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Diploma in IT Syllabus

Principles of User Interface Design

Rationale: To the user, now more than ever, the interface is the machine. Whether to enable productive and enjoyable access to the riches of the world wide web or to ensure reliable control of safety critical systems, the design of the interface is of utmost importance and should be regarded as a core development activity rather than as a bolt-on task. This module provides a multi-disciplinary overview of the principles and approaches to efficient and effective design of the boundaries where humans and machines meet.

Aims: To develop an awareness of various approaches to the design of contemporary user interfaces To identify key principles by which effective contemporary user interfaces are designed

Objectives: Describe the key principles of user interface design Describe a variety of approaches to user interface design Be familiar with a variety of methods for evaluating the design of user interfaces Apply the knowledge learned in this module to create simple user interfaces

Prior Knowledge Expected: Candidates are expected to be familiar with the material covered in the Certificate syllabuses and in particular have knowledge of the content of Professional Issues in Information Systems Practice.

Content: PRINCIPLES OF USER INTERACTION Knowledge and understanding of concepts such as: cognition, usability, ergonomics and hypertext CHARACTERISTICS OF GOOD DESIGN Knowledge and understanding of: characteristics such as: learnability, robustness, flexibility, usability, performance and accessibility

METHODOLIGIES Knowledge and understanding of: prototyping, ethno-centric approach and participative design TESTING & EVALUATION Knowledge and understanding of: the use of focus groups, task-based testing, surveys, interviews, observations and walkthroughs CONTEMPORARY INTERACTIVE TECHNOLOGIES Knowledge and understanding of: mobile computing, PDAs, screen readers, voice recognition, touch screens and game peripherals (joysticks, light guns, dance mats etc) APPLICATION DOMAINS Awareness of the design characteristics inherent in: e-commerce, edutainment, iTV, entertainment, informational, safety critical systems, games and online communities USER CENTRED DESIGN Awareness of concepts such as: target users, user modelling, user scenarios, localisation and globalisation TECHNOLOGICAL CONSTRAINTS Awareness of issues such as: screen resolution, design for printing COMPONENTS OF DESIGN Understand and apply: metaphors, icons, typography, colour, contrast and juxtaposition, storyboards and mood boards

Primary Texts: Dix, Finlay, Abowd & Beale, Human Computer Interaction, Hardcover 832 pages (September 30, 2003) Publisher: Prentice Hall, Language: English, ISBN: 0130461091

Other Texts: Preece, Rogers & Sharp, Interaction Design, Paperback 544 pages (January 21, 2002) Publisher: John Wiley and Sons Ltd, Language: English, ISBN: 0471492787 David Benyon, Phil Turner, Susan Turner, Designing Interactive Systems: People, Activities, Contexts, Technologies, Hardcover 672 pages (November 5, 2004) Publisher: Addison Wesley, Language: English, ISBN: 0321116291

Other Sources: Mads Soegaard (2006). Interaction-Design.org. Retrieved April 2, 2006 from Interaction-Design.org Jakob Neilsen (2006). Useit.com. Retrieved April 2, 2006 from Useit.com British HCI Group (2006). Resource Centre. Retrieved April 2, 2006 from bcs-hci.org.uk British HCI Group (2006). Usability News. Retrieved April 2, 2006 from bcs-hci.org.uk