Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Web Design and the User Experience
Academic Year
Semester 2
External Examiners
  • Dr Hong Wei (Associate Professor - University of Reading)
  • Dr John Hunt (Chief Operating Officer - Mallon Associates International)

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 30 x 1 Hour Lectures
Practical 5 x 2 Hour Practicals


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Exam 1.5 Hours   Written Exam:  60%
Semester Assessment Assignment:  Produce a web site that provides users and good user experience.  40%
Supplementary Assessment Resit failed examination and/or resubmission of failed/non-submitted coursework components or ones of equivalent value.  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Evaluate the features of a web site that should provide a good user experience.

Describe the ways that web sites are evaluated for ease of use and accessibility.

Describe responsive design.

Demonstrate skills in using the basics of a layer-based image manipulation program.

Demonstrate skills in producing attractive, accessible web sites.

Brief description

This course deals with the issue of how systems should be built in order to make them attractive, understandable and accessible to users. Principles of good interface design are introduced and applied to the issue of creating the user experience.

The course considers the big picture of user experience development, from strategy and requirements to information architecture and visual design, and also considers methods and tools for achieving good computer interface design.


There are 3 lectures per week which will cover the following concepts:

1.What is your goal? - 4 Lectures
Fundamental principles of the user experience. An overview of the user experience as it fits into the objectives of an organization or business.

2.What is a user? – 4 Lectures
Human cognitive abilities, attention, short-term memory, accessibility issues.

3.What is design? – 2 lectures
Principles of design, Standards. Checklists. Is your system usable and your content findable, desirable and accessible? Wireframe designs, paper prototyping.

4.How to deal with rich content for the web – 4 lectures
Your design will inevitably involve multimedia. How do you create attractive and appropriate material? Preparing photos, video and audio for use on the web.

5.Web site aesthetics - 2 lectures
Planning appropriate use of colour, typography. The Golden ratio, using proportions.

6.Beyond design: web analytics and your users – 2 lectures
How can you keep track of what your users are doing?

7.Responsive design and advanced CSS: the present and the future – 5 lectures. Creating dynamic changes to the appearance of a website - an approach to the problem of designing for the multitude of available devices. Designing for touch interfaces

8.Accessibility - 2 lectures
Discussion of the web initiatives to make web content accessible. This will look at international guides on producing accessible sites. Of particular focus for anyone working on projects funded by the public sector.

9.Internationalisation - 2 lectures
How do you make your site available outside the UK and to non-English speakers?

10.User evaluation of site design - 3 lectures
Making prototypes and getting feedback. How to perform an evaluation of a web site and improve it.

These topics will be addressed in parallel with weekly practicals with appropriate tools for the different topics, such as:

a.Office software such as Open Office or MS Office
b.Audio software such as Audacity
c. on-linear video editing software such as Camtasia or OpenShot
d.Layered bitmap graphics editors such as GIMP

Vector graphic software such as Inkscape

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
Communication In the assignment associated with the module
Improving own Learning and Performance
Information Technology In the assignment associated with the module
Personal Development and Career planning
Problem solving
Research skills In the assignment associated with the module
Subject Specific Skills Web site design, analysis
Team work


This module is at CQFW Level 5