CSE5930 User interface design and programming - Semester 2 , 2006 unit guide

Semester 2, 2006

Chief Examiner

Judy Sheard


Caulfield : Judy Sheard


The aim of this unit is to provide an understanding of human-computer interface design and development. Students will gain an appreciation of the history of user interfaces and graphical user interface systems (GUIs) and the future directions in user interfaces. The unit will enable students to gain theoretical and practical understanding of human computer interaction (HCI) principles and guidelines, GUI design and evaluation, event-drive programming and standard interaction metaphors, using Visual Basic.NET.


At the completion of this unit a student should be able to:

  • Understand basic human-computer interaction principles;
  • Understand the need for user-centred design;
  • Know and be able to apply good interface design;
  • Be able to evaluate user interfaces using established criteria;
  • Have experience designing and building an interface according to established design guidelines, using a contemporary programming language.


There are no prerequisites for this unit.

Unit relationships

For further details about CSE5930 refer to the Monash Handbook entry for this unit at: http://www.monash.edu.au/pubs/handbook/postgrad/

For information about the course you are enrolled in refer to the Postgraduate Handbook at: http://www.monash.edu.au/pubs/2006handbooks/units/CSE5930.html

Texts and software

Required text(s)

Preece, J., Rogers, Y. & Sharp, H. (2002). Interaction Design: beyond human-computer  interaction. Hoboken, New Jersey, USA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.  Covers a  range of topics on human-computer interaction including interface design, usability and evaluation. A particular focus is on the design of interactive technologies to enhance communication and collaboration.

Prince, A. (2002). Murach's Beginning Visual Basic . NET. Fresno, California, USA: Mike Murach & Associates, Inc. Introduction to the Visual Basic programming language and the.NET framework. Guide to the development of applications using VB .NET.

Textbook availability

Text books are available from the Monash University Book Shops. Availability from other suppliers cannot be assured. The Bookshop orders texts in specifically for this unit. You are advised to purchase your text book early.

Software requirements

In this unit we will use Visual Basic.NET (2003 version). This software is installed in the computer labs on the Caulfield campus. The software is also available on loan from the FIT Service desk on the ground floor of K Block, Caulfield campus.

Hardware requirements

Students in this unit may use the facilities available in the computing labs. Information about computer use for students is available from the ITS Student Resource Guide in the Monash University Handbook.

Recommended reading

Carroll, J. M. (2002). Human-Computer Interaction in the New Millenium. New York, New York, USA. Comprises a collection of chapters based on articles from special issues of ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction and Human-Computer  Interaction and original contributions describing the latest work in HCI.

Cooper, A., & Reimann, R. (2003). About Face 2.0: The Essentials of Interaction Design. Indianapolis, Indiana, USA: Wiley Publishing, Inc. Written as a reference guide on the principles and methods of interaction design, with particular emphasis on the design of complex, user-focused behaviours of interactive systems.

Norman, D. A. (1998). The Design of Everyday Things. New York, New York, USA: Basic Books. Explains the design of everyday objects from a cognitive psychology perspective.  Although the focus of the discussion is on a variety of objects, the design principles can be applied to the design of user interfaces.

Shneiderman, B., & Plaisant, C. (2005). Designing the User Interface: Strategies for Effective Human-Computer Interaction (Fourth ed.). USA: Pearson Education, Inc. Covers issues in the development of user interfaces including design, implementation, managing, maintaining, training and refining the user interface of interactive systems.

Library access

You may need to access the Monash library either personally to be able to satisfactorily complete the subject.  Be sure to obtain a copy of the Library Guide, and if necessary, the instructions for remote access from the library website.

Study resources

Study resources for CSE5930 are:

located at: http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/courseware/cse5930/ The CSE5930 website will be updated at least each week so you should access it regularly. It contains notices, weekly exercises, resources, readings and lecture overheads.

Structure and organisation

Week Topics
1 Introduction to HCI
2 HCI - theories and models
3 User interfaces - history and design processes
4 Interface design principles and guidelines
5 Usability and accessibility
6 Interaction styles
7 Project presentations
8 Graphical user interface components; development tools
9 Graphical design elements
10 Interaction devices and human factors
Non teaching week
11 Hypermedia and the World Wide Web
12 Training and help; future of user interfaces
13 Revision


The timetable for on-campus classes for this unit can be viewed in Allocate+


Assessment weighting

Assessment will consist of the following: 

  • A project in two parts worth a total of 50% of the final assessment; and
  • A final exam worth 50% of the final assessment.

Assessment Policy

To pass this unit you must:

obtain at least 50% of the total possible marks overall, 40% of the possible marks for the project (parts 1 and 2 combined) and 40% of the possible marks for the exam. If you score less than 40% on either the project or the exam component you will be awarded a fail for the unit, regardless of the mark for the other component.

Your score for the unit will be calculated by:

adding your marks for the assessment components.

Assessment Requirements

Assessment Due Date Weighting
Project - part 1 30/8/2006 (presentation) and 6/9/2006 (report) 20%
Project - part 2 18/10/2006 30 %
The exam is 3 hours long and is closed book. Exam period (S2/06) starts on 23/10/06 50 %

Assignment specifications will be made available on the CSE5930 website and will be distributed at the lecture..

Assignment Submission

Projects will be submitted on the dates specified in the Assessment Requirements section of this document. Assignments must have the appropriate cover sheet correctly filled out and attached. Do not email submissions. Further information about the submission procedures and the presentations will be given with the project specifications.

Extensions and late submissions

Late submission of assignments

Projects received after the due date will be subject to a penalty of 10% per day of the possible marks.

This policy is strict because comments or guidance will be given on assignments as they are returned, and sample solutions may also be published and distributed, after assignment marking or with the returned assignment. 


It is your responsibility to structure your study program around assignment deadlines, family, work and other commitments. Factors such as normal work pressures, vacations, etc. are seldom regarded as appropriate reasons for granting extensions. 

Requests for extensions must be made by email to the unit lecturer at least two days before the due date. You will be asked to forward original medical certificates in cases of illness, and may be asked to provide other forms of documentation where necessary. A copy of the email or other written communication of an extension must be attached to the assignment submission.

Grading of assessment

Assignments, and the unit, will be marked and allocated a grade according to the following scale:

Grade Percentage/description
HD High Distinction - very high levels of achievement, demonstrated knowledge and understanding, skills in application and high standards of work encompassing all aspects of the tasks.
In the 80+% range of marks for the assignment.
D Distinction - high levels of achievement, but not of the same standards. May have a weakness in one particular aspect, or overall standards may not be quite as high.
In the 70-79% range.
C Credit - sound pass displaying good knowledge or application skills, but some weaknesses in the quality, range or demonstration of understanding.
In the 60-69% range.
P Pass acceptable standard, showing an adequate basic knowledge, understanding or skills, but with definite limitations on the extent of such understanding or application. Some parts may be incomplete.
In the 50-59% range.
N Not satisfactory failure to meet the basic requirements of the assessment.
Below 50%.

Assignment return

We will aim to have assignment results made available to you within two weeks after assignment receipt.


Feedback to you

You will receive feedback on your work and progress in this unit. This feedback may be provided through your participation in tutorials and class discussions, as well as through your assignment submissions. It may come in the form of individual advice, marks and comments, or it may be provided as comment or reflection targeted at the group. It may be provided through personal interactions, such as interviews and on-line forums, or through other mechanisms such as on-line self-tests and publication of grade distributions.

Feedback from you

You will be asked to provide feedback to the Faculty through a Unit Evaluation survey at the end of the semester. You may also be asked to complete surveys to help teaching staff improve the unit and unit delivery. Your input to such surveys is very important to the faculty and the teaching staff in maintaining relevant and high quality learning experiences for our students.

And if you are having problems

It is essential that you take action immediately if you realise that you have a problem with your study. The semester is short, so we can help you best if you let us know as soon as problems arise. Regardless of whether the problem is related directly to your progress in the unit, if it is likely to interfere with your progress you should discuss it with your lecturer or a Community Service counsellor as soon as possible.

Plagiarism and cheating

Plagiarism and cheating are regarded as very serious offences. In cases where cheating  has been confirmed, students have been severely penalised, from losing all marks for an assignment, to facing disciplinary action at the Faculty level. While we would wish that all our students adhere to sound ethical conduct and honesty, I will ask you to acquaint yourself with Student Rights and Responsibilities and the Faculty regulations that apply to students detected cheating as these will be applied in all detected cases.

In this University, cheating means seeking to obtain an unfair advantage in any examination or any other written or practical work to be submitted or completed by a student for assessment. It includes the use, or attempted use, of any means to gain an unfair advantage for any assessable work in the unit, where the means is contrary to the instructions for such work. 

When you submit an individual assessment item, such as a program, a report, an essay, assignment or other piece of work, under your name you are understood to be stating that this is your own work. If a submission is identical with, or similar to, someone else's work, an assumption of cheating may arise. If you are planning on working with another student, it is acceptable to undertake research together, and discuss problems, but it is not acceptable to jointly develop or share solutions unless this is specified by your lecturer. 

Intentionally providing students with your solutions to assignments is classified as "assisting to cheat" and students who do this may be subject to disciplinary action. You should take reasonable care that your solution is not accidentally or deliberately obtained by other students. For example, do not leave copies of your work in progress on the hard drives of shared computers, and do not show your work to other students. If you believe this may have happened, please be sure to contact your lecturer as soon as possible.

Cheating also includes taking into an examination any material contrary to the regulations, including any bilingual dictionary, whether or not with the intention of using it to obtain an advantage.

Plagiarism involves the false representation of another person's ideas, or findings, as your own by either copying material or paraphrasing without citing sources. It is both professional and ethical to reference clearly the ideas and information that you have used from another writer. If the source is not identified, then you have plagiarised work of the other author. Plagiarism is a form of dishonesty that is insulting to the reader and grossly unfair to your student colleagues.


Communication methods

The preferred method of communication with the lecturer is via email or during consultation times.


Notices related to the unit during the semester will be placed on the CSE5930 website. Check this regularly. Failure to read the notices not regarded as grounds for special consideration.

Consultation Times

Consultation times will be announced at the first lecture and advertised on the unit website.

If direct communication with your unit adviser/lecturer or tutor outside of consultation periods is needed you may contact the lecturer and/or tutors at:

Ms Judithe Sheard
Senior Lecturer
Phone +61 3 990 32701
Fax +61 3 990 31077

All email communication to you from your lecturer will occur through your Monash student email address. Please ensure that you read it regularly, or forward your email to your main address. Also check that your contact information registered with the University is up to date in My.Monash.

Last updated: Jul 19, 2006