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FIT9019 and FIT9030.
For all other students FIT9003.

Chief Examiner

Campus Lecturer


Michael Smith

Contact hours: To be advised

Academic Overview

Learning Objectives

At the completion of this unit students should be able to:

  • understand from a management as well as technology perspective how the theories, guidelines and standards can be incorporated into the design of user interfaces;
  • understand and apply the principles of interface design relating to HCI, this includes recognising good and bad examples;
  • apply the standards, principles and theories in practice.
  • develop and conduct usability evaluations and be able to interpret the results, identify changes that are needed to a user interface
  • understand the different design considerations for designing for the Web and other devices
  • understand the different user centred development methodologies that look at design from a user perspective. In particular have knowledge of the basic principles of good interface design and HCI principles;
  • appreciate the difficulties users face when working with systems and be able to comprehend the concepts and principles underlying effective interface design and recognise good design from poor design and what the difference is from a user perspective;
  • develop attitudes which enable them to interact effectively with users in order to apply this knowldege to the design of interfaces for a range of technologies;
  • analyse the component parts of an interface so to be able to identify what is good design;
  • synthesise the knowldege, guidelines and theory to understand how each contributes to practice;
  • effectively conduct an evaluation of an information system especially in terms of usability of information systems;
  • understand the development of systems from a user perspective;
  • appreciate the difficulties users face when working with systems;
  • apply the principles, standards and theories relating to interface design and HCI to information systems development;
  • gather user requirements effectively;
  • design an effective user interface;
  • conduct a usability test and interpret the outcome;
  • recognise poor design and solutions.

Graduate Attributes

Monash prepares its graduates to be:
  1. responsible and effective global citizens who:
    1. engage in an internationalised world
    2. exhibit cross-cultural competence
    3. demonstrate ethical values
  2. critical and creative scholars who:
    1. produce innovative solutions to problems
    2. apply research skills to a range of challenges
    3. communicate perceptively and effectively

Assessment Summary

Examination (3 hours): 50%; In-semester assessment: 50%

Assessment Task Value Due Date
Assignment 1 10% Tuesday 17th January 2012
Assignment 2 20% (15% written component, 5% presentation) Written component due Tuesday 7th February 2012, presentation due Thursday 9th February 2012
Regular participation in online discussion forums 10% Ongoing thoughout semester
Active participation in tutorials 10% Ongoing throughout semester
Examination 1 50% To be advised

Teaching Approach

  • Lecture and tutorials or problem classes
    This teaching and learning approach provides facilitated learning, practical exploration and peer learning.
  • Other
    Moodle discussion and readings: Students are encouraged to take responsibility for organising and directing their learning.


Our feedback to You

Types of feedback you can expect to receive in this unit are:
  • Informal feedback on progress in labs/tutes
  • Graded assignments with comments
  • Interviews
  • Test results and feedback

Your feedback to Us

Monash is committed to excellence in education and regularly seeks feedback from students, employers and staff. One of the key formal ways students have to provide feedback is through SETU, Student Evaluation of Teacher and Unit. The University's student evaluation policy requires that every unit is evaluated each year. Students are strongly encouraged to complete the surveys. The feedback is anonymous and provides the Faculty with evidence of aspects that students are satisfied and areas for improvement.

For more information on Monash's educational strategy, and on student evaluations, see:

Previous Student Evaluations of this unit

If you wish to view how previous students rated this unit, please go to

Required Resources

The prescribed text is:

Shneiderman, B and Plaisant C (2010). Designing the User Interface, 5th edition Pearson.

A reading list and other resources, for each tutorial will be available weekly on Moodle. All reading material will be available from the library in PDF format.  Any other material will be provided online.

Unit Schedule

Week Activities Assessment
0 Register for tutorials, log into Moodle and download reading guide for Week 1 No formal assessment or activities are undertaken in week 0
1 Day 1 - Introduction and overview (Both lectures AND tutorials commence)  
2 Day 2 - Theories, standards and guidelines  
3 Day 3 - Interface design background  
4 Day 4 - Menus, forms and icons  
5 Day 5 - User Interaction Tuesday 17th January 2012: Assignment 1 conducted and submitted in class; Groups for Assignment 2 finalised in tutorials
6 Day 6 - Designing user information  
7 Day 7 - Evaluation and usability testing  
8 Day 8 - The web and other interfaces (what is different?)  
9 Day 9 - Data gathering, task analysis and prototyping  
10 Day 10 - Accessibility  
11 Day 11 - Development taking a User Centred Design approach Tuesday 7th February 2012: Written component of Assignment 2 due
12 Day 12 - Summary Thursday 9th February 2012: Assignment 2 presentations in tutorial
  SWOT VAC No formal assessment is undertaken SWOT VAC
  Examination period LINK to Assessment Policy: http://policy.monash.edu.au/policy-bank/

*Unit Schedule details will be maintained and communicated to you via your MUSO (Blackboard or Moodle) learning system.

Assessment Requirements

Assessment Policy

To pass a unit which includes an examination as part of the assessment a student must obtain:

  • 40% or more in the unit's examination, and
  • 40% or more in the unit's total non-examination assessment, and
  • an overall unit mark of 50% or more.

If a student does not achieve 40% or more in the unit examination or the unit non-examination total assessment, and the total mark for the unit is greater than 50% then a mark of no greater than 49-N will be recorded for the unit

Assessment Tasks


During the semester you will be assessed on work in, and preparation for, tutorials, in particular the specifically assigned reading for each week. The assessment will be dependent on the quality of your answers based on the readings. A number of exercises may be set and students will be expected to complete those exercises either during the tutorial,  or in preparation for the tutorial, and to actively participate in tutorial classes.  Assessment will occur in ALL tutorials thoughout the semester.

This assessment will consitute 10% of your marks. No marks are awarded for simply attending tutorials.

  • Assessment task 1
    Assignment 1
    Students will demonstrate, in class, their knowledge and understanding of form design and the relevant theories covered in the unit up to this point of the semester.  Students will be required to answer questions and assess a particular interface presented for the purpose of the assessment task.

    Further details will be provided and posted on Moodle early in semester.
    Criteria for assessment:

    Quality of the answers and the justification provided for the answers.

    Due date:
    Tuesday 17th January 2012
  • Assessment task 2
    Assignment 2
    Assignment 2 is a group assignment. No student will be permitted to do this assignment individually.

    There are two components to the assignment, a written component and a presentation. The assignment is designed to provide you with the practical experience of designing and conducting an evaluation of an application's interface.

    The written component will be the design, implementation and evaluation of an application's prototype interface, in line with what has been studied during the semester.  The description of the application and all relevant details will be provided in the assignment specification.

    Groups will be organised from the start of semester and finalised, in the tutorial classes only, on Tuesday 17th January, 2012. Students MUST therefore attend their allocated tutorials from the first day of semester, 3rd January, 2012, to acquaint themselves with other students in the tutorial. All members of a group must be in the same tutorial. No other arrangements will be allowed.

    Group presentations will take place in the final tutorial class of the semester. 

    Further details will be provided in semester.
    20% (15% written component, 5% presentation)
    Criteria for assessment:

    All students in the group will be given the same mark unless an adjustment is made by the lecturer based on feedback from the group.

    The written component will be assessed on the design of the application's prototype interface and its compliance with the cirteria presented in the unit,  quality of the content, understanding of the concepts and background literature.

    The presentation will be assessed on the quality of the presentation and the delivery, the content selected for the presentation and its relevance.

    Due date:
    Written component due Tuesday 7th February 2012, presentation due Thursday 9th February 2012
    Students will be asked to provide confidential peer assessment of the work and contribution of each member of the group. This will be taken into account when the final marks are awarded.  An individual's mark in the group may be adjusted up or down in the light of their individual contribution.  Each student in the group will be required to detail their contribution to the group's assignment and this is to be submitted, individually, in the lecture theatre before the commencement of the last lecture of semester. This will also be used where necessary to adjust marks.

    The lecturer may request an interview with groups or individuals if required to clarify any points relating to the content of these submissions.
  • Assessment task 3
    Regular participation in online discussion forums
    Throughout the semester you are expected contribute to online forum discussions, including posting new topics that are relevant to the unit and meaningful responses to the postings of other students.
    Criteria for assessment:

    Simply posting to a forum does not guarantee that you will recieve any marks, the awarding of marks depends on the quality of your contribution.

    Due date:
    Ongoing thoughout semester
    Students will be notified of the opening and closing of forums for their contributions during semester.
  • Assessment task 4
    Active participation in tutorials
    Throughout the semester  you are expected to actively participate in tutorial classes. Students will be asked questions relating to the reading material and the tutorial tasks.
    Criteria for assessment:

    Quality of answers / responses.

    Demonstrate an understanding of the reading material provided.

    No marks are awarded for simply attending tutorials.

    Due date:
    Ongoing throughout semester


  • Examination 1
    3 hours
    Type (open/closed book):
    Closed book
    Electronic devices allowed in the exam:

Assignment submission

It is a University requirement (http://www.policy.monash.edu/policy-bank/academic/education/conduct/plagiarism-procedures.html) for students to submit an assignment coversheet for each assessment item. Faculty Assignment coversheets can be found at http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/resources/student/forms/. Please check with your Lecturer on the submission method for your assignment coversheet (e.g. attach a file to the online assignment submission, hand-in a hard copy, or use an online quiz).

Extensions and penalties

Returning assignments

Referencing requirements

Students should be aware of and adhere to the guidelines for referencing assignment work.  This will be discussed in class early in the semester. Please also refer to the guidelines provided by the library.

Other Information


Student services

The University provides many different kinds of support services for you. Contact your tutor if you need advice and see the range of services available at www.monash.edu.au/students The Monash University Library provides a range of services and resources that enable you to save time and be more effective in your learning and research. Go to http://www.lib.monash.edu.au or the library tab in my.monash portal for more information. Students who have a disability or medical condition are welcome to contact the Disability Liaison Unit to discuss academic support services. Disability Liaison Officers (DLOs) visit all Victorian campuses on a regular basis

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