Modules | CSCU9N5 | Syllabus CSCU9N5 | Syllabus Updated 21/07/16 17:09
CSCU9N5 - Multimedia & HCI Autumn 2016
menu Multimedia & HCI Autumn 2016














The module considers Human-Computer Interaction, or how computers and people communicate. This involves developing suitable interfaces so that humans can successfully interact with their computing devices: known as UX (user experience) design. Such interfaces make use of multimedia: graphics, text, sound, animation, interaction. The module covers technical aspects of multimedia on computers and provides substantial practical experience of using specialised interface development tools, processing of audio and image files, and developing multimedia applications.


20 credits at SCQF level 10


Must have taken CSCU9V4


UX: Designing the User Interface
  • Motivations for human factors in design: safety-critical systems, industrial and commercial uses, office, home, and entertainment applications.
  • The place of human factors, usability and interface design in the software life cycle.
  • Adjusting the computing environment to the user (accommodation of human diversity): cognition, perception and physiology.
  • Mechanisms of interaction with machines (I/O devices [mouse, keyboard, displays, ...], interaction styles [command line, menus, GUIs, VR]).
  • Usability, completeness, consistency: the design of the user interface
  • Evaluating the user interface.
  • Usability testing
  • Use of interface design tools
  • Colour and the production of colour on graphical output devices
  • Graphical representation and techniques
  • File formats of static and dynamic images: standards, uses, data compression, quality
  • Principles of animation: model design, animation design, production
  • Auditory input and output: standards and techniques
  • Quality of service and usability in sound
Multimedia authoring
  • Project design: setting up, requirements, navigation, storage, delivery
  • Authoring tools: history, comparison of different approaches, functionality and principles
  • Web-based authoring
  • Applications (eg. kiosks, distance learning, web-based)

The course also includes tutorials and a substantial practical component, which will complement the lectures. Practical sessions will cover the use of specialised user interface development tools, audio editing software, image processing software, animation software, and multimedia authoring software.

Core Learning Outcomes

After taking this module, students should have or be able to:

  • Working knowledge of concepts in human-computer interaction (HCI) and cognitive psychology issues as far as they concern HCI.
  • Analyse the user interface needs for real-world software systems.
  • Design user interfaces with a strong focus on the visual aspects of information presentation and human interaction.
  • Design and implement appropriate user testing of an interface.
  • Basic knowledge of the standards for representing audio files on digital computers.
  • Basic knowledge of the standards and issues concerned in representing static/dynamic visual input/output on digital computers.
  • Practical experience in multimedia design and implementation.
  • Knowledge of the tools available to produce multimedia.
In order to complete the module, you should be able to demonstrate the ability to apply related theory and techniques to unseen problems without reference to notes, to work independently and under a time constraint.


We strongly recommend reading:

  • Y Rogers, H Sharp and J Preece, Interaction Design: Beyond Human-Computer Interaction, 4th Edition, Wiley, 2015, ISBN 978-1-119-02075-2 (Older editions of this book are still reasonably valid).
  • Steve Krug, Don't Make Me Think!: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, New Riders; 3rd edition (2014). ISBN-13: 978-0321965516
  • D Cunliffe and G Elliott, Multimedia Computing, Lexden, 2005, ISBN 1904995055
  • DA Norman. The Design of Everyday Things, Basic Books, 2002, ISBN 0465067107

While undertaking this module, please consider the interactions that you have with equipment, both using computers and using other everyday objects (like cars, doors, etc). Try to reflect on what makes an object easier to use and in cases where it is difficult to use, is this because of poor design? If so, can you think of a better way to design it?

Further recommended reading includes:

  • B Shneiderman et al. Designing the User Interface: Strategies for Effective Human-Computer Interaction, 5th Edition, Addison-Wesley, 2009, ISBN 0321537351
  • N Chapman & J Chapman. Digital Multimedia, 3rd Edition, John Wiley & Sons, 2009, ISBN 0470512164
  • Steve Krug, Rocket Surgery Made Easy: The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Finding and Fixing Usability Problems, New Riders; 2010. ISBN-13: 978-0321657299
  • A Cooper. The inmates are running the asylum, Sams, 2004, ISBN 0672326140.


Assessment is comprised of one assignment (50%) and an exam (50%). The assignment will be the design and creation of a small multimedia application.

Module Requirements

To be eligible for a pass grade in the module, students must:

  • Submit the assessed coursework (assignment)
  • Attempt the examination.

If you do not fulfil the requirements you will be awarded grade X for the module. [See paragraphs 60-61 of the Undergraduate Regulations on Assessment]

Coursework extensions

Students who can show good cause may be permitted extensions to coursework deadlines. "Good cause" may include illness, for which a medical certificate or other evidence will be required. Students must request an extension by contacting the module coordinator, supplying relevant evidence, no later than seven days after the published assignment deadline. Extensions will be granted for acceptable reasons only, and will not normally be beyond such time as solutions and feedback are returned to the rest of the class. [See Section 6.2.6 of the Academic Policy Handbook]

Late submission of coursework

Coursework that is submitted late will be accepted up to seven days after the published deadline (or expiry of any agreed extension) but the mark will be lowered by three marks per day or part thereof. After seven days the piece of work will be deemed a non-submission. [See paragraph 66-68 of the Undergraduate Regulations on Assessment]

Repeat assessments

Students who fulfil the module requirements, but obtain an overall fail mark (0-39) are eligible for repeat assessment. In most cases, this will be a repeat examination (grade RE). In some cases, the Examiners may permit repeat submission of coursework (grade RC) or a repeat of both coursework and examination (grade RA). The mark following any repeat assessment is capped at 40.

Discretionary repeat assessments

In exceptional circumstances, a student who has not met all the module requirements, following the Main examination period, may be permitted a discretionary repeat. This may be a repeat examination (grade XE), repeat submission of coursework (grade XC), or a repeat of both coursework and examination (grade XA). The mark following any repeat assessment is capped at 40. If you are granted a discretionary repeat assessment but do not attempt it, you will be awarded grade X for the module.

In deciding whether to grant a discretionary repeat, the Examiners will consider your record of attendance and engagement in the module. Students with a poor attendance record will not normally be permitted a discretionary repeat.

Deferred examinations

If you are unable to attend the Main examination, you must apply for a Deferred examination through the link on the Student Portal. If a Deferred examination is denied and you do not attend the Main examination, you will be deemed not to have met the module requirements. [See Deferred Exams]

Attendance recording

Attendance at lectures, tutorials and practical classes will be recorded. If you are unable to attend a class, please email the module organizer, and submit a self-certification of absence via the Portal, if appropriate. The University has a policy of monitoring attendance. Repeated absence will be followed up in order to identify any problems at an early stage and to offer students appropriate support.

Computing Science & Mathematics, University of Stirling, Stirling, Scotland, FK9 4LA
Email - Web - Tel 01786 467432
Tel 01786 467432