.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Exercises sheets will be provided for students. Sample solutions will be made available via tutorial classes or on Minerva. This module will be reassessed by an online time-constrained assessment.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 15/03/2022 16:12:19


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