Usability and Human Factors in Interaction Design
2013-2014 - IMT4032 - 10 ECTS

On the basis of

IMT2072 - Ergonomics in digital media

Expected learning outcomes

The student, upon completion of this course, will:


  • Have comprehensive knowledge of Interaction Design
  • Have advanced knowledge of the term usability and its critical importance, as well as cognitive issues related to user behavior, and have specialized knowledge on a limited topic within usability
  • Be able to recognize, analyze, compare and apply various design guidelines (heuristics) and methods for expert evaluation and inspection of interface design
  • Have in-depth knowledge of various techniques for prototyping, and be able to apply this knowledge to the development of interface design and interaction


  • Be able to analyze, inspect and respond critically to usability with respect to end-users in the development and evaluation of interactive systems
  • Be able to discuss requirements for the design of user interfaces in digital media with regards to human factors and end-users needs, including people with disabilities
  • Be able to analyze and assess the appropriateness of various methods for expert evaluation and inspection of user interfaces
  • Be able to perform independent practical and theoretical work in interaction design and usability
  • Be able to analyse and inspect interactive systems in development and evaluation phases based on research-based and best-practice based knowledge of usability and end-users needs

 Overall competence  

  • Be able to develop an understanding of and reflect upon theory, definitions and concepts in the field of usability, and contribute to the improvement of existing designs and IT solutions and to innovations within technology and design


  • Historical perspectives on interaction design
  • Definition of interaction design (including emotional design, visual communication, contextual design, user experience, and experience design)
  • Theories within usability (including human-model processor, goal-oriented behavior and situated cognition)
  • Core concepts in usability (including definition of usability, mental models, affordances, constraints, mapping, metaphors, visibility and feedback)
  • Gestalt theory, interaction styles and interaction patterns
  • Human factors, human error, embodied knowledge, user behavior and strategies
  • Cognitive dimensions, such as perception, memory and attention, and the implications for design
  • Usability heuristics (e.g. Nielsen, Schneiderman, Benyon and Norman)
  • Multimodality and various forms of interaction (tactile, auditory and visual interaction)
  • Universal design, inclusive design and design for all: people with disabilites and the use of technology
  • Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0) and accessible web
  • Standards and guidelines for usability work (including ISO 9241-210:2010)
  • Prototyping (hi-fi/lo-fi, vertical/horizontal, evolutionary/experimental) and different techniques for prototyping (including serial and parallel prototyping)
  • Development of wireframes, paper prototypes, and interactive prototypes.
  • Expert assessments of usability (including heuristic evaluation, discount evaluation, PACT analysis and cognitive walkthrough)

Teaching Methods

Group works
Mandatory assignments

Teaching Methods (additional text)

Student presentations

Form(s) of Assessment

Written exam, 3 hours

Form(s) of Assessment (additional text)

Written exam, 3 hours (40 %)

Essay (ca. 2500 words) (60 %)

Both parts must be passed separately.

Version 1 of the essay must be approved (see Coursework Requirements), and new version (version 2) is to be handed in for assessment.

Grading Scale

Alphabetical Scale, A(best) – F (fail)

External/internal examiner

2 internal examiners. External examiner is used periodically, next time autumn 2013.

Re-sit examination

Next ordinary exam

Examination support

Dictionary - English/first language

Coursework Requirements

  • Portfolio submitted with compulsory assignments and exercises (must be approved)
    • Part-time students may replace mandatory group sessions with individual project (must be approved)
  • Version 1 of the essay must be handed in for approval
  • Oral presentation of version 2 of essay
  • Active participation in group assignments and individual exercises

Teaching Materials

  • Johnson, Jeff (2010) Designing with the Mind in Mind.  Elsevier Science, Burlington. ISBN: 9780080963020
  • Rogers, Yvonne, Helen Sharp, Jenny Preece (2011) Interaction design: beyond human-computer interaction. 3rd ed., J. Wiley & Sons.
  • Selected articles in a compendium.