Course Title: User Interface Design

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: User Interface Design

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


140H Computer Science & Information Technology


Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013


City Campus


140H Computer Science & Information Technology


Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013

Course Coordinator: Sandra Uitdenbogerd

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 2246

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 14.9.6

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

These courses provide the following assumed knowledge: ability to design, program, test and debug small applications.

Course Description

This course is concerned with the development of interactive systems, including for mobile / portable devices, with a strong focus on user-centred design and usability principles. You will learn what characteristics of a user interface can make it easy or hard for people to use, and how to design user interfaces that take into account human capabilities and constraints. The emphasis will be on design first (iteratively, on paper or with mock-up software) then code. This course also introduces you to techniques for evaluating the usability of applications and systems.


Please note that if you take this course for a bachelor honours program, your overall mark in this course will be one of the course marks that will be used to calculate the weighted average mark (WAM) that will determine your award level. This applies to students who commence enrolment in a bachelor honours program from 1 January 2016 onwards. See the WAM information web page for more information.(;ID=eyj5c0mo77631)

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the development of the following capabilities:

  • Critical analysis: Analyse and model requirements and constraints for the purpose of designing and implementing user interfaces for software applications.
  • Problem solving: Design and implement a user interface, based on modeling or requirements specification.
  • Teamwork: Participate in a small team to design and implement a user interface, based on modeling or requirements specification.
  • Communication: Motivate and explain usability concepts, relevant alternatives and decision recommendations to your peers and to IT specialists, via technical reports of professional standard.

After completing this course, you should be able to:

  • analyse users’ needs, usability goals and user experience goals of a small-to-medium-sized software application
  • use software and paper prototyping tools to design user interfaces that take into account human capabilities and constraints, users’ needs, usability goals and user experience goals
  • implement functional or wizard-of-oz user interface prototypes based on the design process
  • critically evaluate the usability of a small-to-medium-sized software application  

Overview of Learning Activities

Teaching staff inputs: This course consists of lectures and workshop/tutorial/laboratory classes.

The weekly lecture series continues throughout the semester. The lecture material comes from referred texts and from the lecturer’s own experience. It is designed such that students are able to follow examples during lectures and follow up with further study. Workshop/ Laboratory experiences include using user interface design tools to model possible solutions to given problems; converting detailed design models to computer code; and taking part in critical evaluations of prototype and existing user interfaces.

Your inputs as learners: Your active and constructive participation in lecture, and tutorial discussions is expected in addition to weekly private study and group work, completion of tutorial and laboratory questions and careful planning and completion of assessment tasks.

Overview of Learning Resources

You will make extensive use of computer laboratories and relevant software provided by the School. You will be able to access course information and learning materials through myRMIT and may be provided with copies of additional materials in class or via email. Lists of relevant reference texts, resources in the library and freely accessible Internet sites will be provided.

Use the RMIT Bookshop’s textbook list search page to find any recommended textbook(s).

For extra support with study organisation, assignment planning or learning skills you may wish to contact any of the following:

Study and Learning Centre:

Overview of Assessment

In this course, you will be assessed on paper-based design exercises, your critiques of existing and prototype user interface designs, your design, implementation and testing of a specific user interface, and an oral presentation of your design. There is also a final examination. See Assessment Tasks (part B course guide for this Teaching Period) for assessment details, including deadlines, weightings, and hurdle requirements. For standard assessment information relating to Computer Science and IT courses see:

While a minimum attendance standard is not compulsory, non-attendance may seriously jeopardise the chances of success in this course. In the absence of special consideration, non-attendance at an assessment will result in failure of that assessment. Where visa conditions apply, attendance is compulsory.

Assessable exercises are conducted in some tutorial / laboratory classes.