- Academic Registry
Programme & Unit Catalogues

ME30357: User centred design project

[Page last updated: 04 August 2021]

Academic Year: 2021/2
Owning Department/School: Department of Mechanical Engineering
Credits: 6 [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 120
Level: Honours (FHEQ level 6)
Semester 1
Assessment Summary: CW 100%
Assessment Detail:
  • Multiple choice test (CW 10%)
  • Prototype presentation (CW 40%)
  • Final report (CW 50%)
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Description: Aims:
This unit aims to:
* introduce User Centred Design (UCD) theory, user research techniques and ethical practice in user-research;
* develop expertise in analysing and presenting user data to support the development of a design brief;
* further develop students' ability to conduct design projects through the Design-Make-Test cycle;
* develop students' expertise gathering first-hand user feedback from design concept drawings, models, and prototypes through their design process.

Learning Outcomes:
After successfully completing this unit a student will be able to:
* Identify the best type of user research technique to use in a given situation, and conduct user-research in an ethically sound manner;
* Analyse the results from user-studies and use their results to formulate the design brief and inform design decisions through the process;
* Produce design outputs through their process suitable for evaluation by users.

Problem solving and analytical thinking (F/A); User-centred design theory, tools and methods (T); Quantitative and qualitative data analysis and presentation (T/A); team working (F/A); prototyping skills (F/A); presentation skills (T/A); written communication (A).

User Centred Design (UCD) theory (Chain of users, Cognitive and physical ergonomics, frameworks by Norman and Nielson); user research techniques (interviews, Delphi technique, surveys, direct observation (video ethnography), focus groups, immersion and participative design); and ethical practice in user-research. Quantitative and qualitative data analysis (transcribing, content/thematic analysis, software NVivo), and presentation techniques. Design process management. Prototyping and presentation techniques for design.

Programme availability:

ME30357 is Compulsory on the following programmes:

Department of Mechanical Engineering
  • UEME-AFB48 : BEng(Hons) Integrated Design Engineering (Year 3)
  • UEME-AKB48 : BEng(Hons) Integrated Design Engineering with Year long work placement (Year 4)
  • UEME-AFM48 : MEng(Hons) Integrated Design Engineering (Year 3)
  • UEME-AKM48 : MEng(Hons) Integrated Design Engineering with Year long work placement (Year 4)


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2021/22 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2022/23 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2021/22.
  • Programmes and units are subject to change in accordance with normal University procedures.
  • Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.
  • Find out more about these and other important University terms and conditions here.