Human-Computer Interaction (HCI)



2000 Assignments
(25%), Two (25%), Three (50%)


Present Assignments

Assignment 1 (2000): Seminar Presentation

Presentation Due Date (allocation by auctioning): Presentation: L4-GroupA&B, L5-GroupC&D, L6-GroupE&F)

Formal Submission: Monday, Week 13 (25 September 2000)

Weighting: 25%

Objective: The aim of this assessment piece is to accentuate communication skills either via class/multi-campus delivery (internals).

There are three parts of this assessment as follows:

1. To successfully organise and deliver a PowerPoint presentation on course content to an audience of other students in this course.

2. To critically analyse and review the work of other authors in their slide presentations, in terms of content and HCI constructs. Authors are required to respond to such reviews.

3. To review and reflect on the outcomes of parts 1 and 2.

Rationale of assessment piece

In order to create or analyse effective interface design for interaction and communication, the use of PowerPoint slides provides a powerful challenge. To create some form of dialogue between viewers and the medium, authors will need to have a good understanding of the content and principles of HCI. The authors will need to plan their presentation so that a good balance of graphics and text will create interest and understanding to the reader. Assume that viewers of your slides are from a variety of backgrounds.

Division of marks

(a) Seminar (15%)
(b) Peer review (5%)
(c) Reflection and Summary (5%)

Assessment Tasks:

All students are placed in teams of three persons. Each team will prepare one PowerPoint slide presentation with accompanying notes (use PowerPoint Notes). Internal students will deliver their seminar topic to other students in class, while external students will deliver their presentation to a small email group. All teams of students will complete review sheets of other presentations (one per team for each presentation). Each student will submit a summary of their reviews and reflect on the processes of teamwork, feedback for their presentations and improvements that could be made to their presentations.

Formal Submission (please submit as one piece of work for each team)


1. Paper copies of PowerPoint Slides with notes and email me the softcopy of the powerpoint slides prior to the presentation and on 9 October 2000 (if there are changes).
2. Paper copies of 'five' review sheets from your team for other presentations.

All students:

Paper copies of Reflections and summary.


Rationale for the use of teams

The advantage of the team approach is that there are three people to share in the development process of the seminar. Industry encourages the use of team projects, and with the global economy upon us, the use of email correspondence is a suitable means for discussion. Alternatively, chat lines may offer real time discussion. A chat line is available on the web page for 25338. However, we note that the advantage of email for this assignment is that you have a permanent record of your discussions.

Teams, Seminar Topics and PowerPoint Slides

Seminar topics are placed at the end of this assignment and are also listed on the web site under the link Assignment Details. Each week has 5 topics from which Teams may choose one topic. No topic can be presented by more than one team. Each team is expected to present an interesting viewpoint of the selected topic, provide examples to explain the theory, and use graphics and tables where appropriate. The authors need to focus on communication via PowerPoint slides, with attention paid to the aesthetic quality of the presentation, including colours, fonts and format of the slides. The use of the notes facility provides the presenter (or reader) useful guidelines for the presentation and background of the points of discussion. For external students, this format enables them to imagine your presentation style…

(b) Seminar Presentation, review and feedback

It is important that you review your mail account at least twice a week. The list subscription will advise each student of their team members’ email addresses and the week of seminar presentation. Each team will then choose a topic from the five available topics for that particular week. If teams wish to change their week or topic then they need to swap with other teams within the group. It will be necessary to update such changes on the web, so please advise me if such a change is made. The group lists will facilitate their own presentations. It is suggested that each team prepare their presentation for submission to the list by the Monday of the due week, as an attached file. It is suggested that a common naming format may be useful for the slides, as follows:

course_group number_topic number with the extension ppt

For example


Presentation format and timing:

  • Time of presentation is to simulate a live performance of 10-15 minutes
  • First slides must state the title of topic, week number, team members and date
  • Second slides should indicate the division of labour for each team member
  • Slides need to be numbered.
  • References are to be added as appropriate
  • At least one graphical image/table to be used
  • Limit length to 30 slides
  • Limit file size to a maximum of 1.44mb (zipped) 
  • All slides will need accompanying notes (within PowerPoint).

In order to review a presentation, both the slides and the notes attached to the slides need to be reviewed. It may be necessary to download the actual file. Please take care to virus check any downloaded files, before you use them.

Each week, following the team submission, all other teams in that group must prepare a review sheet and attach it to the list. It is expected that authors will respond to the review to support their arguments or to supplement question feedback. This is intended to simulate the internal discussion at the end of a seminar delivery. 

Notes for presentation/delivery: Refer  to Unit Outline Page 20-21

Assignment 1: Seminar Topics

The selection of ONE topic is required for assignment 1. 

Topic 4 / WEEK FOUR (4) 
1. Discuss and explain the role of evaluation.
2. Discuss the techniques of observing users, verbal protocols and software logging and
identify the advantages and disadvantages of these techniques.
3. Identify the advantages and disadvantages of interviews and questionnaires as data gathering techniques.
4. Describe and identify the strengths and weaknesses of controlled experiments.
5. Describe the role of expert reviews in evaluation.


Topic 5 / WEEK FIVE (5)
1. What are HCI issues that would need consideration when advising appropriate input
devices for specific users?
2. Currently there are packages to support speech recognition for data input for personal
PC. Compare and contrast this input method with other methods of input.
3. Devise a checklist that would evaluate the suitability of an input device.
4. Compare and contrast the visual and print devices. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of such output devices.
5. What is available in current technology to provide for virtual reality? Provide
examples of usage of this technology and discuss.


Topic 6 / WEEK SIX (6)

1. Illustrate three examples of different menu driven systems and discuss.
2. Illustrate and evaluate an example of a poorly designed form and a well-designed
form. Your discussion needs to be based on the principles of dialogue design (Shneiderman's 8 Golden Rules).
3. Compare and contrast direct manipulation systems and command line systems.
4. Define and discuss affordance.
5. Discuss virtual realities as a means of computer interaction.


Topic 7 / WEEK SEVEN (7)

1. Define and illustrate several examples of hypertext and hypermedia. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of these media formats.
2. Define and illustrate several examples of multimedia. Discuss the advantages and
disadvantages of this media format for computer interaction.
3. What are the educational issues to be considered for on-line learning?
4. What are some of the design issues to consider in creating a web site?
5. What social impact has the rapid growth of the World Wide Web made on society?


Topic 8 / WEEK EIGHT (8)

1. Discuss how 3D objects can be perceived in a 2D interface.
2. Compare and contrast the constructionist's approach with the ecological approach
towards interface design.
3. Discuss and provide examples of event-driven programming.
4. Identify the major component of a windows system and give examples.
5. The concept of the window working set indicates that it would be a good idea if we
could organise our desktops as a ‘room’ metaphor where each room stores our documents for doing a task on our PC. By consider the major goals of the system, discuss the methods, actions and dialogs required to implement the concept of a room metaphor.


Topic 9 / WEEK NINE (9)

1. Good HCI design relies on principles that come from traditional graphics design. Discuss the seven design principles of such design: contrast, balance, proportion, rhythm, harmony, movement, and unity.
2. Discuss whether current web pages comply with these seven design principles of
graphic design.
3. Explain the importance of good interface design for computer applications that
interact with people. Include a discussion of the relevance of traditional graphics design to user interface design.
4. Illustrate, with examples, the concept of graphical coding.
5. Apply graphics design principles to design an advertisement to sell your company's
brand of PC clone. You must include the product price, product features, company name and contact information.


Topic 10 / WEEK TEN (10)

1. Compare and contrast two different types of help systems.
2. Consider the design of help systems for interactive computer systems. What are some
important guidelines that should be considered when developing help systems?
3. Discuss help documentation.
4. Why is documentation of a computer program necessary? Discuss the different levels
and types of documentation and their advantages or disadvantages.
5. Compare and contrast online support and print-based support for help and
documentation procedures.


Topic 11 / WEEK ELEVEN (11)

1. Discuss the purpose of guidelines. Illustrate the difference between principles and rules with reference to the IBM system.
2. Discuss the relevance and importance of guidelines and standards for user interfaces
to computer systems.
3. Discuss how guidelines are generated within a company and then discuss how
international standards are produced.
Discuss prototyping as a technique for developing user interfaces.
5. Compare stand-alone software tools, with support tools for group usage.


Topic 12 (new topic)
1. Discuss the future trends of Human Computer Interaction. Constrain yourself to a time period (eg. 2001 to 2020 or 2001 to 2010 or even 2001 to 2050).


g-top.gif (311 bytes)

Assignment 2 (2000): Report

Due Date: Monday, Week 9 (28 August 2000)

Weighting: 25%,

Penalties will apply to late assignments unless an extension has been obtained from the lecturer.

This assignment has two parts for you to complete.

Part A: Screen Design and Evaluation (17%)

Your task is to design and test a paper-based prototype of a system suitable for the information kiosk for the National Parks Authority. Your assignment submission will be the REPORT you prepare for the Park's management. Some user testing is essential.


National Park System

The Timber Tops National Park, which is visited by thousands of visitors each month, wants a tourist information system that can be used in information kiosks in the park. The system will: 

  • Display maps of the area
  • Help tourists select a walking tour and then give details such as distance and approximate time to complete
  • Have important safety warnings (such as fire or other environmental hazards and restrictions on pets)
  • Give details of scenic attractions
  • Give details of services and commercial attractions (food, camping, restaurants, shops).

Submission requirements

The report will cover the following topics in the same order:

  1. Executive summary (max. 1 page)
  2. Overview of the system
  3. Description of the user-centred design features, plus User Analysis documentation
  4. Task Analysis plus Hierarchical Task Analysis (HTA) chart
  5. Details of suitable hardware specifications
  6. Four Main Screens (paper copy) plus dialog chart
  7. Reasons for design chosen
  8. Testing: Expert and user testing of screen designs and detailing your technique of evaluation and a summary of outcomes
  9. Discussion of Changes in screen designs
  10. Appendices: survey/interviews (if any), user analysis checklists, original screen designs and amended screen designs.

Note: An Executive Summary is a brief discussion of the total project, used to inform the reader of key issues without the reader needing to read the whole document (ideal for managers). An Overview Of The System describes the system itself and not the total project.


Part B: Interface Evaluation (8%)


Find an interface which you don’t think is particularly good – it could be for a conventional system or a World Wide Web site. The assignment will be more interesting if you can find a really bad site. Evaluate the site using a checklist of guidelines that you have learned about in this course. If you have a menu-based system, you might start with Shneiderman’s eight golden rules, then use guidelines for menus, colour etc. The evaluation (checklist) will be based on the adherence of the interface to the guidelines.

Submission requirements


  • Screen dumps or printouts of at least three screens from the (single) interface you are evaluating. (Do not have three different sites.)
  • Your checklist of guidelines with your evaluations.

For example:

One guideline might include
"Use terminology from user’s task domain"

Against this, you would indicate whether or not the interface followed the guideline, eg Not Followed. Users of this system would include primary school children. The word "exposition" in the menu is too difficult for them to understand.

Expected Length: about 3-5 pages excluding screen dumps.

g-top.gif (311 bytes)

Assignment 3 (2000): Software Prototype and Report

Due Date: Monday, Week 15 (9 October 2000)

Penalties will apply to late assignments unless an extension is obtained from the lecturer.

Weighting: 50%


Students are asked to develop an executable prototype. The topic of the prototype is the student’s choice. All students may choose either internal or external mode. Internal mode will present their team effort to class for review and discussion. As such, this presentation will be formally marked (10%), with review (5%). Visual Basic version 6.0 can be used, and it is expected that each project will include at least one scanned image or picture and one sound message.

Topic suggestions include:

(a) Application using a database

In the past students have submitted prototypes to explore family heritage, hotel accommodation, orientation packages, testing systems (multiple choice quiz) and so on.

One interesting site on the web is

(b) Kiosk systems

This is another area that is popular with students, particular students from the Multi-Media courses. Areas include tourist systems, banking systems, building design shows, trade show exhibitions, work placement systems etc. Internally, at a local level, we will be exploring a kiosk system developed for Beef 2000, by the interactive multimedia unit on campus. Links needed for this kiosk included cattle exhibitions, cultural exhibitions, tours, social and entertainment, food activities, conference and seminars. A map for each activity was a must, as well as time and date of activity. eg.

(c) Other

Other packages included instructional systems, eg "How to buy a PC" educational package, or marketing package for an organisation.


Important: There is a large number of students so we must be able to run your program easily. Make sure all files needed are on disk(s) or a CD ROM disk. It must run "stand–alone". We might have a different version of the language from you. Ensure operating instructions are very clear.


Submission requirements

You are to submit (hardcopy and zipped softcopy via email to

· an operational version of the program

· an evaluation of the program using five target users of the package

· a report including :

1. Table of contents
2. Executive summary
3. Introduction
4. System requirements (description, how determined, user analysis, task
5. System Design (how the requirements are meet by the designer)
6. Testing (especially useability, who tested it, how, data gathered)
7. Known limitations (include hardware and interface desig
8. Operating instructions (ie, how does the CQU marker load and run the
programs – installation and user guide)
9. Discussion and conclusions (what you learned, how you would improve the
system, comments on the development process).

The preferred length for Sections 1 to 8 is 2000 words, excluding tables, figures, appendices and references. Please put the word count on the front cover sheet. Section 9 is suggested to have a length of 250-500 words.

For both the report and the program I will be looking at quality rather than quantity. You do not necessarily have to submit a fully completed program. Parts of the program might just be a stub, with a message indicating this when you run the program, for example, This section not completed yet. However, at least ten (10) different screens must be fully completed.

All sections are to be completed by the individual student.



Marks (Total 50%)  will be allocated as follows:

1. Software Program 30% 

2. Report + User evaluation 20 %

Note that when marking the program, the contents of the report may be taken into account, for example, known limitations, usability testing.

g-top.gif (311 bytes)

Created on 17 Jun  2000. Last revised on 1 Jul 2000.
Maintained by Tralvex Yeap