module specification

SM5018 - Digital Media Practice (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title Digital Media Practice
Module level Intermediate (05)
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 20%   Case study
Coursework 30%   A Developmental Folder
Coursework 50%   A Digital Media Project Prototype
Running in 2024/25

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Tuesday Afternoon

Module summary

This module introduces students to the various areas of professional digital media practice, including more emergent technologies, holograms, virtual and augmented reality. It critically analyses key theoretical concepts, design and the different appropriate research methods to establish requirements of end users of interactive digital products. This module further continues to engage students in user-centred design approaches through different projects. The module deepens students' understanding of the relationship between theories of human-computer interaction, user-centred design, user experience design and their practical application. Practical exercises, lectures, demonstrations and field trips will aid students in developing practical and analytical skills to produce interactive products. This module aims to:

• Enhance students' understanding of digital media practice.

• Enable students to critically analyse and evaluate key theoretical concepts in interaction and user-centred design.

• Enable students to critically examine the effects of interactive products on end users.

• Enable students to establish links between social context and practice and digital artefacts.

• Enable students to carry out effective user research and artefact evaluation.


This module deals with interaction design theory and principles and allows for the development of a practical understanding and use of the latest emerging technologies for interactive platforms. These issues are studied in the wider context of emerging interactive platforms and user-centred design methods and the impact of interactive media on society.

Indicative summary:
● Theories of human-computer interaction
● Project cycles and planning
● 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
● Augmented Reality and Technology
● Usability and accessibility
● Media platforms and distribution
● Multimedia content creation and asset management
● Narrative and online story-telling
● Future and Emerging Technologies
● Communicating Emotion
● Technological Controversies and their Design Contexts

Learning Outcomes LO 1 - 5

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

This module will be delivered through a combination of modes of delivery, including formal lectures, seminars, workshops and individual coursework. The mixed-mode module delivery will be used to encourage a supportive environment for individual and peer-group learning.
A blended learning strategy will be employed to enhance the learning experience, facilitate communication between students and tutors and develop collaboration among students.
The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE: Weblearn) will be used as a platform to support online activities including evaluation of online resources, access to materials and electronic reading packs. The VLE will also be used to facilitate assessment and related feedback, as well as a tool to integrate useful online learning materials provided by research institutions, academic publications, professional organisations and other relevant sources.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
- Critically analyse and evaluate key theoretical concepts in interaction and user-centred design. (LO1)
- Critically examine the effects of interactive products on end users. (LO2)
- Apply user-centred design methods and best practice for establishing requirements. (LO3)
- Carry out effective digital artefact design and evaluation project work. (LO4)
- Apply appropriate user design project methodologies and methods for digital artefact project work. (LO5)


Sharp, H., Rogers, Y. & Preece, J. (2019). Interaction Design: Beyond Human-Computer Interaction. Prentice Hall.
Brejcha, B. (2015). Cross-Cultural Human-Computer Interaction and User Experience Design. CRC Press.

Additional Reading
Buxton, B. (2010). Sketching user experience: Getting the Design Right and the Right Design, Morgan Kaufmann.
Cooper, A. et al. (2014). About face 3: The essentials of interaction design, John Wiley and Sons.
Dewdney, A. & Ride, P. (2014). The Digital Media Handbook. 1st ed. London and New York: Routledge
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.
Irwin, S. & Ihde, D. (2016) Digital Media: Human–Technology Connection, Lanham; Boulder; New York; London: Lexington Books
Kaptelinin, V. & Nardi, B. (2006). Acting with technology: Activity Theory and Interaction Design, MIT Press.
Kennedy, J. (2019). Digital Media, Sharing and Everyday Life. London: Routledge.
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
Pell, M. (2017). Envisioning Holograms. Design Breakthrough Experiences for Mixed
Reality. Apress.
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. & 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.

Digital Communication & Emotion.
Taylor Design (2018). Who are the Emoji Police?
Guardian, The. (2019). Alexa, Are You invading My Privacy?
Verge (2018). Samsung’s Galaxy S9 AR Emoji are kind of horrifying.
Time. (2018). Artificial Intelligence Has a Problem With Gender and Racial Bias. Here’s How to Solve It.