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Monash University

FIT5152 User interface design and usability - Semester 2, 2015

This unit provides detailed understanding of user interaction design theories, principles and practices and usability for web based systems and small screen devices. The unit examines issues in interaction design and usability from various perspectives, in particular the user experience. The unit includes how to achieve more effective design during systems development, tools and techniques for understanding users better and the application of these to designing web and small screen device systems. It explores contemporary issues including the challenges faced by designers with emerging technologies.

Mode of Delivery

  • Caulfield (Day)
  • Malaysia (Evening)
  • South Africa (Day)

Workload Requirements

Minimum total expected workload equals 12 hours per week comprising:

(a.) Contact hours for on-campus students:

  • 2 hours of lectures
  • One 1.5-hour laboratory

(b.) Study schedule for off-campus students:

  • Off-campus students generally do not attend lecture and tutorial sessions, however should plan to spend equivalent time working through the relevant resources and participating in discussion groups each week.

(c.) Additional requirements (all students):

  • A minimum of 8 hours independent study per week for completing lab and project work, private study and revision.

See also Unit timetable information

Additional workload requirements


Unit Relationships


FIT4063, IMS5302, CSE5930

Chief Examiner

Campus Lecturer


Manoj Kathpalia

Consultation hours: To be advised

South Africa

Stella Ouma

Consultation hours: To be advised


Manimohan Manickam

Consultation hours: To be advised

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 the Student Evaluation of Teaching and Units (SETU) survey. 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, see:

www.monash.edu.au/about/monash-directions/ and on student evaluations, see: www.policy.monash.edu/policy-bank/academic/education/quality/student-evaluation-policy.html

Previous Student Evaluations of this Unit

This unit is continuously reviewed, lecture and tutorial, material and assignments change as does the exam each semester.

As a result of previous student comments the percentage allocated to tutorial participation and Moodle forums has been reduced with a stronger emphasis on the last assignment.

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

Academic Overview

Learning Outcomes

At the completion of the unit, students should be able to:
  1. explain the theories and principles of HCI;
  2. apply HCI principles to interface and interaction design;
  3. design for user diversity and accessibility;
  4. employ user-centred interaction design;
  5. design and justify an effective user interface;
  6. critically evaluate an interaction design;
  7. investigate interface and interaction design for Web, small screen and mobile devices;
  8. explain the challenges facing designers of interfaces in augmented and virtual reality environments.

Unit Schedule

Week Activities Assessment
0   No formal assessment or activities are undertaken in week 0
1 Introduction and overview Assessment task 3: Active participation in tutorials and contribution to the discussion forums.This assessment is ongoing throughout semester.
2 Theories, principles, standards and guidelines  
3 Interface design background  
4 Menus, forms and icons  
5 User Interaction Assessment task 1: to be completed in week 5 tutorial.
6 Designing user information  
7 Evaluation and usability testing  
8 Heuristic and other evaluation techniques  
9 Data gathering, task analysis and prototyping  
10 Designing for the web  
11 Designing for mobile and small screen devices Assessment task 2: Written components (assignment and report) due in week 11; Presentations in week 11.
12 Summary Assessment task 2: Presentations in week 12, if required.
  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.

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.

Assessment Summary

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

Assessment Task Value Due Date
Assignment 1 10% Tutorial in week 5
Assignment 2 25% (20% written component, 5% presentation) Week 11
Active participation in tutorials and contribution to the discussion forums 15% Ongoing throughout semester
Examination 1 50% To be advised

Assessment Requirements

Assessment Policy

Assessment Tasks


During the semester you will be assessed on work in, and preparation for, tutorials (8%), in particular the specifically assigned reading for each week and contribution to the discussion forums (7%). The assessment of this component 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. Your contribution to discussions, on the discussion forum in Moodle, including quality and number of postings will be assessed. Your peers will also contribute to your final assessment for participation.

This assessment will constitute 15% 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 design a form based on their knowledge and justify their design decisions.

    This assessment relates to Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.

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

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

    Due date:
    Tutorial in week 5
  • Assessment task 2
    Assignment 2
    Assignment 2 is a group assignment. No student will be permitted to do this assignment individually and all group members must belong to the same tutorial. The forming of groups across tutorials will not be permitted.

    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  interface.

    The written component will be the design, implementation and evaluation of a website, in line with what has been studied during the semester.  Websites available for the assignment and all relevant details will be provided in the assignment specification.

    This assessment relates to Learning Outcomes 6 and 7.

    Group presentations will take place in class in weeks 11 and 12

    Further details will be provided in semester.
    25% (20% 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 and conduct of an evaluation of a selected website and background information, the analysis of that evaluation and a written report on the outcome of the evaluation. Students are also required to demonstrate an understanding of the concepts and background literature on evaluation techniques.

    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:
    Week 11
    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
    Active participation in tutorials and contribution to the discussion forums
    Throughout the semester, you are expected to actively participate in all the learning activities involving tutorial classes and online forums.

    This assessment relates to Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 7 and 8.
    Criteria for assessment:

    Demonstrate an understanding of the reading material provided.

    Quality of contribution.

    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:

Learning resources

Monash Library Unit Reading List (if applicable to the unit)

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

Extensions and penalties

Returning assignments

Referencing requirements

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

Assignment submission

It is a University requirement (http://www.policy.monash.edu/policy-bank/academic/education/conduct/student-academic-integrity-managing-plagiarism-collusion-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 electronic submission). 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.

Required Resources

Please check with your lecturer before purchasing any Required Resources. Limited copies of prescribed texts are available for you to borrow in the library, and prescribed software is available in student labs.

A reading list and other resources, for each tutorial, will be available as required on Moodle. All reading and other material will be provided online.

Prescribed text(s)

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

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

Other Information


Monash has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and to provide advice on how they might uphold them. You can find Monash’s Education Policies at: www.policy.monash.edu.au/policy-bank/academic/education/index.html

Faculty resources and policies

Important student resources including Faculty policies are located at http://intranet.monash.edu.au/infotech/resources/students/

Graduate Attributes Policy

Student Charter

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.

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