Human Computer Interaction

Subject SINF30004 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2010:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Lectures and tutorials.

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 1 x two hour lecture per week, and 1 x one hour tutorial per week
Total Time Commitment: Estimated total time commitment of 120 hours

50 points of second year level subjects.

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: Credit cannot be granted for both this subject and 433-371 Interactive System Design (prior to 2010)
Core Participation Requirements: It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study and reasonable steps will be made to enhance a student’s participation in the University’s programs. Students who feel their disability may impact upon their active and safe participation in a subject are encouraged to discuss this with the relevant subject coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit.


Dr Frank Vetere, Dr Wally Smith




Subject Overview:

The usability and usefulness of technology are vital characteristics that contribute to its effectiveness. Human-Computer Interaction is a field concerned with the design of new technologies to be usable, useful and satisfying; with a focus on informational artefacts in work and leisure situations: MP3 players, aircraft cockpits, business software, car navigation tools, and so on. The subject covers techniques that are widely used in the IT industry: to conduct contextual analysis of how technologies are actually used; to design usable human interfaces; and to conduct evaluations of the usability of new designs. The theories behind these techniques are also covered including aspects of human cognition and the theory of natural design.


At the completion of this subject, student should:

  • have knowledge of the cognitive and social factors that can make interactive software effective;
  • understand and be able to apply key design principles and guidelines that can assist user interface designers, and understand the limitations of such guidelines;
  • understand and be able to apply techniques of contextual analysis around the present use of a technology;
  • understand and be able to develop a sound usability evaluation method for a particular design project.

A group project in two parts, with a first report (3000 words or equivalent) due mid-semester and second report (3000 words or equivalent) due at the end of semester (50%); a 2-hour written examination in the examination period (50%). Satisfactory completion of both project work and the examination is necessary to pass the subject.

Prescribed Texts:
  • J Preece et al, Interaction Design: Beyond Human Computer Interaction John Wiley 2007
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Students should develop the following generic skills:

  • analysis and interpretation of complex real world situation
  • report writing
  • presentation skills
Notes: This subject is available for science credit to students enrolled in the BSc (both pre-2008 and new degrees), BASc or a combined BSc course (except for the BSc/ BIS).

Related Course(s): Bachelor of Information Systems
Bachelor of Science
Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Information Systems
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Science Informatics

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