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Academic Year 2024/2025

HCI Design Project (IS41350)

Information Studies
Social Sciences & Law
Information & Comms Studies
4 (Masters)
Module Coordinator:
Dr Kevin Doherty
Mode of Delivery:
Internship Module:
How will I be graded?
Letter grades

Curricular information is subject to change.

What makes a ‘good’ bedside ventilator, diabetic insulin pump, mobile therapy app, triage process, or experience of care? As advances in technology expand our capacity to influence our lives through digital solutions, so increases our need to understand the people, professionals and services whose needs and aspirations we design for.

The primary objective of this course is to enable the human-computer interaction student to engage in the human-centred design of technology, employing tools and methods grounded in human- computer interaction and design research theory. Working together in teams, students will devise and observe a human-centred design research process with the aim of producing an innovative concept solution to a complex real-world challenge presented by expert stakeholders.

The primary deliverable for this course will take the form of a visually-compelling portfolio communicating challenges identified, insights gained, processes followed, methods adopted and concept solutions developed during the project. This portfolio will be developed through interaction with and presented to the project advisor(s) and external stakeholders upon conclusion of the project.

About this Module

Learning Outcomes:

A student who has met the objectives of the course will be able to:

• Define and explain key human-computer interaction and design research theories and concepts, including methodologically and epistemologically distinct approaches to problem solving

• Employ design research tools, methods and techniques in interaction with diverse stakeholders

• Construct and follow a plan and process for the human-centred research and design of a novel technology

• Develop concept solutions to real-world challenges, explaining and evaluating processes and methods chosen on the basis of theory

• Communicate in effective visual and oral form project processes and outputs to pertinent stakeholders

• Describe ethical challenges in the human-centred design of technology and engagement with stakeholders

• Collaborate with expert stakeholders, among team members and across disciplines for the duration of a design research project

Indicative Module Content:

This course draws upon theory and methods from the fields of human-computer interaction, design thinking, implementation science, cognitive and health psychology, ubiquitous and pervasive computing, and mobile and wearable computing. The course will additionally focus on the opportunities and challenges of interdisciplinary approaches to problem solving and decision-making.

Students will learn to select among and employ tools and methods for the research and development of technologies targeting diverse stakeholders; from qualitative interviewing to concept, empathy and experience mapping, storyboarding and prototyping techniques within the framework of participatory, user-, service- and human-centred design methodologies.

Student Effort Hours:
Student Effort Type Hours


Small Group


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
This 12-week course will consist of independent project work - entailing need-finding, ideation and concept development phases - supported and informed by lectures on design research tools, theory and methods, regular interactions with external stakeholders, and weekly sessions with the project advisor(s).

For the period of this 12-week course, each project group – comprising four to five members – will devise and engage in a process for the research and design of a novel concept solution to a real-world challenge introduced by expert stakeholders at the start of the project.

Regular feedback on processes, methods and concepts will be provided by the project advisor(s) and obtained through peer discussion and feedback in parallel. Formal assessment of students’ learning will be made upon conclusion of the course on the basis of a final oral presentation of the project portfolio.

Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Group Work Assignment: Group Presentation of Work In Progress Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5, Week 6, Week 7, Week 8, Week 9, Week 10, Week 11 Graded No


Viva Voce: Group Presentation and Defence of Final Team Portfolio Week 12 Graded No


Portfolio: Submission of Final Individual Portfolio Week 14 Graded No



Carry forward of passed components

Remediation Type Remediation Timing
In-Module Resit Prior to relevant Programme Exam Board
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 

Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Not yet recorded.