Accessibility statement

Human-Computer Interaction - COM00018C

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  • Department: Computer Science
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Burak Merdenyan
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: C
  • Academic year of delivery: 2023-24

Module summary

HCIN introduces user-centred design. Where other modules focus on technical understanding of computers and how they work, this module is instead about understanding the relationship between computer systems and people. It discusses how this can be used to improve system development, and how it can go wrong. We will explore the nature of and barriers to people's interactions with computers and how systems can be designed to optimise and facilitate these interactions. We will also consider how to evaluate the people's experience - what makes a good, enjoyable human-computer interaction.

Related modules

The assessment is undertaken as a group open assessment in which groups will work together to complete and present a user-centred design task. The assessment also includes as part of the submission an individual reflection exercise which is worth 10% of the overall marks. This task asks students to comment on their development of transferable skills (using the York Strengths Framework as a basis) and how they have developed these during HCIN. The assessment also has a peer-assessment exercise, which ensures that individual contributions to the group are accounted for in the final marks.

Reassessment is by an individual open assessment which requires students to understand and implement the processes and techniques discussed during the module.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 1 2023-24

Module aims

Students taking this module will be familiarised with how to design user-centred systems that meet the needs and preferences of diverse users. Students will be introduced to the notion of engineering lifecycles, and in particular building requirements from user needs, iterative prototyping and evaluation of interactive systems. Students will undertake group work in practicals, giving them opportunities to develop communication and conflict resolution skills. The assessment will evaluate knowledge of the user-centred design process and interaction design principles.

Module learning outcomes

  1. Describe why user-centred design in software development is important to usable and inclusive design.

  2. Undertake a user-centred design process as a cyclical approach through the key stages of user needs elicitation, conceptual design, prototyping, and evaluation.

  3. Apply appropriate interaction design concepts in describing user-system interaction including: affordances, feedforward, feedback, conceptual model.

  4. Advocate for the ethical treatment of participants throughout the user-centred design lifecycle, and explain how user diversity can impact on the inclusiveness of a system.

  5. Describe how interactive systems are embedded in societal structures, and how they are used to invoke change at the personal, community, national or international level.

  6. Plan and manage deliverables to set deadlines throughout a project lifecycle, and use a self-reflective skills assessment to improve student team working and team performance.


Task Length % of module mark
Group work : HCIN Group Open Assessment
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Essay : HCIN Individual Open Resit Assessment
N/A 100

Module feedback

Feedback is provided through work in practical sessions, formative assessments, and after the final assessment as per normal University guidelines.

Indicative reading

*** Preece, J., Rogers, Y., Sharp, H., Interaction Design, 4th edn Wiley, 2015

*** Cooper, A., Reimann., R., Cronin., D., Noessel., C. About Face: The Essentials of Interaction Design. 4th edn Wiley, 2014.

* Mackenzie, I.S. Human-Computer Interaction. Elsevier Inc., 2013.

* Norman, D. The Design of Everyday Things. Any edition.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.