module specification

SM4015 - Designing and Scripting Interactive Media (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
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
219 hours Guided independent study
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 40%   Animation sequence and report
Coursework 60%   Digital interactive project and developmental folder
Running in 2017/18
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-centred design approaches as well as an opportunity to put these principles into practice. The module will prepare students to appreciate the relationship between theories of human-computer interaction, user-centred design and their practical application. Practical exercises, lectures, demonstrations and field trips will aid students in developing practical and analytical skills to produce an interactive product. The animation sequence will allow students to explore narration as an element of interactive design and develop necessary animation skills for the second assessment.
The project development will allow students to apply multimedia authoring and basic web design skills and to identify the effects of interaction design on end users.

Module aims

This module aims to:

  • Introduce students to key theoretical concepts in interaction and user-centred design
  • Examine the effects of interactive products on end users
  • Introduce students to particular animation and authoring techniques and their application
  • Provide students with a broad foundation of interactive design development


An indicative programme of study covers the following:

  • Introduction to theories of human-computer interaction
  • Design methods
  • User research methods
  • User-centred design methods
  • Design stakeholder and audience requirements
  • Personas and scenarios in design
  • Proto-typing techniques
  • Iterative design
  • Interface design
  • Design evaluation methods
  • Usability
  • Media platforms and distribution
  • Multimedia Authoring and scripting
  • Animation for interfaces
  • Interactive 2d animation
  • Creating multimedia assets
  • Animation principles and techniques
  • Narration

Learning and teaching

This module will be delivered through a combination of modes of delivery. Each week there will be a three-hour lab session and a one-hour lecture or seminar. These sessions will consist of case studies, discussions and demonstrations of production and research techniques and their application. In addition, support to individuals and smaller groups will be provided through tutorial sessions and via email. Lecture notes, web links and appropriate continuous formative feedback tools will be made available on the VLR. Students will be encouraged to experiment and develop strategies for their assessments during the workshops in a studio atmosphere and in their self-directed study time and discuss those with tutors and peers. This allows for formative feedback opportunities to improve summative assessment tasks. Attendance at all sessions is essential to fulfil the work requirements.


Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to

1. Identify and apply appropriate animation techniques to visualise a narrative
2. Develop an interactive project applying key theoretical concepts in interaction design and user-centred design methods

Assessment strategy

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

A) 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 60%)

B) An animation sequence and report (1000 word) designed to demonstrate students’ awareness of the subject, test analytical and practical skills and ability to communicate effectively.
(Weighting 40%)

Students may pass on aggregate


• Buxton, B. (2007) Sketching user experience: Getting the Design Right and the Right Design, N-Y: Morgan Kaufmann.
• Cooper, A. et al. (2007) About face 3: The essentials of interaction design, N-Y: John Wiley and Sons.
• Dourish, P. (2004) Where the action is: Foundations of embodied interaction, Cambridge: MIT Press.
• Kaptelinin, V. and Nardi, B. (2006) Acting with technology: Activity Theory and Interaction Design, Cambridge: MIT Press.
• Laurel, B. ed. (2003) Design Research: Methods and Perspectives. Cambridge: MIT Press.
• Moggridge, B. (2006) Designing interactions, Cambridge: MIT Press.
• Norman, D. (2002) The design of everyday things, NY: Basic Books.
• Preece, J. et. al. (2002) Interaction Design, N-Y: John Wiley and Sons Ltd.
• Roberts, S. (2011) Character animation fundamentals: developing skills for 2D and 3D character animation, Waltham, Mass. : Focal Press
• Saffer, D. (2009) Designing for Interaction: Creating Innovative Applications and Devices 2nd edition, N-Y: New Riders.
• Shneiderman, B. and Palisant, C. (2010) Designing the user interface: strategies for effective human-computer interaction 5th ed., N-Y; Harlow : Pearson Education.
• Snyder, C. (2003) Paper Prototyping: The Fast and Easy Way to Design and Refine User Interfaces, N-Y: Morgan Kaufman.
• Suchman, L. (2007) Human-machine reconfigurations: plans and situated actions, 2nd. Edition, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
• Wells, P. (2006) The fundamentals of animation, Lausanne : AVA (e-book)
• White, T. (2006) Animation from pencils to pixels: classical techniques for the digital animator, Amsterdam; London: Focal Press