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Module Specifications

Archived Version 2012 - 2013

Module Title Human Computer Interaction
Module Code CA357
School School of Computing

Online Module Resources

Module Co-ordinatorDr Donal FitzpatrickOffice NumberL2.49
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

The aims of this module are to introduce the student to the fundamental concepts underpinning the design 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 user interfaces to a high standard.

Learning Outcomes

1. describe the importance of user-interface design and when it should occur in the software development lifecycle
2. Identify different types of interface
3. understand the varying types of user, and the methods they use to interact with systems
4. be familiar with techniques used to evaluate user-interface design
5. Be cognisant of future trends in user-interface design with respect to mobile devices

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.

Cognitive Issues for Human-Computer Interaction.
A major and important facet of Interface Design is the cognitive aspect. How do we perceive colour, sound and other modalities? Are there issues surrounding the design of interfaces for children or the elderly?

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.

Interface Implementation
User Requirements Analysis. Implementation techniques (Prototyping).

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 Assessment30% Examination Weight70%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reassessment Requirement
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
Indicative Reading List

  • B. Schneiderrnan: 0, Designing the User Interface: Strategies for Effective Human-Computer Interaction,
  • A.Dix, J.Finlay, G.Abowd and R.Beale,: 0, Human Computer Interaction,
  • J. Nielsen: 0, Designing Web Usability,,
  • Andrew Sears (ED) and Julie A. Jacko (ED: 0, The Human-Computer Interaction Handbook: Fundamentals, Evolving Technologies and Emerging Applications,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
BSSAOStudy Abroad (DCU Business School)
CASEBSc in Computer Applications (Sft.Eng.)
ECBSc in Enterprise Computing
ECSAStudy Abroad (Engineering & Computing)
ECSAOStudy Abroad (Engineering & Computing)
HMSAStudy Abroad (Humanities & Soc Science)
HMSAOStudy Abroad (Humanities & Soc Science)
SHSAOStudy Abroad (Science & Health)