CS3HC18-Human Computer Interaction

Module Provider: School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded: CS2HC18 Human Computer Interaction and CS2HA16 HCI and Applications
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Huizhi Liang

Email: huizhi.liang@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module introduces both the theory and practice of designing human-computer interfaces.


The aim of this module is to develop a sound understanding of the requirements, design, development and evaluation of human-computer interfaces including those for web based applications. A key focus of the module is placed on designing fit-for-purpose, usable and accessible products/applications. Aims also include learning about input and output methods in human-computer interfaces and their appropriateness for different people and situations, and learning about current research in the field of HCI.

Assessable learning outcomes:

Knowledge and application of good design principles and practices for computer interfaces design:

  • The ability to critically appraise website and other interface designs with regards to usability, accessibility and fitness for purpose;

  • Practical skills/experience of designing websites or mobile applications;

  • Knowledge of different ways to engage with users throughout the requirements, design and evaluation process;

  • Apply the principles of usability and accessibility and tools/metrics by which to assess the degree to which systems conform to them;

  • Describe, analyse and compare a range of input and output methods;

  • Explain how human-computer interaction is affected by factors such as age, disability, and/or context of use.

Additional outcomes:

At the end of this module, students will:

  • Have an understanding of what is a good human computer interface design

  • Explain the range of theories and methods of the human aspects of HCI and how this knowledge can be applied to interface design.

  • Have refined knowledge in how to analyse user requirements

  • Be able to suitably apply techniques and methodologies for the design and construction of prototypes

  • Be familiar with a range of methods for system evaluation, and for measuring usability

  • Be able to conduct user study, and appreciate the professional and ethical issues involved

  • Be able to reflect on current and next-generation interactive technologies

Outline content:

  • HCI and its importance

  • HCI and the psychology/physiology of the human

  • HCI devices, dialogues and techniques

  • Understanding user needs and requirements

  • Prototyping techniques for conceptual and physical design

  • Initiating and running a web design project

  • Website structure and design

  • Client side coding for websites (e.g. HTML, CSS, JavaScript)

  • Evaluation techniques for usability (including heuristic evaluation, expert evaluation and user testing/modelling)

  • Methods for gathering and analysing user data, and professional and ethical issues

  • Usability and accessibility, Ageing and impairment

  • Emerging HCI themes (including Ubiquitous Computing, Human-Robot Interaction and the Internet of Things)

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The course material will be introduced through lectures and tutorials. Practical exercises based on lecture material will be applied during lab sessions. The lab work will provide the student with support to develop prototypes as well as carrying out practical work such as working through concepts, developing storyboards, producing paper prototypes, and planning for evaluation.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 10
Tutorials 8
Practicals classes and workshops 8
Guided independent study 74
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 30
Set exercise 70

Summative assessment- Examinations:

One 1.5-hour examination paper

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

This method of the assessment requires students to consider the processing and visualization of data in their HCI design and prototyping.

  • Individual Report: 30%

  • Group Report: 40%

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:

    A mark of 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:

    Examination only. One 1.5-hour examination paper in August/September.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):



    Required text books


    Specialist equipment or materials


    Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear


    Printing and binding


    Computers and devices with a particular specification


    Travel, accommodation and subsistence


    Last updated: 24 September 2018


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