PE7048 - Intelligent User Interfaces

What will I learn on this module?

At the cutting edge of interactive technologies we find intelligent systems. Artificial Intelligence (AI) increasingly allows interactive systems to work with autonomy, making decisions for users, carrying out tasks for them, and prompting input. As systems become increasingly intelligent, the challenges of designing interfaces that are transparent, understandable and accountable to the users become harder. In this module you will study the human factors considerations of designing, using and evaluating intelligent user interfaces (IUIs). You will study a number of application areas of IUIs, and will practice the design and evaluation skills of the Human-Computer Interaction professional to specifically prototype and evaluate an IUI in your virtual classes.

Taking a human-centred perspective throughout, indicative topics that will be addressed will include (but are not limited to):

IUI Design and Prototyping Techniques
Voice User Interfaces / Natural Language Systems
Agent-Based Interactions / Chatbots
Recommender Systems
Human-Robot Interaction (Industrial and Personal)
Job/Function Allocation
AI and Secure Systems
Vehicle Automation / Intelligent Transport
Home Automation
Smart Cities
IUI Ethics

How will I learn on this module?

Each module session follows a similar structure of Learn, Explore Further and Apply. All learning materials and resources are accessible via our virtual learning environment. Indeed, through the e-learning portal you will be provided with resources in the form of scanned articles, links of books/articles/journals, PowerPoint lectures, word document, video lectures etc. relevant to your module. You will be given an on-line reading list, but will also be required to create your individual reading resource as well. You will be using a discussion board to share your work and create a knowledge base for your peers. You will be also using Wiki (a learning tool on e-learning portal) to form focus groups on module submission and assessment criteria.

You will learn through a variety of methods. Weekly recorded workshops which will introduce key issues, topics and theories in IUI application, and hands-on practical skill learning and practice for doing IUI design, prototyping and evaluation work. This will be accompanied by a live group project in which you will respond to a client brief to design and prototype an interactive artefact or experience for social change. You will also complete a piece of desk-based research (essay) to motivate, document, and critically reflect on your project work.

You will also conduct independent study, as it forms an important element of the module. Independent learning will centre upon identification and pursuit of areas of interest, by providing deeper/broader knowledge and understanding of the subject through a range of learning activities that might include extended reading, reflection, research etc.
You will access virtual classrooms (available on the e-learning portal) for live discussions and virtual taught sessions, which will be recorded and stored on the e-learning portal. These online sessions are timetabled at key points in the module and will deliver relevant knowledge, information and direction for you to fulfil the learning outcomes.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

A range of approaches are adopted to accelerate your learning in this module.

During the first week of this module, you will receive information about the module and Teaching & Learning Plan. The teaching and learning plan (TLP) sets out
• Learning outcomes and overall module and programme aims
• Teaching, learning and assessment strategy
• Teaching schedule
• Directed reading references (text and journals) and core texts for the module

During this module your module tutor will provide academic support including:
• Delivering on—line materials
• Providing guidance in relation to assignments
• Development of key resources, made available through the VLE
• Assessing assignments and assess or review any other agreed summative or formative outputs as appropriate

You will be supported by a team of academic experts and will have the opportunity to discuss your ideas and methods. You will engage in a rich dialogue with tutors (and fellow students) and receive feedback on on-going work giving you the opportunity to respond directly and as part of your process.

Where appropriate, students may also be directed to engage with Study Skills +, or other resources offered through the University Student Support Services such as Dyslexia Support.

The Library is open 24 hours a day and E-Learning Portal houses all your module documents including your timetable. These services can be accessed on a range of devices

The module will also have an e-reading list which directs learners to specific reading for each session. This includes direct access to repositories, journal articles and other academic sources. You will also be provided with access to a significant set academic research sources via the Northumbria University library portal.

You will also have opportunities to receive formative feedback from your tutor in response to opinions you express and issues you raise during workshop sessions and face-to-face or online tutorials. These formative feedback sessions are formally scheduled at key points throughout the module.

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:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. Development and trajectory (History and Future) of IUIs
2. Understanding design and evaluation principles and techniques for IUIs
3. Understanding of specific application areas of IUIs
Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
4. Design, prototyping and demonstration of an IUI concept

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
5. Demonstrate critical engagement with ethical challenges of the application of IUIs in different contexts.

How will I be assessed?

This module is assessed using a single piece of coursework (100%) which assesses all MLOs.

Working to a brief set by an external ‘client’ individual students will prototype and present an IUI concept design demonstrating how they have considered user-needs and requirements in the development of a design concept – depending on the brief set each year. The prototype will be presented via a 3000 word critically reflective report which will further require desk-based research and demonstration of additional and extended understanding of the lecture material provided.





Module abstract

This module gives you a detailed understanding of Intelligent User Interfaces and how to design them. Indeed, as technology becomes more complex, it is increasingly common to use AI to enhance the user experience. Interacting with automated systems such as chatbots online or devices such as Amazon’s Alexa at home or even driving in an automated vehicle on the road, all bring users into interaction with ‘Intelligent User Interfaces’ (IUIs).

This module gives you the practical knowledge to understand the practical advantages and potential disadvantages of such technologies and the skills to understand how to design and evaluate them well, from a human-centred perspective, optimising the user experience.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 2 years Distance Learning

Department Computer and Information Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start Upcoming Intakes - Academic Year 22/23: Jan 23, Apr 23, July 23

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing.

Full time Courses starting in 2023 are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but may include elements of online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future. Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


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