CS981 – Design of Usable Health Systems

Credits 20
Level 5
Semester 1
Prerequisites N/A
Availability Available only to MSc Digital Health students
Contact 2 hour slot per week for online learning activities (lectures, tutorials, labs) in your own time (timetabled learning) | 2 hours timetabled slot for sychronous (in person) learning activities such as face to face seminars, Q and As and interactive learning sessions with staff and class members.
Assessment 100% coursework.
Resit 100% coursework.
Lecturer Dr Marilyn Lennon

General Aims

The class will provide a review of interactive new emerging technologies for health and care (clinical systems, mobile apps, wearables, sensors, monitors, self-management tools). Students will learn about usability, user experience, accessibility and digital inclusion and what these mean for the design of usable health systems. The class will provide students with the knowledge and skills required to employ a user-centred design process when designing interactive health systems from user requirements and analysis, to design and prototyping tools and to developing and carrying out robust evaluations of usable, acceptable and effective health systems and services.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the class, a student should be able to:

  • understand users and their context and how these should be considered in the context of user interface design and evaluation;
  • identify appropriate requirements methods and carry these out effectively to design an interactive system;
  • conduct observational studies of user activities and report these to a publishable standard;
  • conduct low and high fidelity prototyping techniques to develop an example interactive system;
  • assess interactive systems for usability using appropriate evaluation techniques, justify the choice of techniques and report the studies to a publishable standard;
  • understand and discuss usability and user experience issues in the research literature for emerging areas of digital health.


The class outline (lectures supported by an accompanying lab and tutorial for each) is as follows:

  • Design Principles
  • Usability and User Experience
  • The User Centered Design Process
  • Human Computer Interaction
  • Designing Interactive Systems
  • Understanding Users
  • Understanding Context
  • Requirements and Design
  • Low Fidelity Prototypes
  • High Fidelity Prototypes
  • Design Case Studies
  • Analytical Evaluation
  • Empirical Evaluation
  • Presenting Design Change and Insight

Recommended Text/Reading

The class will make extensive use of an up-to-date selection of ACM Digital Library research papers as well as various design documents and websites relating to health and care technologies and tools for design and prototyping.