XD4004 - Principles of Interaction Design (IxD)

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What will I learn on this module?

You will learn what is Interaction Design and the principles that are at its foundations. It is a design discipline that is evolving at an extraordinarily fast pace. You will learn what are the key points of the design process and how, in similar fashion to other design process, IxD is iterative and cyclical.
You will be introduced to the current trends and principles in IxD and some in-depth presentations will be given to you as well, on topics that are related to current research of the lecturer and the programme.
The whole module is setup to introduce you to the practices, skills and knowledge necessary to design interactions.
We need to design interactive systems products and services that include phone applications, games, Web sites and front panels for microwave ovens. The world into which we live is more and more experienced via interactions. These issues amongst many are at the origin of this module, which encourages you to understand, specify, design, prototype, test and demonstrate interactive prototypes. To do so, you will use a collection of tools and techniques that will be introduced in the module, notably interaction storyboard, rapid prototyping, flowchart, and interaction mock-ups. You will learn to become familiar with translating interaction designs into prototypes and demonstrations.

How will I learn on this module?

The module aims to give you skills in IxD and to consolidate your understanding of interactions. Weekly presentations will introduce you into the subject, with more specialism and depth as we progress through the module. Presentations on specific examples and on previous projects on interaction design will also be given as part of this module. Debates, discussions and your own contribution to the module’s presentations are the main avenue for your growing understanding of IxD. Exercises that are part of this module will encourage you to discover an interaction design that is problematic, you will then highlight its main shortcomings and propose an alternative solution. Projects give you the opportunity for a more in-depth work, familiarising yourself ith IxD methods, tools and approaches. This module encourage you to get better at group work and at following a design process that is cyclical and iterative.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Developing your ability to think conceptually and practically about IxD and to be comfortable with an interaction design brief are central to this module. In this regard, it will enable you to make informed decisions about conceptualising your interaction, designing it in terms of user experience, usability, building a conceptual prototype and conduct an evaluation. You are encouraged to go beyond the brief and propose a more complex or a more interactive solution.

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:
• Interaction Design as a discipline
Develop an understanding of the discipline, both theory and research and grow some expertise
• Interaction Design as a practice
Acquire knowledge and adopt principles, style, methodologies, standards that are contemporary and
• Interaction Design as a creative endeavour
Acquire knowledge on each of the IxD process key steps: e.g. Problem definition, interaction specifications, user identification and requirements, design concepts and ideas, design value proposition & communication, testing and validation, prototyping.
Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• Communicate, discuss and defend IxD solutions to professional and creative standards
Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

How will I be assessed?


In Part 1, you will work in a small group to build and design a website. The website will be central to your investigation into the principles of IxD and will house all of the group assets from this module. In building and designing the website you will examine key areas such as accessibility, consistency, perceivability, learnability, predictability and feedback. This will allow you to demonstrate that you have fully understood and grasped these important principles which you will then document and apply where appropriate to your website. You will also use screen capture software to create a video walk- through, complete with accompanying voice over. Each member of the group should also create a profile page on the site where they describe in detail their personal role within the group and what they have learned from the experience.


In Part 2, you will work individually to create a personal portfolio website, and document on this site a series?of design exercises. You will be asked to identify an interactive technology on the University campus, and engage in exercises related to (1) observing how people currently use it, (2) creating personas to explore potential users needs, concerns and aspirations, (3) generating new concepts using ideation techniques, (4) visually conveying the final design through storyboards and user journeys and (5) writing a 500 word reflection on what you personally learned through conducting this process. Documentation of these 5 items should be published on your personal portfolio site.





Module abstract

Please find details of this module in the other sections provided.

Course info

UCAS Code W280

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Northumbria School of Design

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2020

Fee Information

Module Information

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