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Monash University

FIT3063 Human-computer interaction - Semester 2, 2013

This unit provides a detailed understanding of the underpinning theories, principles and practices of interface design for computer-based systems. It examines issues in the design of system interfaces from a number of perspectives: user, programmer, designer. It explores the application of the relevant theories in practice. The unit will cover topics such as methods and tools for developing effective user interfaces, evaluation methods such as the conduct of usability and heuristic evaluations, design of appropriate interface elements including the design of menus and other interaction styles. The unit will also focus on designing for a diverse range of users and environments.

Mode of Delivery

  • Caulfield (Day)
  • Sunway (Day)
  • South Africa (Day)

Contact Hours

2 hrs lectures/wk, 2 hrs tutorial/wk

Workload requirements

Students will be expected to spend a total of 12 hours per week during semester on this unit as follows:

  •  Lectures: 2 hours per week,
  •  Tutorials: 2 hours per week and
  •  a minimum of 2-3 hours of personal study per one hour of contact time in order to satisfy the reading and assignment expectations.

Unit Relationships


CSE3030, FIT2016, FIT3033, GCO3814, IMS2403, IMS3470, MMS2403


One of FIT2001, FIT2027, IMS2805, CSE2200 or equivalent

Chief Examiner

Campus Lecturer


Henry Linger

Consultation hours: TBA

South Africa

Stella Ouma

Consultation hours: TBA


Anushia Inthiran

Consultation hours: TBA



Pamela Spink

Consultation hours: TBA

Jay Zeal

Consultation hours: TBA

South Africa

To Be Announced


To Be Announced

Academic Overview

Learning Outcomes

At the completion of this unit students will have -A knowledge and understanding of:
  • the underpinning theories relevant to HCI;
  • the principles and practices of HCI in designing user interfaces;
  • the importance and role of usability and evaluation in systems design;
  • the issues relating to user diversity, different types of systems, interaction styles, devices and environments.
Developed attitudes that enable them to:
  • appreciate the development of systems from a user perspective;
  • differentiate between good HCI practice in systems development from other development practices;
  • formulate attitudes which enable them to interact effectively with users;
  • empathise with all users particularly those with specific needs.
Gained practical skills to:
  • recognise the principles of HCI design required in systems development;
  • gather user requirements effectively;
  • design an effective user interface;
  • conduct appropriate evaluation of systems from a HCI perspective and interpret the outcome.
Demonstrated the communication skills necessary to:
  • work in teams to complete assessment tasks;
  • empathise with users particularly those with some form of disability.

Unit Schedule

Week Activities Assessment
0   No formal assessment or activities are undertaken in week 0
1 Unit overview. Introduction to HCI, interfaces, usability and user-centred design. Human factors. Note: Tutorials will commence in week 1
2 Evolution of the interface, understanding the design space, conceptual models, mental models, metaphors, icons.  
3 Theoretical foundations of HCI: theories, models, frameworks and principles. Assignment 2 - Design Concept submitted
4 Interface design principles, guidelines, standards and style guides. Assignment 1 - Participation task
5 Interface design processes and methods, user-centred design, prototyping. Assignment 2 - Conceptual design submitted
6 Interface design elements, graphical components, sound, sequencing, labels, messages. Assignment 1 - Participation task
7 Interaction styles, command language, natural language, menus, forms, direct manipulation, virtual and augmented reality. Assignment 1 - Participation task
8 Usability: usability principles, usability evaluation methods. Assignment 1 - Participation task
9 Accessibility: accessibility guidelines, assistive technologies. Assignment 2 - Design demonstration submitted
10 Interaction devices: input and output devices, performance evaluation. Assignment 2 - Design Evaluation Criteria submitted; Assignment 1 - Participation task
11 Designing for the Web and Web 2.0. Assignment 2 - Design Evaluation presentation
12 Future of HCI. Assignment 2 - Design Evaluation presentation continued
  SWOT VAC No formal assessment is undertaken in 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 learning system.

Assessment Summary

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

Assessment Task Value Due Date
Tutorial Participation Tasks 15% Five tutorials are designated for this assignment in weeks 4, 6, 7, 8, and 10.
Design Competition 35% Design Concept - Week 3; Conceptual Design - Week 5; Design Demonstration - Week 9; Design Evaluation Criteria - Week 10; Design Evaluation Presentations - Week 11-12
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 through a variety of activities.

Assessment Requirements

Assessment Policy

Faculty Policy - Unit Assessment Hurdles (http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/resources/staff/edgov/policies/assessment-examinations/unit-assessment-hurdles.html)

Academic Integrity - Please see the Demystifying Citing and Referencing tutorial at http://lib.monash.edu/tutorials/citing/

Assessment Tasks


  • Assessment task 1
    Tutorial Participation Tasks
    Students are required to participate in at least 3 of the 5 scheduled tutorials designated for this task in weeks 4, 6, 7, 8, and 10.
    Criteria for assessment:

    This assignment will be peer assessed as well as by the tutor.

    Criteria for assessment will be based on:

    • relevance of contributions
    • evidence of preparation
    • contribution to discussions
    • level of critical thinking and quality of contribution

    More details will be made available in the task specification.

    Due date:
    Five tutorials are designated for this assignment in weeks 4, 6, 7, 8, and 10.
    In order to be assessed for this assignment you must participate in at least 3 of the tutorials that have been designated for this participation task
  • Assessment task 2
    Design Competition
    Working in groups of 3, your task is to produce a proposal that will meet the design brief of the competition. The proposal will be assessed progressively through the semester to ensure that your proposal addresses the brief and included all necessary elements that need to be evaluated for the competition.
    • Design Concept - Week 3 (15%).
    • Conceptual Design - Week 5 (15%).
    • Design Demonstration - Week 9 (50%).
    • Design Evaluation Criteria - Week 10 (10%)
    • Design Evaluation Presentations - Week 11-12 (10%) Peer Evaluation
    Criteria for assessment:

    In this assignment students will demonstrate their knowledge, skills and understanding of the principles and theories of HCI covered through the semester.

    As a group assignment, member contributions will be peer assessed.

    A detailed assessment criteria for each part of the assignment will be made available on the Moodle site.  

    Due date:
    Design Concept - Week 3; Conceptual Design - Week 5; Design Demonstration - Week 9; Design Evaluation Criteria - Week 10; Design Evaluation Presentations - Week 11-12
    Groups will be finalised in the tutorial in Week 1.


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

Learning resources

Reading list

Shneiderman, B. (2010) Designing the User Interface. 5th Edition. Addison-Wesley.

Norman, Donald (1998) The Design of Everyday Things, MIT Press.

Cooper, A., Reimann, R. & Cronin, D. (2007) About Face #: The Essentials of Interaction design, John Wiley

Monash Library Unit Reading List

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
  • Other: Peer review of design proposal

Extensions and penalties

Returning assignments

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). Please note that it is your responsibility to retain copies of your assessments.

Online submission

If Electronic Submission has been approved for your unit, please submit your work via the learning system for this unit, which you can access via links in the my.monash portal.

Prescribed text(s)

Limited copies of prescribed texts are available for you to borrow in the library.

Rogers, Y. Sharp, H. and Preece, J. (2011). Interaction Design: beyond human-computer interaction. (3rd Edition) Wiley.

Other Information


Graduate Attributes Policy

Student services

Monash University Library

Disability Liaison Unit

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.

Your feedback to Us

Previous Student Evaluations of this Unit

Student feedback informed improvements to this unit including:

  • assessement now has a peer component for both assignments
  • tutorial activities form part of the assessment

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

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