CS209 – User & Data Modelling

Credits 20
Level 2
Prerequisites CS104 Information & Information Systems
Availability Possible elective
Contact Lectures: 40 | Labs: 40
Assignments: 60 | Self study: 60
Assessment The class will be assessed 30% by coursework and 70% by a two-hour examination, with exemption from the examination for students who achieve a consistently high standard in terms of the level of engagement with their coursework and the quality of their submissions.The coursework will be composed of three individual projects (totalling 23% of the final mark) and reports on problem-based learning activities (totalling 7% of final mark). All group assessments will contain an element of peer-assessment.
Resit The resit for the class will take the form of a two-hour examination. The resit examination will be designed to test all aspects of the course. The mark returned for the resit attempt will be based upon the resit examination alone.
Lecturer Dr Mark Dunlop, Dr Karen Renaud 


To provide the student with a critical appreciation and understanding of how to model user activities and the data to support them, together with how to implement systems and databases to support user activities.

Learning Outcomes

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

  • Design, using suitable annotations, models for human tasks, system interactions, data and database systems;
  • Design and conduct a range of usability evaluation methods;
  • Appreciate the importance of user-centred design and of key aspects of human psychology and physiology for interactive systems design;
  • Critique systems for their usability using a range of criteria;
  • Design and implement a database system, starting from an informal specification through implementation in a relational database management system to querying in SQL;
  • To show an appreciation of the facilities and services which should be provided by a fully featured database management system;
  • To demonstrate knowledge of commonly occurring data models;
  • To display knowledge of potential future developments in database and interactive system technology


  • Introduction to the Database Environment: functions of a database management system; data dictionary systems; database administration. Entity Relationship modelling. The Relational Data Model and its Implementations: relational query languages; normalisation. Object oriented, object relational and other data models. Distributed databases. Indexing. Web databases.
  • Modelling user requirements; human perceptual, cognitive and motor skills; communication theories; dialogue guidelines; screen design; input/output manipulation; dialogue specification techniques; iterative interface prototyping; accessibility. Formative and summative evaluation methods; experimental design and analysis. Case studies.

Indicative Reading*

* This list is indicative only – the class lecturer may recommend alternative reading material. Please do not purchase any of the reading material listed below until you have confirmed with the class lecturer that it will be used for this class.

Database Systems: A Practical Approach to Design, Implementation and Management, 4th edition, Thomas M. Connolly and Carolyn E. Begg Pearson, 2005, ISBN 9780321210258

An Introduction to Database Systems, 8th edition, C.J. Date , Addison Wesley, 2004, ISBN 9780321197849

The Design of Everyday Things Donald A. Norman, Basic Book, 2002, ISBN 0465067107

Human-computer Interaction, 3rd edition Alan J. Dix, Janet E. Finlay, Gregory D. Abowd, Russell Beale, Prentice Hall, 2004, ISBN 9780130461094.