Fundamentals of Interaction Design

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DESN S364

More information: Course Guide
Fundamentals of Interaction Design

DESN S364

More information: Course Guide

Fundamentals of Interaction Design

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Course Coordinator: Ir Dr Tony Lee, BEng (Hons), PhD (HK PolyU); CEng; MIET; MIEEE; MHKIE; MCIE

Course Developer: The Open University, UK, Course Team

This course is a core course of the BSc and BSc (Hons) in Product Design, Testing and Certification programmes and the BSc in Design and Innovation, and an optional course for the following programmes: BSc and BSc (Hons) in Electronics, BSc (Hons) in Electronics (with Management), BSc and BSc (Hons) in Engineering Mechanics, Materials and Design, BSc (Hons) in Engineering Mechanics, Materials and Design (with Management), and BSc and BSc (Hons) in Product Design and Technology.

From websites and phones to video games, ATM machines and drink dispensers, interactive products are very much part of everyday life. But how many are easy, satisfying and enjoyable to use? Fundamentals of Interaction Design studies the factors, techniques, tools and theories that affect the design of such products. It will introduce you to a variety of topics, from computing, psychology and graphic design to entertainment, informatics and usability. You’ll learn about the theory underlying interaction design, and acquire practical skills that will equip you to analyse, design, and evaluate the interactive products you use every day.

Aims
The course aims to provide students with an understanding of interaction design, i.e. the factors, techniques, psychology, informatics, tools and theories that affect the design of usable interactive products and systems such as ATM machines, drink dispensers, mobile telephones, video recorders and video games.

Contents
This course is based on the book Interaction Design. To help you explore, understand and deepen your understanding of the topics in this set book, the course includes additional materials such as further activities and extra teaching text. It is structured into four blocks:

  • Block 1 — Provides a broad overview of interaction design, introducing the key issues and activities of the subject, such as the terminology and fundamental concepts of the area, the main activities involved in interaction design, and the importance of user involvement in the design process.
  • Block 2 — Addresses a key activity in interaction design: that of establishing requirements for an interactive product. Some of this material may be familiar to you if you have studied any software development courses in the past, but we approach the subject with a different perspective: focusing on making the product usable for the intended population.
  • Block 3 — Covers the techniques and knowledge necessary to design an interactive product that is accessible and useful to the people who are expected to use it. This includes an understanding of interaction paradigms, metaphors, conceptual models, cognitive processes, and the use of design approaches for a variety of interactive products.
  • Block 4 — Presents the techniques and knowledge necessary to evaluate an interactive product. This includes an ethical framework for evaluation with users, techniques and tips for observing users, asking experts and users, and testing with users.

Learning support
There will be ten tutorials and nine surgeries of two hours each. All of the tutorials and surgeries will be conducted in classrooms. Some seminars may also be introduced.

Assessment
There will be four assignments and a final examination. Students are required to submit assignments via the Online Learning Environment (OLE).

Online requirement
This course is supported by the Online Learning Environment (OLE). You can find the latest course information from the OLE. Through the OLE, you can communicate electronically with your tutor and the Course Coordinator as well as other students. To access the OLE, students will need to have access to the Internet. The use of the OLE is required for the study of this course.

Equipment
A computer system suitable for connecting to the Internet is essential for accessing the online support. The minimum configuration of the computer system is:

  • Pentium III processor at 500 MHz or higher
  • VGA display card and monitor
  • 128 MB RAM
  • 300 MB free hard disk space
  • ADSL/cable modem
  • Mouse and printer

Video programmes on DVD are also provided, so a DVD player is essential.

Software
You will need to have access to a computer with Microsoft Windows 98 or a later version with a Web browser recorder in order to access the course homepage, and Microsoft Office or Word viewer to read the document downloaded from the course website.

Set book(s)
The set book Interaction Design by Preece, Rogers and Sharp is included together with other course books containing the extension materials.

Students with disabilities or special educational needs
Students with impaired sight might have difficulty with the use of a computer monitor. You are encouraged to seek advice from the Course Coordinator before enrolling on the course.