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Usability Evaluation Methods (INFO20004)

Undergraduate level 2Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 2
Subject codeINFO20004
Semester 2
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date


How do we know if our digital designs will be usable and useful when people take them up in their work or social lives? Poor designs lead to errors and frustration and result in a substantial waste of money and resources. It is crucial that digital designers carefully evaluate and iterate their designs throughout a well-structured process. In this subject, students will build on the foundational material from the preqrequisite subject Fundamentals of Interaction Design to learn the key industry methods and tools used to conduct usability evaluations and develop understanding about when these methods should be applied and how to interpret their findings.


  • Theoretical foundations of usability evaluation
  • Usability and user experience
  • Lab-based evaluation methods (e.g., observation, eye-tracking, think aloud)
  • Field studies / “in the wild” evaluations
  • Expert- and user-based evaluations
  • Analysis of usability evaluation data

Intended learning outcomes


On completion of this subject the student is expected to:

  1. Have an understanding of a broad range of evaluation methods for digital technologies in terms of their strengths and limits; including ethnographic field study, user surveys, field experiments, laboratory experiments, user experience trials.
  2. Have an understanding of the different types of data of technology use and how to interpret them, including field observations, interviews, online use-logs, measurements of errors and efficacy.
  3. Have knowledge of the contemporary tools and environments for the design and evaluation of interactive systems, including those of the industry-standard usability-testing laboratory.
  4. Be able to interpret and analyse evaluation data to inform further design and development.

Generic skills

On completion of this subject, students should have developed the following generic skills:

  • An ability to undertake problem identification, formulation and solution
  • The capacity to solve problems, including the collection and evaluation of information
  • The ability to communicate designs and design thinking
  • The ability to analyse and report different forms of data
  • The capacity for critical and independent thought and reflection
  • Profound respect for truth and intellectual integrity, and for the ethics of scholarship
  • An expectation of the need to undertake lifelong learning, and the capacity to do so

Last updated: 21 May 2019