User-centred Design

RMIT University Vietnam

Course Description

  • Course Name

    User-centred Design

  • Host University

    RMIT University Vietnam

  • Location

    Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

  • Area of Study

    Computer Info Systems, Computer Science, Information Technologies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • Host University Units

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Course Description

    This is an introductory course to user-centred design and usability experience; consequently, if you have already completed User Interface Design or User Interface Programming, you do not need to take this course.

    User-centred design is a design methodology that focuses on the needs of end users, limitations of end users, preferences of end users, and business objectives. This course is concerned with the development of interactive systems with a strong focus on user-centred design and usability principles. You will learn what characteristics of a user interface can make it easy or hard for people to use, and how to design user interfaces that take into account human capabilities and constraints. The emphasis will be on design first (iteratively, on paper or with prototyping tools). The design principles you learn here will be applied in the follow up courses in web and mobile application development.



    Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

    Program Learning Outcomes

    This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs) for BP094 - Bachelor of Computer Science, BP162 - Bachelor of Information Technology, BP232 – Bachelor of Technology (Computing Studies), BP096 - Bachelor of Software Engineering

    This course contributes to the following program learning outcomes:

    Enabling Knowledge:

    • You will gain skills as you apply knowledge effectively in diverse contexts.
    • Critical Analysis:-- analyse and model requirements and constraints for the purpose of designing and implementing software artefacts and IT systems
    • -- evaluate and compare designs of software artefacts and IT systems on the basis of organisational and user requirements.

    You will learn to accurately and objectively examine and consider computer science and information technology (IT) topics, evidence, or situations, in particular to:

    Problem Solving:

    • Your capability to analyse problems and synthesise suitable solutions will be extended as you learn to: design and implement software solutions that accommodate specified requirements and constraints, based on analysis or modelling or requirements specification.


    • You will learn to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences through a range of modes and media, in particular to: present a clear, coherent and independent exposition of software applications, alternative IT solutions, and decision recommendations to both IT and non-IT personnel via technical reports of professional standard and technical presentations.

    Team Work:

    • You will learn to work as an effective and productive team member in a range of professional and social situations, in particular to: work effectively in different roles, to form, manage, and successfully produce outcomes from teams, whose members may have diverse cultural backgrounds and life circumstances, and differing levels of technical expertise.



    Course Learning Outcomes

    Upon successful completion of this course you should be able to:

    • analyse users’ needs, usability goals and user experience goals of a small-to-medium-sized software application
    • understand the components of a design plan and apply user-centred design process from requirement gathering to user studies and evaluation
    • critically analyse usability of sample interfaces and identify key features that make an outstanding user-centred interface, and evaluate the usability of a small-to-medium-sized software application
    • create a ‘usability checklist’ that enhances the usability of a web or mobile application, in order to summarize and explain usability concepts, relevant alternatives, and decision recommendations to your peers and IT specialists
    • apply software and paper prototyping tools to design user interfaces that take into account human capabilities and constraints, users’ needs, usability goals and user experience goals
    • synthesize the design and evaluation of various components of user interface effectively in teams in and peer-review team members’ works and contributions.


    Overview of Learning Activities

    The learning activities included in this course are:

    • The core material of the course will be presented in a series of lectures, where content will be described and illustrated with demonstrations and examples. Particularly when elements of interface design are presented, the lectures will include class discussion.
    • Reinforcement of lecture content will take place in tutorials with a focus on problem solving providing practice in the application of theory and procedures, and allowing exploration of concepts with teaching staff and your fellow students. The tutorials will also provide you with feedback on your progress and understanding.
    • Practical assignments that will test your application of knowledge by getting you to critique existing user interfaces as well as design and prototyping a new interface to an existing system.
    • Your private study, working through course materials and suggested wider reading will help you gain practice at solving conceptual and technical problems.


    A total of 120 hours of study is expected during this course, comprising:

    • Teacher-directed hours (48 hours): lectures, tutorials and laboratory sessions. Each week there will be 2 hours of lecture and tutorial plus 2 hours of computer laboratory work. You are encouraged to participate during lectures through asking questions, commenting on the lecture material based on your own experiences and through presenting solutions to written exercises. The tutorial / laboratory sessions will introduce you to the tools necessary to undertake the assignment work.
    • Student-directed hours (72 hours): You are expected to be self-directed, studying independently outside class.


    Overview of Learning Resources

    You will make extensive use of computer laboratories and relevant software provided by the School. You will be able to access course information and learning materials through myRMIT and may be provided with copies of additional materials in class or via email. Lists of relevant reference texts, resources in the library and freely accessible Internet sites will be provided.

    The course is supported by the Blackboard learning management system which provides specific learning resources. See the RMIT Library Guide at


    Overview of Assessment

    Note: This course has no hurdle requirements. The assessment for this course comprises:

    Assessment Tasks

    Assessment Task 1: Practical Group Project Assignments

    Weighting 35%

    This assessment task supports CLOs 1-6

    Assessment Task 2: Mid-Semester Test

    Weighting 15%

    This assessment task supports CLOs 2-5


    Assessment Task 3: Examination

    Weighting 50%

    This assessment task supports CLOs 1-5


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