module specification

SM4015 - Designing and Scripting Interactive Media (2020/21)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2020/21
Module title Designing and Scripting Interactive Media
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Total study hours 300
150 hours Guided independent study
90 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
60 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 40%   An animation sequence and report (1500 words max)
Group Coursework 10%   A presentation
Coursework 50%   An interactive project and developmental folder
Running in 2020/21
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Tuesday Morning

Module summary

Interaction design is an expanding field concerned with requirements of end users of interactive digital products. This module provides an introduction to key theoretical concepts - user experience design, user-centred design, human-computer interaction and digital design approaches - providing an opportunity to put these principles into practice. Putting these principles into practice involves a process of understanding both design and scripting to realise the requirements of end users. The module’s subject specific skills will enable students to understand and apply the relationship between theoretical concepts and their practical application, with one component assessment involving a real client problem brief to design a solution around. The project development process will allow students to apply multimedia authoring and basic web animation skills to identify the effects of interaction design on end users.The animation assessment component will allow students to explore storyboarding and narration as an element of interactive design and develop necessary animation skills for the assessments. The module focuses on practical applications, such as through designing and scripting animation, which is being used more than ever for design in mobile media, not just for storytelling purposes. Practical exercises, lectures, demonstrations and field trips will aid students in developing subject- based, practical and analytical skills to produce an interactive product.

Module Aims:
● Introduce students to key theoretical concepts in interaction, designing and scripting.
● Examine the effects of interactive products on end users, through prototyping.
● Introduce students to particular animation and authoring techniques and their applications.
● Provide students with a broad foundation of interactive design development.
● Provide an introduction to design thinking as a central aspect of interaction design.


The module will be divided into two fifteen week blocks equally spaced across the academic year – the first 15 week block concentrates on core animation and design principles. The second 15 week block covers design methods/ methodologies and scripting.
Indicative summary:
1. Introduction to theories of human-computer interaction
2. Design methods
3. User research methods
4. User-centred design methods
5. Design stakeholder and audience requirements
6. Personas and scenarios in design
7. Proto-typing techniques
8. Iterative design
9. Interface design
10. Design evaluation methods
11. Usability
12. Media platforms and distribution
13. Multimedia Authoring and scripting
14. Animation for interfaces
15. Interactive 2d animation
16. Creating multimedia assets
17. Animation principles and techniques
18. Narratives

Learning Outcomes LO 1 - 5

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

This module will be delivered by a variety of teaching strategies, putting emphasis on student-centred learning. Teaching will involve a combination of modes, including lectures, computer workshops, tutorials, assisted reading sessions and study of specially prepared online resources. Visits to relevant exhibitions, client site visits, followed by discussions, analysis and presentations will also be included. Comprehensive, specially designed, online up-to-date support resources will be made available on VLE and updated weekly. The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) will be used as a platform to support online activities, facilitate formative assessment and related feedback, as well as a tool to integrate useful online learning materials. A blended learning strategy will be employed to enhance the learning experience, facilitate communication between students and tutors and develop collaboration among students.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
- Identify and apply appropriate animation techniques to visualise a narrative (LO1).
- Develop an interactive project applying key theoretical concepts in interaction design and user-centred design methods (LO2).
- Plan using relevant interaction design an appropriate design solution to a predefined client brief (LO3).
- Analyse appropriate design solutions to a predefined client brief (LO4).
- Evaluate designing and scripting tools in the design of a solution for a predefined client brief (LO5).

Assessment strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to expose students to the main issues involved in the processes and production of interactive products.

A) An animation sequence and report (1500 words min or max, with 10%+- rule in effect) designed to demonstrate students’ awareness of the subject, test analytical and practical skills and ability to communicate effectively.
(Weighting 40%)

B) A presentation covering what your interactive project idea is linked to reading around the course and project. (Weighting 10%)

C) A project work and developmental folder to test students’ skills in developing a digital interactive artefact using relevant authoring tools and user research methods that encourages analysis of the problems and issues raised in the production. This part of the assessment is designed to test students' creative skills and problem-solving abilities. (Weighting 50%)

Students may pass on aggregate.


SM4015 Online Reading List can be found at:

Indicative Bibliography:

Sharp, H., Rogers, Y. & Preece, J. (2019). Interaction design: Beyond Human- Computer Interaction. Prentice Hall.
Wells, P. & Moore, S. (2016). The Fundamentals of Animation, Lausanne : AVA.

Interaction design
Brejcha, B. (2015). Cross-Cultural Human-Computer Interaction and User Experience Design. CRC Press.
Buxton, B. (2010). Sketching User Experience: Getting the Design Right and the Right Design, Morgan Kaufmann
Cooper, A.,  Reimann, R., Cronin, D. & Noessel, C. (2014). About Face 3: The Essentials of Interaction Design, John Wiley and Sons.
Dourish, P. (2004). Where the Action is: Foundations of Embodied Interaction, MIT.
Goodwin, K. (2011). Designing for the Digital Age: How to Create Human- Centred Products and Services. Morgan Kaufmann.
Kaptelinin, V. & Nardi, B. (2006). Acting With technology: Activity Theory and Interaction Design, MIT Press.
Laurel, B. ed. (2003). Design Research: Methods and Perspectives. MIT Press.
Lazar, J. et al., (2017). Research Methods in Human Computer Interaction. Morgan– Kauffman. 
Lynch, P. & Horton S. (2016). Web Style Guide. Foundations of User Experience Design, 4th edition, Yale University Press.
Moggridge, B. (2006). Designing interactions, MIT Press.
Norman, D. (2002). The Design of Everyday Things, NY: Basic.
Saffer, D. (2010) Designing for Interaction: Creating Innovative Applications and Devices. 2nd edition, New Riders.
Shapiro, B. (2014). The Routledge Handbook of Embodied Cognition. Routledge.
Shneiderman, B. and Palisant, C. (2018). Designing the user interface: strategies for effective human-computer interaction 6th ed., Harlow: Pearson Education.
Snyder, C. (2003). Paper Prototyping: The Fast and Easy Way to Design and Refine User Interfaces, Morgan Kaufman.
Suchman, L. (2007). Human-machine reconfigurations: plans and situated actions, 2nd. Edition, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Collington, M. (2016). Animation in Context: A Practical Guide to Theory and Making. London. Fairchilds Books.
Furniss, M. (2008). Art in Motion: Animation Aesthetics. London, John Libbey & Co Ltd.
Furniss, M. (2016). A New History of Animation. John Libbey & Co Ltd.
Muybridge, E. (2012). The Male & Female Figure in Motion. New York, Dover Publications.
Roberts, S. (2012). Character Animation Fundamentals: Developing Skills for 2D and 3D Character Animation, Waltham, Mass. : Focal Press (e-book).
Shaw, S. (2017). Stop Motion: Craft Skills for Model Animation. Burlington, Focal Press.
White, T. (2012). Animation from Pencils to Pixels: Classical Techniques for the Digital Animator, Amsterdam; London: Focal Press.
White, T. (2013). How to Make Animated Films. Amsterdam, Focal Press.
Amsterdam, Focal Press.
White, T. (2013). The Animators Workbook Amsterdam, Focal Press.
Amsterdam, Focal Press.
Williams, R. (2012). The Animator’s Survival Kit. London, Faber and Faber.

Manuals/ handbooks (also available as online resources)

See online tutorials on WebLearn for more information and up-to-date software help, and