KC6005 - Smart Technologies and Agile UX design

What will I learn on this module?

The module aim is to develop understanding of the user and their experience with smart technology applications through experimental design and testing to be able to make recommendations for improvements. To help achieve this, the module gets you to think about the bigger picture when developing experimental application tests for smart technologies; these could be changeable depending on the user environment which impact on the user and interaction with the device. This approach will help to galvanise the module aim, which will improve planning, and strategy when developing experimental test designs in order to carry out experimental testing of a specific smart technologies application, leading to recommendations for improvements to user experience and interaction design.

In particular, you will cover topics such as:

• Cultural shifts and trends in mobile devices and smart technologies.
• Techniques for analysing user behaviour and experience in specific contexts.
• Review of experimental methodologies.
• Experimental good practice.
• Design and implementation of in-context experiments to test user experience and interaction design.
• Presentation and evaluation of experimental findings.
• Making recommendations for future provision.

How will I learn on this module?

The module includes a combination of methods to support learning, including practical sessions, theoretical debates and guided learning. Topics will normally be introduced in a blend of online and face-to-face lectures, which are explored through practical exercises (helping you develop the practical skills needed) and guided learning activities. You will be encouraged to develop independent learning skills to manage experiments within the lab and field contexts.

If you are studying a Degree Apprenticeship you will also learn at work, by reflecting on your experiences and applying your knowledge from the module to your practice in the workplace. The classes will introduce you to theories and concepts and allow you to discuss with the tutors and your peers how these relate to your own work based experiences and practice. The workplace provides an opportunity for you to put your own knowledge and skills into practice and review your learning with your manager/mentor. The standard delivery is Newcastle Campus classroom based, however if your employer has a contract with the university that indicates you may study remotely then you will be able to attend the classes virtually. In this case, you will follow lectures via webcasts and attend online seminars / workshops. The use of Blackboard Collaborate (or similar) will be employed to enable this.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be given advice and feedback on your work and progress during the timetabled classes. In addition, the eLP (electronic learning portal module) blackboard is used to provide extensive support materials.

If you are studying for a Degree Apprenticeship additional support will be available from your work place mentor who will encourage you to reflect upon how you work and studies interact and complement one another.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
MLO1 You will develop a critical understanding of smart technologies and their UX design challenges; and the other to apply appropriate UX design to meet specific user context and technology.
MLO2 You will be able to deploy knowledge and understanding of techniques (some of which are experimental by design) for the specification of test requirements and design
Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
MLO3 You will be able to identify, apply and reflect on appropriate tools, methods and technologies to solve an interface development problem
MLO4 Apply appropriate critical evaluation methods to capture experimental experiences, such as user; context, mobility and interface experience
Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
MLO5 Develop and report on research informed enquiries into the design of interactive experiments within lab and field contexts.

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessments will be carried out through workshop exercises, making use of relevant tasks and scenarios. Summative assessment will take the form of an individual coursework assignment (2000 words in length) with experimental artefacts. This is worth 100% of the marks for the module and involves the test plans for an interactive system based on investigated user needs. Students design and develop a wireframes for a Smart-based application considering emerging UX principles.

Students will be given verbal and/or written feedback (as appropriate) for the summative and formative assessments which they can feed forward into the assessments that follow and into other modules.

If you are a Degree Apprentice and your employer is able to supply a suitable case study for the prototype mobile application then subject to negotiation with the module team this case study may be addressed in your assessment.





Module abstract

This module gets you to develop a range of application tests within a range of environmental contexts for smart and wearable computing devices; these contexts could be changeable depending on the user environment which impact on the user and interaction with the device. You will use existing smart technology applications to investigate interaction challenges in context using models of user behaviour and HCI to inform the investigation. This module is concerned primarily with understanding the user and their experience with smart technologies; thus, it will involve practical sessions along with application of theory relating to user experience and how we design systems that meet their needs. The module will help students develop key skills required for future employment as a UX researcher or designer.

Course info

UCAS Code G405

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Computer and Information Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing.

Full time Courses starting in 2023 are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but may include elements of online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future. Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


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