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FIT5152 User interface design and development - Semester 1 , 2008

Unit leader :

Julie Fisher

Lecturer(s) :


  • Judy Sheard


  • Julie Fisher


This unit provides a detailed understanding of user interface design principles and practices for computer-based systems. The principles, guidelines and theories of HCI in computer interface design are explored. The unit examines issues in interface design from various perspectives and how to manage this during systems development. It explores contemporary issues including: background and underpinning theories, guidelines and standards, design processes and implementation in practice, user interface evaluation methods, interface styles and componential design. The application of interface design in other environments such as virtual reality and mobile devices will be covered

Unit synopsis

ASCED Discipline Group classification: 029999 Information technology not elsewhere classified

Learning outcomes

The unit introduces students to the theories and principles behind User Interface Design from the perspective of Human Computer Interaction. At the completion of the unit students should be able to:

  • Understand from a management as well as technology perspective how the theories, guidelines and standards can be incorporated into the design of user interfaces.
  • Understand and apply the principles of interface design relating to HCI, this includes recognising good and bad examples.
  • Apply the standards, principles and theories in practice.
  • Develop and conduct usability evaluation and be able to interpret the results, identifying changes that are needed to a user interface
  • Understand the difference design considerations for deciding for the Web and mobile devices
  • Workload

    This is a six point unit which, according to University guidelines, requires you to spend 12 hours per week (a total of at least 156 hours per semester).
    The anticipated workload is:
    • 2 hours per week lecture and
    • 1 hour per week tutorial plus
    • 7 hours per week preparation, online contributions and assignments
    • minimum of 2 hours per week reading

    Unit relationships


    Before attempting this unit you must have satisfactorily completed

    FIT9004, FIT9003

    , or equivalent.


    FIT5152 is a core unit in the Business Application Development of the major and an elective in the Enterprise Systems Major of the Master of Business Systems, Master of Information Management and Systems, and Master of Information Systems

    Before attempting this unit you must have satisfactorily completed FIT9004, FIT9003 or equivalent.

    You may not study this unit and IMS5302, CSE3030 or CSE5930 in your degree.

    Continuous improvement

    Monash is committed to ‘Excellence in education' and strives for the highest possible quality in teaching and learning. To monitor how successful we are in providing quality teaching and learning Monash regularly seeks feedback from students, employers and staff. Two of the formal ways that you are invited to provide feedback are through Unit Evaluations and through Monquest Teaching Evaluations.

    One of the key formal ways students have to provide feedback is through Unit Evaluation Surveys. It is Monash policy for every unit offered to be evaluated each year. Students are strongly encouraged to complete the surveys as they are an important avenue for students to "have their say". The feedback is anonymous and provides the Faculty with evidence of aspects that students are satisfied and areas for improvement.

    Student Evaluations

    The Faculty of IT administers the Unit Evaluation surveys online through the my.monash portal, although for some smaller classes there may be alternative evaluations conducted in class.

    If you wish to view how previous students rated this unit, please go to http://www.monash.edu.au/unit-evaluation-reports/

    Over the past few years the Faculty of Information Technology has made a number of improvements to its courses as a result of unit evaluation feedback. Some of these include systematic analysis and planning of unit improvements, and consistent assignment return guidelines.

    Monquest Teaching Evaluation surveys may be used by some of your academic staff this semester. They are administered by the Centre for Higher Education Quality (CHEQ) and may be completed in class with a facilitator or on-line through the my.monash portal. The data provided to lecturers is completely anonymous. Monquest surveys provide academic staff with evidence of the effectiveness of their teaching and identify areas for improvement. Individual Monquest reports are confidential, however, you can see the summary results of Monquest evaluations for 2006 at http://www.adm.monash.edu.au/cheq/evaluations/monquest/profiles/index.html

    Improvements to this unit

    This is a new unit based on CSE5930 and IMS5302. 

    Unit staff - contact details

    Unit leader

    Associate Professor Julie Fisher
    Associate Professor
    Phone +61 3 990 32621
    Fax +61 3 99031077

    Contact hours : Tuesday 11-12, Friday 2-3pm

    Lecturer(s) :

    Associate Professor Julie Fisher
    Associate Professor
    Phone +61 3 990 32621
    Fax +61 3 99031077
    Dr Judithe Sheard
    Senior Lecturer
    Phone +61 3 990 32701
    Fax +61 3 990 31077

    Additional communication information

    Associate Professor Julie Fisher
    Room H7.42, Level 7, Building H, Caulfield Campus

    Dr Judy Sheard 
    Room H7.74, Level 7, Building H, Caulfield campus

    Teaching and learning method

    The lectures will provide material to stimulate discussion and debate where possible. Some reading will be required prior to the lecture.

    Tutorials will involve discussions, debate, critiquing and practical activities. There will be reading that students will need to undertake for the tutorials.

    Tutorial allocation

    All students should register for a tutorial through Allocate+

    Communication, participation and feedback

    Monash aims to provide a learning environment in which students receive a range of ongoing feedback throughout their studies. You will receive feedback on your work and progress in this unit. This may take the form of group feedback, individual feedback, peer feedback, self-comparison, verbal and written feedback, discussions (on line and in class) as well as more formal feedback related to assignment marks and grades. You are encouraged to draw on a variety of feedback to enhance your learning.

    It is essential that you take action immediately if you realise that you have a problem that is affecting your study. Semesters are short, so we can help you best if you let us know as soon as problems arise. Regardless of whether the problem is related directly to your progress in the unit, if it is likely to interfere with your progress you should discuss it with your lecturer or a Community Service counsellor as soon as possible.

    Unit Schedule

    Week Topic Study guide References/Readings Key dates
    1 Introduction      
    2 Theories, standards and guidelines      
    3 Interface design background      
    4 Componential design and interface design elements      
    Mid semester break
    5 Usability      
    6 Data gathering, task analysis and prototyping      
    7 User Centred Design      
    8 Evaluating and usability testing systems     Assignment 1 due, in class
    9 The Web, Web 2.0 and other interfaces      
    10 Accessibility      
    11 Interaction     Presentations for Assignment 2
    12 Guest lecture This lecture will only take place at Caulfield, no lecture at Clayton this week This lecture will take place only at Caulfield, 8-10pm, there will be no Clayton lecture this week. The lecture will be audio recorded. Presentations for Assignment 2, Assignment 2 report due
    13 Summary and review      

    Unit Resources

    Prescribed text(s) and readings

    Sharp, Rogers, Preece, (2007). Interaction Design: behond Human-computer interaction, 2nd edition. Wiley

    Text books are available from the Monash University Book Shops. Availability from other suppliers cannot be assured. The Bookshop orders texts in specifically for this unit. You are advised to purchase your text book early.

    Recommended text(s) and readings

    Norman, D., (1990). The design of everyday things. Doubleday.

    Shneiderman, B and Plaisant C. (2005). Designing the user interface. Addison Wesley.

    Equipment and consumables required or provided

    Students studying off-campus are required to have the minimum system configuration specified by the Faculty as a condition of accepting admission, and regular Internet access. On-campus students, and those studying at supported study locations may use the facilities available in the computing labs. Information about computer use for students is available from the ITS Student Resource Guide in the Monash University Handbook.

    Study resources

    Study resources we will provide for your study are:

    * Weekly detailed lecture notes and details of required readings;
    * Weekly tutorial or laboratory tasks and exercises ;
    * Assignment specifications and marking guides;
    * A sample examination;
    * Access to past examination papers through the library;
    * An online discussion group;
    * This Unit Guide outlining the administrative information for the unit;
    * The unit web site on MUSO, where resources outlined above will be made available.

    Library access

    The Monash University Library site contains details about borrowing rights and catalogue searching. To learn more about the library and the various resources available, please go to http://www.lib.monash.edu.au.  Be sure to obtain a copy of the Library Guide, and if necessary, the instructions for remote access from the library website.

    Monash University Studies Online (MUSO)

    All unit and lecture materials are available through MUSO (Monash University Studies Online). Blackboard is the primary application used to deliver your unit resources. Some units will be piloted in Moodle.

    You can access MUSO and Blackboard via the portal (http://my.monash.edu.au).

    Click on the Study and enrolment tab, then Blackboard under the MUSO learning systems.

    In order for your Blackboard unit(s) to function correctly, your computer needs to be correctly configured.

    For example :

    • Blackboard supported browser
    • Supported Java runtime environment

    For more information, please visit


    You can contact the MUSO Support by: Phone: (+61 3) 9903 1268

    For further contact information including operational hours, please visit


    Further information can be obtained from the MUSO support site:


    If your unit is piloted in Moodle, you will see a link from your Blackboard unit to Moodle at http://moodle.med.monash.edu.au.
    From the Faculty of Information Technology category, click on the link for your unit.


    Unit assessment policy

    The unit is assessed with two assignments, active participation in tutorials and the online discussion and a three hour closed book examination.

    To pass this unit, a student must obtain :

    * 40% or more in the unit's examination and
    * 40% or more in the unit's non-examination assessment
    * an overall unit mark of 50% or more

    If a student does not achieve 40% or more in the unit examination or the unit non-examination assessment then a mark of no greater than 44-N will be recorded for the unit.

    Further, a student MUST pass the exam, that is achieve a mark of 50% or above in the exam to be awarded a grade of C or higher.  If a student achieves more than 40% but less than 50% in the exam and has 40% or more in the non-examination assessment then a mark of no greater than 55P will be recorded for the unit.

    Assignment tasks

    • Assignment Task

      Title : Assignment 1: Practical design

      Description :

      In one tutorial students will design/modify some interface components to demonstrate the theories and guidelines covered to that point

      Weighting : 15%

      Criteria for assessment :

      A criteria for assessment will be provided with the assignment specification.

      Due date : During the tutorial class in Week 7

    • Assignment Task

      Title : Evaluating for usability

      Description :

      Group assignment and presentation

      Weighting : 30%

      Criteria for assessment :

      A criteria for assessment will be provided with the assignment specification.

      Due date : 19/05/2008

    • Assignment Task

      Title : Online discussion and tutorial participation

      Description :

      Students will be expected to contribute to an online discussion forum and to actively  participate in tutorial classes.

      Weighting : 15%

      Criteria for assessment :

      The criteria for assessment will be explained in the first lecture.

      Due date :


    • Examination

      Weighting : 40%

      Length : 3 hours

      Type ( open/closed book ) : Closed book

    Assignment submission

    Assignments will be submitted either during the tutorial on online submission to your tutor with the assignment cover sheet. If electronic submission is made, submit the coversheet in hardcopy to your tutor. The due date is the date by which the submission must be received/the date by which the the submission is to be posted.  The coversheet will be available on the MUSO website

    University and Faculty policy on assessment

    Due dates and extensions

    The due dates for the submission of assignments are given in the previous section. Please make every effort to submit work by the due dates. It is your responsibility to structure your study program around assignment deadlines, family, work and other commitments. Factors such as normal work pressures, vacations, etc. are seldom regarded as appropriate reasons for granting extensions. Students are advised to NOT assume that granting of an extension is a matter of course.

    Requests for extensions must be made only to the unit lecturer at your campus at least two days before the due date. You will be asked to forward original medical certificates in cases of illness, and may be asked to provide other forms of documentation where necessary. A copy of the email or other written communication of an extension must be attached to the assignment submission. The length of an extension will be partly determined by when the extension was asked for. It will be assumed that students have been working on the assignment up to the point the extension was applied for.

    Late assignment

    Assignments received after the due date will be subject to a penalty of 10% per day and Assignments received later than one week after the due date will not normally be accepted.

    Return dates

    Students can expect assignments to be returned within two weeks of the submission date or after receipt, whichever is later.

    Assessment for the unit as a whole is in accordance with the provisions of the Monash University Education Policy at http://www.policy.monash.edu/policy-bank/academic/education/assessment/

    We will aim to have assignment results made available to you within two weeks after assignment receipt.

    Plagiarism, cheating and collusion

    Plagiarism and cheating are regarded as very serious offences. In cases where cheating  has been confirmed, students have been severely penalised, from losing all marks for an assignment, to facing disciplinary action at the Faculty level. While we would wish that all our students adhere to sound ethical conduct and honesty, I will ask you to acquaint yourself with Student Rights and Responsibilities (http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/about/committees-groups/facboard/policies/studrights.html) and the Faculty regulations that apply to students detected cheating as these will be applied in all detected cases.

    In this University, cheating means seeking to obtain an unfair advantage in any examination or any other written or practical work to be submitted or completed by a student for assessment. It includes the use, or attempted use, of any means to gain an unfair advantage for any assessable work in the unit, where the means is contrary to the instructions for such work. 

    When you submit an individual assessment item, such as a program, a report, an essay, assignment or other piece of work, under your name you are understood to be stating that this is your own work. If a submission is identical with, or similar to, someone else's work, an assumption of cheating may arise. If you are planning on working with another student, it is acceptable to undertake research together, and discuss problems, but it is not acceptable to jointly develop or share solutions unless this is specified by your lecturer. 

    Intentionally providing students with your solutions to assignments is classified as "assisting to cheat" and students who do this may be subject to disciplinary action. You should take reasonable care that your solution is not accidentally or deliberately obtained by other students. For example, do not leave copies of your work in progress on the hard drives of shared computers, and do not show your work to other students. If you believe this may have happened, please be sure to contact your lecturer as soon as possible.

    Cheating also includes taking into an examination any material contrary to the regulations, including any bilingual dictionary, whether or not with the intention of using it to obtain an advantage.

    Plagiarism involves the false representation of another person's ideas, or findings, as your own by either copying material or paraphrasing without citing sources. It is both professional and ethical to reference clearly the ideas and information that you have used from another writer. If the source is not identified, then you have plagiarised work of the other author. Plagiarism is a form of dishonesty that is insulting to the reader and grossly unfair to your student colleagues.

    Register of counselling about plagiarism

    The university requires faculties to keep a simple and confidential register to record counselling to students about plagiarism (e.g. warnings). The register is accessible to Associate Deans Teaching (or nominees) and, where requested, students concerned have access to their own details in the register. The register is to serve as a record of counselling about the nature of plagiarism, not as a record of allegations; and no provision of appeals in relation to the register is necessary or applicable.

    Non-discriminatory language

    The Faculty of Information Technology is committed to the use of non-discriminatory language in all forms of communication. Discriminatory language is that which refers in abusive terms to gender, race, age, sexual orientation, citizenship or nationality, ethnic or language background, physical or mental ability, or political or religious views, or which stereotypes groups in an adverse manner. This is not meant to preclude or inhibit legitimate academic debate on any issue; however, the language used in such debate should be non-discriminatory and sensitive to these matters. It is important to avoid the use of discriminatory language in your communications and written work. The most common form of discriminatory language in academic work tends to be in the area of gender inclusiveness. You are, therefore, requested to check for this and to ensure your work and communications are non-discriminatory in all respects.

    Students with disabilities

    Students with disabilities that may disadvantage them in assessment should seek advice from one of the following before completing assessment tasks and examinations:

    Deferred assessment and special consideration

    Deferred assessment (not to be confused with an extension for submission of an assignment) may be granted in cases of extenuating personal circumstances such as serious personal illness or bereavement. Information and forms for Special Consideration and deferred assessment applications are available at http://www.monash.edu.au/exams/special-consideration.html. Contact the Faculty's Student Services staff at your campus for further information and advice.