SHE Level 3
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M3I622933
Module Leader Gianna Cassidy
School School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment
Subject Applied Computer Games
  • B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

User Psychology and Human Computer Interaction (or equivalent)

Summary of Content

This module provides an appropriate grounding in usability research skills and project work, advanced user psychology, and practical skill in using the latest technologies to capture parameters of user experience. The module focuses on the conceptualisation, justification and execution of a usability investigation. Lecture Topics include application of qualitative and quantitative research methods, individual report writing, applied usability testing, playtesting, measurement and application of emotional, social, physiological and cognitive parameters of user experience. The module will provide students with core understanding of designing, analysing, evaluating and reporting user experience in a range of everyday contexts.


Advanced Usability Research Methods -359 - Creating current Literature review of user research in stream specific area - Advanced Report writing - Critique and application usability methodologies for a range of mediums in a range of everyday contexts. Advanced Usability Design and Write Up -359 - Design of Usability Study in an applied context - Critique and application of measures and instruments - Robust Methodological design in light of current literature - Robust design and choice of materials for testing in line with chosen medium and everyday context. - Multi-disciplinary design - Function analysis & allocation to "human-side" or "machine-side" - Design solution iteration - Active user involvement. Evaluation Methods and Iteration -359 - Evaluation Methodologies - Laboratory Studies and experimental design principle -Expert based approaches: - Analytical Methodologies - Cognitive Walkthrough - Heuristic Evaluation - Pluralistic Evaluation - User Based approaches - Field Studies - User based lab studies - Playtesting Research Analysis -359 - Critique and application of analytical techniques in line with chosen medium and everyday context - Independent statistical analysis using SPSS - Independent Interpretation of data in light of current literature in chosen context. - Application of current data visualization techniques. - Interpretation of results as contribution to current literature - Knowledge transfer to bridge gap between academia, industry and practice. Critical appraisal and application of current User Experience Technologies, including: -360 - Eye-tracker - Face Reader - Q-Sensor - Galvanic Skin Response - Remote Usability testing

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module the student should be able to:1.Attain comprehensive knowledge and practical skill in implementing research methods and lab equipment. 2.Attain comprehensive knowledge and practical skill in the design, methodology, analysis, evaluation and application of usability testing.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The University 'Strategy for Learning' documentation has informed the learning and teaching strategy for this module. The course material will be introduced through lectures, while practical exercises based on the lecture material, will be given to students for their laboratory sessions. Tutorials will be used to help explain and elaborate on both the lecture material and the laboratory exercises. Lab work will provide training and mentoring in the constituent elements of conceptualising, developing, evaluating and rationalising an individual project. The coursework for this module will involve an individual in-depth usability study underpinned by industry support throughout development to final knowledge transfer of findings. The student will be responsible for conceptualising and carrying out the investigation, followed by evaluation, write up and practical knowledge transfer in relevant industry and practitioners where appropriate.

Indicative Reading

Marsh, S (2018). User Research: A Practical Guide to Designing Better Products and Services. Kogan Page. Bernstein, D.A., Penner L.A., and Clarke-Stewart, A., (2006). Psychology, (7th Edition) Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Gross, R.D.(2003). Key Studies in Psychology, (3rd. Edition). London: Arnold Publishers; 4th edition. Gee. J., P (2003). What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy, 1st edition., Palgrave Macmillan. Vorderer, P., and Bryant, J (2006). Playing Video Games: Motives, Responses, and Consequences. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Inc,US. Nielsen, J.,(1993), Usability Engineering, Morgan Kaufmann,ISBN: 978-0125184069 Rosson, M. and Carroll, J.M., (2001), Usability Engineering: Scenario-Based Development of Human Computer Interaction, Morgan Kaufmann,ISBN: 978-155860712 Sharp, H., Rogers, Y., & Preece, J., (2011), Interaction Design: Beyond Human-Computer Interaction (3 rd Edition), John Wiley & Sons, ISBN: 978-0470665763 Shneiderman, B., and Plaisant, C., (2009), Designing the User Interface: Strategies for Effective Human-Computer Interaction (5th Edition), Pearson Addison-Wesley, ISBN: 978-0321537355

Transferrable Skills

D1 Specialist knowledge and application D2 Critical thinking and problem solving D7 Computer literacy D10 Creativity, innovation & independent thinking D15 Ability to prioritise tasks and time management D16 Interpersonal skills, team working and leadership D17 Presentation skills

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Assessment (FT) 20.00
Tutorials (FT) 12.00
Practicals (FT) 24.00
Independent Learning (FT) 120.00
Lectures (FT) 24.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Course Work 01 n/a 100.00 40% Practically based Assignment