The first part of this module aims to provide you with some insight into the complexity and diversity of human interaction with technology and user centred design – but it is not simply about computers! Every day we interact with a wide variety of systems, web sites, machines, etc. that sometimes help us to achieve our goals, but very often don't. This part of the module aims to identify and explain why we easily become frustrated and confused when using systems. It draws from philosophy of technology, psychology and empirical studies of interface design and aims to discuss some of the underlying principles of design and theories of human cognition.
Although designing a user-friendly web site is likely to be one of the critical success factors in developing a web business, a company wishing to engage in digital business (e.g., e-commerce, e-business, mobile, services) in general needs to address a whole range of issues, both strategically and technologically. Hence, the second part of this module will explore how the Internet and other digital technologies are being used for conducting commerce – including both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C). Furthermore, based on some real-world examples, we will investigate how these technologies are impacting or disrupting existing business models as well as creating new ones and how they are an enabler of globalisation. Also, we will learn more about online advertising, how to monitor and improve web site effectiveness using web analytics, etc.
The module will be taught by a range of methods such as lectures, indicated reading, group discussions and feedback from your own experience, analysis and interaction with computers, other systems and each other, and exploration of case studies/papers and videos. The learning environment provided will be highly interactive, meaning that in order for the course to be successful your contribution is as important as ours. Assessment consists of a group project and presentation (40% of the marks) and exam (60%).