This is a guide for students attempting Human Computer Interaction in digital technologies achievement standard 2.44 (AS91371), who are aiming for Achieved.

In order to fully cover the standard, you will also need to have done projects covering the topics of Representing Data and Encoding, and included these in your report.

Human Computer Interaction has the following achieved bullet points in achievement standard 2.44, which this guide covers.

Achieved: "providing examples from human-computer interfaces that illustrate usability heuristics"

As with all externally assessed reports, you should base your explanations around personalised examples, so that the marker can be confident that your report is your own work.

Start by reading these introduction sections. They will give you a general overview of what Human Computer Interaction is all about. If you read them last year for 1.44 and remember the material well, you can just quickly skim over them.

Everybody has experienced times where a computer system does not do what they expect and/ or they cannot get it to do what they want. A natural reaction to this for many people is to blame themselves. However, in almost every case, the real problem is with the design of the interface. In the field guide or in class, you will have learnt a lot about Nielson's Heuristics. If you think back on some of the times where you've had difficulty with a computer system, you'll probably be able to identify which of Nielson's Heuristics were violated.

In order to demonstrate understanding of Usability Heuristics, you should write a brief (around half to 1 pages) introduction to Nielson's heuristics, using a couple of examples (preferably two good ones, but no more than three) you have come across in your day to day life to illustrate your introduction.

Your introduction should do the following:

  • Summarise the purpose of Nielson's heuristics. i.e. why do computer scientists find the heuristics useful to know?
  • Include two or three examples of heuristics violations you've come across in your every day life. For each of these examples you should:
    • Explain what and when it happened (one or two sentences should be enough).
    • State which heuristic(s) was/were violated (give the full name of the heuristic - just it's number is not enough). Remember that there is not necessarily one right answer. Different people will come to different conclusions.
    • Explain why you think it was that/those particular heuristic(s) violated (one sentence should be enough). There isn't any one right answer, just write what you think.

You should not:

  • List all the heuristics (it's not necessary and wastes space/ bulks out the report unnecessarily)
  • List examples you were given in class or read about on the Internet (the marker is only interested in the heuristic violations you identify and classify).

Because this is an achieved only guide, you should follow the merit/ excellence guide for HCI instead if you are aiming for higher than achieved.

  • Do not include a list of the heuristics. It is not necessary.
  • Do not write about the cliché examples you have found on the Internet. Remember that the point of the standard is that you can identify the heuristic that was violated, given an identified usability issue.
  • Only use images if they are helpful. Ensure they are legible.

We recommend not writing more than 1 page for this topic for achieved. 2 pages might be reasonable if you want to include a lot of images, although should not be viewed as a target.