CSU44051 – Human Factors

Module CodeCSU44051
Module Name Human Factors
ECTS Weighting [1]5 ECTS
Semester TaughtSemester 1
Module Coordinator/s  Dr. Gavin Doherty

Module Content

The module provides an introduction to the field of Human-Computer Interaction, focused both on understanding human interactions with technology and on the design of useful and usable interactive systems. Students will understand the main issues underlying the usability of systems, and the main techniques and processes for interface design and evaluation. They will also gain a basic understanding of the theories which account for human performance.

Module Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

  1. Break down the concept of usability and be able to apply models of interaction in the analysis of interactive systems;
  2. Describe available techniques for interaction design and usability improvement, and when it is appropriate to apply these techniques within the software development process;
  3. Describe the challenges faced in the design of groupware systems, and the aspects of human communication which are relevant to these systems;
  4. Describe the factors which influence human performance, and apply the major concepts relevant to human error in the analysis of interactive systems;
  5. Construct a Hierarchical Task Model (HTM) with an associated scenario description;
  6. Discuss and critique the interface of a specific interactive system with reference to a task model and its associated scenarios.

Teaching and Learning Methods

A mixture of live lectures and prerecorded sessions will be used, together with online discussion and Q&A sessions. Continuous assessment will take the form of small written exercises associated with pre-recorded lectures, both group and individual. The lectures include a number of marked in-class exercises.

Two major coursework assignments include both group and individual components, focused on the design of a web/mobile app, with the final prototypes presented to the class. A further small assignment will involve reading and providing an analysis of a recent research paper.

Assessment Details

Assessment ComponentBrief Description Learning Outcomes Addressed% of TotalWeek SetWeek Due
Continuous AssessmentSmall Written ExercisesL01-L01025%Week 1-10
Reading AssignmentSummarise a Research PaperL01-L0310%Week 8Week 10
AssignmentDesign AssignmentL02, L0535%Week 3Week 6
AssignmentPrototyping AssignmentL02, L0630%Week 7Week 12

Reassessment Details

Reassessment will involve a take-home examination in the format of previous years (2 hours, 100%). It consists of one mandatory question concerning the analysis of an interactive system description provided, and one further question from two options which cover other elements of the syllabus.

Contact Hours and Indicative Student Workload

Contact Hours (scheduled hours per student over full module), broken down by: 33 hours
Lecture33 hours
Laboratory0 hours
Tutorial or seminar0 hours
Other0 hours
Independent Study (outside scheduled contact hours), broken down by:81 hours
Preparation for classes and review of material (including preparation for examination, if applicable)36 hours
Completion of assessments (including examination, if applicable)45 hours
Total Hours114 hours

Recommended Reading List

  • Interaction Design, 5th Edition, 2019 by Sharp, Preece & Rogers [required]

Module Pre-requisites

Prerequisite modules: N/A

Other/alternative non-module prerequisites: This module provides an introduction to major topics within HCI, is not appropriate for students who have already taken a full-semester course on HCI.

Module Co-requisites


Module Website


Module Excerpt

This module provides a basic introduction to Human-Computer Interaction, for Computer Science students.