SWEN303 (2019) - User Interface Design


This course addresses the design and engineering of user interfaces. It presents principles and guidelines for design and covers a range of design processes. It presents techniques for testing user interfaces, and considers a variety of user interface styles and interface devices.

Course learning objectives

Students who pass this course should be able to:

  1. Understand principles of usability engineering;
  2. Design a user interface following accepted principles and guidelines;
  3. Evaluate a user interface design, and interpret the results to improve the design;
  4. Integrate user interface design techniques into the general software engineering life cycle.
  5. Reflect on the quality of their work;

Course content

This course will cover the design and evaluation of user interfaces, including for desktop, mobile, and web applications.

Withdrawal from Course

Withdrawal dates and process:


Simon McCallum (Coordinator)

Teaching Format

During the trimester there will be two lectures per week. There are no regular helpdesk or tutorial for this course. If either are required they will be scheduled as needed.

Student feedback

Student feedback on University courses may be found at:  www.cad.vuw.ac.nz/feedback/feedback_display.php

Dates (trimester, teaching & break dates)

  • Teaching: 04 March 2019 - 09 June 2019
  • Break: 15 April 2019 - 28 April 2019
  • Study period: 10 June 2019 - 13 June 2019
  • Exam period: 14 June 2019 - 29 June 2019

Class Times and Room Numbers

04 March 2019 - 14 April 2019

  • Tuesday 15:10 - 16:00 – LT122, Cotton, Kelburn
  • Thursday 15:10 - 16:00 – LT122, Cotton, Kelburn
29 April 2019 - 09 June 2019

  • Tuesday 15:10 - 16:00 – LT122, Cotton, Kelburn
  • Thursday 15:10 - 16:00 – LT122, Cotton, Kelburn


There is no set text for SWEN 303.

Recommended Reading will be available via the Talis Aspire system.

Mandatory Course Requirements

In addition to achieving an overall pass mark of at least 50%, students must:

  • contribute in good faith to the final group project, as evidenced by regular interaction with the whole project group, and keeping the commitments agreed by the team.

If you believe that exceptional circumstances may prevent you from meeting the mandatory course requirements, contact the Course Coordinator for advice as soon as possible.


This course will be assessed via two Assignments and one Project.

Assessment ItemDue Date or Test DateCLO(s)Percentage
Assignment 126 MarchCLO: 1,3,425%
Assignment 212 AprilCLO: 1,2,425%
Project17 JuneCLO: 1,2,3,4,550%


Work submitted late (after slip days, without an extension) may be marked pass/fail.


Students have three slip days across the course that will be granted automatically. These cannot be used for group submissions.
Work submitted after slip days without an extension may be marked pass/fail.
Extensions may be granted by the course coordinator in exceptional circumstances.

Submission & Return

All work is submitted through the ECS submission system, accessible through the course web pages. Marks and comments will be returned through the ECS marking system, also available through the course web pages.

Marking Criteria

Marking criteria will vary for each assignment and the project and will form part of the assignment and project descriptions.

Group Work

Assignments may optionally be undertaken in pairs. The Project will be undertaken in groups of 5-6 students.
30 out of 100 marks for the final project is based on a group grade, this will contribute up to 15% of the final mark in the course as the final project is 50% of the course.

Peer Assessment

There is no peer assessment in this course.


In order to maintain satisfactory progress in SWEN 303, you should plan to spend an average of 10 hours per week on this paper, and 150 hours over the entire course. A plausible and approximate breakdown for these hours would be:

  • Lectures and Readings: 50 hours
  • Assignments 1 & 2: 25 hours each
  • Project: 50 hours

Teaching Plan

See: https://ecs.victoria.ac.nz/Courses/SWEN303_2019T1/LectureSchedule

Communication of Additional Information

Addtional information will be communicated via the course's website on the ECS system: https://ecs.victoria.ac.nz/Courses/SWEN303_2019T1/

Offering CRN: 17185

Points: 15
Prerequisites: COMP 261 or SWEN 221
Duration: 04 March 2019 - 30 June 2019
Starts: Trimester 1
Campus: Kelburn