DCU Home | Our Courses | Loop | Registry | Library | Search DCU

Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title User Interface Design and Implementation
Module Code CA357
School School of Computing
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Hyowon Lee
Semester 2: Hyowon Lee
Autumn: Hyowon Lee
Module TeachersDenise Freir
Donal Fitzpatrick
Hyowon Lee
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Coursework Only

The aims of this module are to introduce the student to the fundamental concepts underpinning the design and implementation of user interfaces. Students will be exposed to the theories which support the design of interaction strategies, and will be instructed in the practical aspects of implementing these theories. This module is aimed at students who wish to become familiar with the theoretical basis, and the practical knowledge necessary to design, implement, and test user interfaces to a high standard.

Learning Outcomes

1. Demonstrate the importance of user-interface design and its role in the wider context of software development lifecycle
2. Explain the principles and guidelines for different types of user-interfaces
3. Explain the concept of user types, user classification, and the approaches to design to support them
4. Apply the principles and guidelines to sketch and prototype the interaction in a particular context
5. Evaluate the user-interfaces using various evaluation techniques
6. Apply theories of design/evaluation techniques to the tasks of brainstorming, concept framing, designing, implementing and evaluating a user-interface

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture24Lectures provided by the coordinator or other nominee
Assignment Completion35The assignment which students will complete
Independent Study66Time for students to explore and learn topics presented in this module
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Introduction to Human-Computer Interaction (HCI).
A discussion of the history of interfaces, and an overview of the role of HCI in the software process.

HCI and the World Wide Web.
An examination of the role of Interface Design in the unique context that is the Web. Things like Ajax, Aria, HTML 5 (to list a few) will be discussed.

Principles and guidelines in Human-Computer Interaction
A major and important facet of Interface Design is the cognitive aspect and how they are used to compile a theoretical foundation in the form of design principles, guidelines and heuristics. What are the available theories that could be used to design usable user-interfaces?

Interaction styles and general design Interaction strategies.
How do humans use and interact with their technology?

Interface and usability evaluation.
Various techniques for evaluation of interfaces including task Analysis, heuristic interface evaluation, and other techniques for capturing the usability of the interface.

User-interface implementation for interactivity
Low-fidelity and High-fidelity prototyping in order to demonstrate the design ideas in interactive artefacts.

User-centred design and accessibility
Why should we design with accessibility in mind? Does it really matter?

Mobile and MultiModal HCI
An overview of current (and future) trends and directions in HCI. Mobile computing (such as smartphones) and multiModal interfaces will be discussed.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
AssignmentDesign exercise 1 - individual sketching and supporting rationale, to apply the principles/guidelines learned thus far15%Week 3
AssignmentDesign exercise 2 - individual sketching and supporting rationale, with a more complex context, to apply the principles/guidelines learned thus far20%Week 7
Reflective journalWeekly journal entries for reflection and feedback5%Every Week
In Class TestIndividual in-class activities to enhance understanding and application of the concepts learned, and checks participation (5-8 times scattered through the semester)10%As required
Report(s)Individual reflection on the group project, detailing the individual contribution and self-assessment on the group project. Submission will be in the form of video and 1-page text summary.15%Week 12
Group assignmentTeams will be required to perform a series of brainstorming sessions to frame the project using UI concepts and make the plans for design, rationale and evaluation. Submission will be a written report.15%Week 5
Group assignmentTeams will be required to do design and write rationale to support the design decisions, then conduct evaluation to identify the usability problems in the design. Submission will be a video walkthrough demonstrating the design and a short summary written report.20%Week 11
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Shneiderman, B., Plaisant, C., Cohen, M., Jacobs, S., Elmqvist, N. and Diakopoulos, N.: 0, Designing the User Interface: Strategies for Effective Human-Computer Interaction, 6th edition, Pearson,
  • Donald Norman: 2013, The Design of Everyday Things, 2nd revised and expanded edition, MIT Press,
  • Rogers, Y., Sharp, H. and Preece, J.: 2023, Interaction Design: Beyond Human-Computer Interaction, 6th edition, Wiley,
  • Jakob Nielsen: 1994, Usability Engineering, Morgan Kaufmann, 0-12-518406-9
Other Resources

Matching of LOs with assessments: updated LOs are not reflected in the assessment screen thus once LOs are approved I will be able to review the matching to ensure suitable matching between LOs and assessments.
Programme or List of Programmes
CASEBSc in Computer Applications (Sft.Eng.)
COMBUSBSc in Computing for Business
COMSCIBSc in Computer Science
ECBSc in Enterprise Computing
ECSAStudy Abroad (Engineering & Computing)
ECSAOStudy Abroad (Engineering & Computing)
Date of Last Revision06-FEB-12

My DCU | Loop | Disclaimer | Privacy Statement