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Interactive Systems Design

Short name: IRSD
SITS code: BUCI053H6
Credits: 15
Level: 6
Module leader: George Magoulas
Lecturer(s): George Magoulas
Online material:

Module outline

This module will not run in 2020/21.

Modern software systems are interactive and personalised and operate in a large variety of contexts. Systems and digital artifacts vary enormously in size and complexity and utilise a range of technologies. There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach that can deal with this variety. The Interactive systems design module offers an introduction to the practical issues of creating interactive systems and products from a human-centred perspective. It covers methodologies, techniques, and technologies involved in the design of high quality interactive systems, products and services, and techniques for reflecting on a design throughout the development of the interactive system. The focus is on the design and evaluation of interactive system rather than on the programming aspect.


The module aims to present a coherent introduction to the practical issues of creating interactive systems and products from a human-centred perspective. It covers fundamental concepts of interactive systems design, essential processes, and techniques for the design, development, and evaluation of interactive systems in different contexts.

On successful completion of this module, the student will be able to:

  • Discuss essential facts, concepts, principles, and theories of interactive systems design.
  • Discus fundamental issues relating to the design and implementation of interactive systems
  • Describe processes, methodologies and techniques involved in the design, implementation and effective deployment of interactive systems
  • Recognise social, ethical & professional issues and risk involved in the design of interactive systems.
  • Recognise specifications and guidelines to design interactive systems for a particular context.
  • Apply theoretical understanding of design methodologies to interactive systems.
  • Evaluate interactive systems in terms of general quality attributes and possible trade-offs within a particular context.


The module covers theory, methods, and techniques used for the design of interactive systems. Indicative topics are listed below:

  • Essentials of designing interactive systems: key concepts and how these are applied to different types of systems.
  • The process of human-centred design
  • Usability
  • Techniques for designing interactive systems: understanding the requirements, prototyping and evaluating design ideas.
  • Methods for understanding users
  • Design methods
  • Evaluation methods
  • Task analysis
  • Contexts for designing interactive systems: case studies of interaction design in contexts that are dominating the subject today.
  • Web-based interactive systems
  • Agents and avatars
  • Mobile computing


COIY016H4 - Systems Analysis and Design I

Timetables, locations and term dates

Programme specific timetables are listed in the handbooks available for each programme. Please consult the relevant programme page.

Enrolled students can find their personal teaching timetable and the location of classes on their My Birkbeck profile.


A two-hour written examination (100%).

Recommended reading

D. Benyon, Designing Interactive Systems, 3rd edition, Pearson.