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Last modified: 22 May 2019 17:07

Course Overview

This course looks at why a computer system that interacts with human beings needs to be usable. It covers a set of techniques that allow usability to be taken into account when a system is designed and implemented, and also a set of techniques to assess whether usability has been achieved. Weekly practical sessions allow students to practice these techniques. The assessed coursework (which is normally carried out by groups of students) gives an opportunity to go through the design process for a concrete computer system, with a particular focus on ensuring usability.

Course Details

Study Type Postgraduate Level 5
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Online Sustained Study No
  • Dr Bruce Scharlau
  • Dr Nigel Beacham

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Computing Science (CS) (Studied)
  • Any Postgraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

Syllabus Principles of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI): metaphors and conceptual models; user models; human information processing; ergonomics; user-centered design and evaluation methodologies; HCI guidelines and standards. Input/output modes and devices; interaction styles. Users with special needs. Internationalisation. Evaluation techniques - walkthroughs, heuristic evaluation, expert reviews, controlled experiments. Design of safety - critial systems. Technical Writing & Documentation: help systems; writing tutorials; user manuals and reference material.

Further Information & Notes

  1. Assistive technologies may be required for any student who is unable to use a standard keyboard/mouse/computer monitor. Any students wishing to discuss this further should contact the School Disability Co-ordinator.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Summative Assessments

1 two hour written examination (75%); continuous assessment (25%), which will follow the same format as the on-campus version.

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.



Course Learning Outcomes


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