KC7024 - User Behaviour and Interaction Design

What will I learn on this module?

You will gain an insight into a range of theories, models, metaphors and frameworks regarding user behaviour in information environments.. You will learn how these can be harnessed to enhance the design process enabling interface designers to move towards user-centred design approaches. You will develop skills in the practice of analysing, monitoring and evaluating user behaviour.

You will be examining in depth theories and models of cognitive, social and emotional interaction in the technological environment and you will be exposed to current research in this area. Quantitative and qualitative methods including sentiment analysis will also be covered.

Tools such as eye-tracking devices, which can be used in the endeavour, will be demonstrated and you will be given an opportunity to evaluate their effectiveness.. Methodologies such as participatory design will also be analysed.

Related ethical and legal issues will be addressed on such issues as accessibility and assistive technologies, security and data protection, privacy issues and information governance.

In summary, the topics you will be learning about are as follows:
• Information behaviour from theory of least effort to co-creation of content
• The user experience and how to capture it
• Cognitive, social and emotional interaction in the technological environment
• Interaction design principles
• Persuasive technologies and behavioural design
• Participatory design methodologies and why they are useful
• Reflecting on wider use, inclusion and equality of access
• Ethical and legal aspects

How will I learn on this module?

The teaching and learning strategy includes the use of lectures, small group tutorials, workshops demonstrating the use of eye-tracking and screen recording technologies. For distance learners, these workshop sessions will be recorded, so that you are able to witness these demonstrations. Distance learners will also have access to recorded lecture sessions along with the PowerPoint slides and notes used for these. Telephone tutorials or Skype calls will be arranged for distance learners. Students will be required to research, critically evaluate existing systems, as well as develop their own design ideas based on the concepts, models and frameworks discussed.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Tutorials, either face to face or by telephone or Skype, are an important aspect of this module. Some of these will be schedule for campus learners, while arrangements will be made with distance learners at mutual convenient times. Where possible small group conferencing for students based in similar time zones will be encouraged. Campus students will also be able to arrange tutorials on site with their module tutors, again at mutually convenient times. Queries can also be made by email and formative feedback may also be given this way in addition to verbal feedback. Finally, the eLP (electronic learning portal module), Blackboard, is used to provide extensive support materials.
In addition, the university library offers an Ask4Help service for you if you are having difficulty or would like some advice when undertaking your own research on the module. IT support is also on hand if you are experiencing difficulties accessing university systems.

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:
1. Have a critical understanding of designing and developing inclusive information environments, ensuring they reflect key user behaviour and interaction design principles.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
2. Synthesise in a systematic way the results of your analysis of user behaviour when planning and designing information environments.
3. Investigate and evaluate existing technologies from a range of user perspectives
4. Evaluate ethical and legal compliance issues and apply principles of security and governance in the design of information environments

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
5. Critically reflect on wider use, inclusion and equality of opportunity

How will I be assessed?

A portfolio of tasks and a 3,000 word evaluative report which enables you to put what you have learned in practice and develop your capacity for critical reflection both in hindsight and looking to future developments (MLO 1-5)

You will be encouraged to feedback from your own research on existing systems and share your findings. This ensures shared learning and provides opportunities for experiencing the issues that arise when key theories and concepts are applied in practice.

Ongoing formative feedback will be provided on a regular basis, so that you are able to recognise your progress and gain understanding in preparation for the summative assessment. Summative feedback and marks will be written according to assessment criteria that correspond with the learning outcomes. In order for you to benefit from the marking process, the feed forward approach will also be taken, so you can apply what they have learned about your own strengths and weaknesses in your future development (e.g., dissertation project).





Module abstract

This module will enable you to make informed contributions to the information environment design process, be it from a user or a developer perspective – you may find in some circumstances that you are both. The aim of this module is to focus on user behaviour models and look at how these can be harnessed to enhance the design process enabling interface designers to move towards user-centred interaction design approaches. Demonstrations of various tools and design testing processes will be recorded for you to revisit as you develop your knowledge and capacity for design analysis. You will have opportunities to obtain formative feedback as you progress through the module in addition to the summative feedback you will receive electronically for your formal assessment work, which is a portfolio of tasks and an evaluative report. This enables you to put what you have learned in practice and to develop your capacity for critical reflection both in hindsight and looking to future developments.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 2 years full-time (with advanced practice in second year)
1 other options available

Department Computer and Information Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2023

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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