Note: This unit version is currently under review and is subject to change!

INFO2222: Computing 2 Usability and Security (2019 - Semester 1)

Download UoS Outline

Unit: INFO2222: Computing 2 Usability and Security (6 CP)
Mode: Normal-Day
On Offer: Yes
Level: Intermediate
Faculty/School: School of Computer Science
Unit Coordinator/s: Dr Withana, Anusha
Session options: Semester 1
Versions for this Unit:
Campus: Camperdown/Darlington
Pre-Requisites: (INFO1103 OR INFO1105 OR INFO1905 OR INFO1113) AND (INFO1111 OR INFO1711 OR ENGG1111 OR ENGD1000).
Brief Handbook Description: This unit provides an integrated treatment of two critical topics for a computing professional: human computer interaction (HCI) and security. The techniques and core ideas of HCI will be studied with a particular focus on examples and case studies from real world systems. This unit builds the students’ awareness of the deep challenges in creating computing systems that can meet people’s needs for both HCI and security. It will develop basic skills to evaluate systems for their effectiveness in meeting people’s needs within the contexts of their use, building knowledge of common mistakes in systems, and approaches to avoid those mistakes.
Assumed Knowledge: None.
Lecturer/s: Robertson, Alan
Burridge, Joshua
Timetable: INFO2222 Timetable
Time Commitment:
# Activity Name Hours per Week Sessions per Week Weeks per Semester
1 Lecture 2.00 1 13
2 Laboratory 2.00 1 13
3 Independent Study 2.00 1 13
4 Project Work - own time 4.00 1 13
T&L Activities: There will be self-test online quizzes available. The laboratory class consolidates the lecture and provides opportunities for small group activities and work on the larger assignments.

Learning outcomes are the key abilities and knowledge that will be assessed in this unit. They are listed according to the course goal supported by each. See Assessment Tab for details how each outcome is assessed.

(7) Project and Team Skills (Level 2)
1. Work effectively in a team
(8) Professional Effectiveness and Ethical Conduct (Level 2)
2. Understanding of balance between risk, achieved security, and cost; experience with threat modelling and risk analysis as tools to choose this balance for a given system.
(6) Communication and Inquiry/ Research (Level 2)
3. Produce written reports that evaluate a web site for usability and security
4. Experience building a prototype interface, and learning aspects of it independently from provided resources
(4) Design (Level 2)
5. Knowledge of design guidelines and how to apply them to design user interfaces
6. Ability to use iterative prototyping, with design and evaluation cycles, to explore a design space
(2) Engineering/ IT Specialisation (Level 3)
7. Knowledge of a core set of cognitive, physiological, organisational, and other key human factors and their implications for interface design.
8. Awareness of the major challenges for designing effective user interfaces, including factors associated with individual users, cultural and organisational contexts
9. Ability to evaluate interfaces, following a user-based technique
10. Understanding of common security terminology in security literature
11. Knowledge of different ways in which security of computer systems can be compromised, e.g. physically, remotely, operationally (esp. social engineering); and ability to relate specific attack scenarios to the major security goals such as authentication, integrity, secrecy, non-repudiation
12. Awareness of major challenges for security of programs, information, computers and networks, and ability to avoid most egregious (typical) flaws in designing and operating IT systems
13. High-level knowledge of common approaches to achieve security goals in computer systems (environment control, communications security and OS security, secure operational practices).
Assessment Methods:
# Name Group Weight Due Week Outcomes
1 Quizzes on security and usability topics No 0.00 Multiple Weeks 5, 6, 7, 8, 9,
2 Mini-assignments No 10.00 Multiple Weeks 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13,
3 Usability Assessed Quiz No 10.00 Week 5 5, 6, 7, 8, 9,
4 Assignment 1 Yes 10.00 Week 7 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9,
5 Assignment 2 Yes 10.00 Week 10 1, 11, 12, 13,
6 Assignment 3 Yes 10.00 Week 13 1, 2, 3, 10, 11, 12, 13,
7 Final exam No 50.00 Exam Period 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13,
Assessment Description: The first set of online quizzes, for the security and usability topics, are for self-assessment during classes. They will later be available for practice and they will be used in the Week 5 quiz.

Mini-assignments for usability are preparation for the tutorial.

Mini-assignments for security are extensions of tutorial and lecture content.

Assignment 1 is based around iteratively designing an interface and implementing this in a real world setting.

Assignment 2 and 3 continue the work of assignment 1 and add security requirements to the first assignment.
Grade Type Description
Standards Based Assessment Final grades in this unit are awarded at levels of HD for High Distinction, DI (previously D) for Distinction, CR for Credit, PS (previously P) for Pass and FA (previously F) for Fail as defined by University of Sydney Assessment Policy. Details of the Assessment Policy are available on the Policies website at . Standards for grades in individual assessment tasks and the summative method for obtaining a final mark in the unit will be set out in a marking guide supplied by the unit coordinator.
Minimum Pass Requirement It is a policy of the School of Computer Science that in order to pass this unit, a student must achieve at least 40% in the written examination. For subjects without a final exam, the 40% minimum requirement applies to the corresponding major assessment component specified by the lecturer. A student must also achieve an overall final mark of 50 or more. Any student not meeting these requirements may be given a maximum final mark of no more than 45 regardless of their average.
Policies & Procedures: IMPORTANT: School policy relating to Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism.

In assessing a piece of submitted work, the School of Computer Science may reproduce it entirely, may provide a copy to another member of faculty, and/or to an external plagiarism checking service or in-house computer program and may also maintain a copy of the assignment for future checking purposes and/or allow an external service to do so.

Other policies

See the policies page of the faculty website at for information regarding university policies and local provisions and procedures within the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies.

Note that the "Weeks" referred to in this Schedule are those of the official university semester calendar

Week Description
Week 1 Introduction & the Usability Context: Introduction to the unit and to the challenges in enabling the use of system features by humans.
Week 2 Users I: Investigating users and their importance in understanding usability.
Week 3 Usability in Design and Implementation: How to perform the processes of usability engineering in the context of software and system engineering.
Week 4 The Users You Forgot: The ethical and legal requirements of usability.
Week 5 Users II: More advanced theories & techniques for user and system evaluation.
Assessment Due: Usability Assessed Quiz
Week 6 The Usability Compromise?: The challenges the competing interests of usability and security place on system design, and techniques to achieve both in the same system.
Week 7 Security Terminology, Identification and Authentication
Assessment Due: Assignment 1
Week 8 Web and Database Security
Week 9 Cryptography and Network Security
Week 10 Software and System Security
Assessment Due: Assignment 2
Week 11 Physical and Operational Security
Week 12 Privacy, Legal and Ethical Issues
Week 13 Review and Revision
Assessment Due: Assignment 3
Exam Period Assessment Due: Final exam

Course Relations

The following is a list of courses which have added this Unit to their structure.

Course Year(s) Offered
Bachelor of Advanced Computing/Bachelor of Commerce 2018, 2019, 2020
Bachelor of Advanced Computing/Bachelor of Science 2018, 2019, 2020
Bachelor of Advanced Computing/Bachelor of Science (Health) 2018, 2019, 2020
Bachelor of Advanced Computing/Bachelor of Science (Medical Science) 2018, 2019, 2020
Bachelor of Advanced Computing (Computational Data Science) 2018, 2019, 2020
Bachelor of Advanced Computing (Computer Science Major) 2018, 2019, 2020
Bachelor of Advanced Computing (Information Systems Major) 2018, 2019, 2020
Bachelor of Advanced Computing (Software Development) 2018, 2019, 2020

Course Goals

This unit contributes to the achievement of the following course goals:

Attribute Practiced Assessed
(7) Project and Team Skills (Level 2) No 3%
(8) Professional Effectiveness and Ethical Conduct (Level 2) No 7.5%
(6) Communication and Inquiry/ Research (Level 2) No 3.5%
(5) Interdisciplinary, Inclusiveness, Influence (Level 2) No 0%
(3) Problem Solving and Inventiveness (Level 2) No 0%
(4) Design (Level 2) No 19%
(2) Engineering/ IT Specialisation (Level 3) No 67%

These goals are selected from Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table 2018 which defines overall goals for courses where this unit is primarily offered. See Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table 2018 for details of the attributes and levels to be developed in the course as a whole. Percentage figures alongside each course goal provide a rough indication of their relative weighting in assessment for this unit. Note that not all goals are necessarily part of assessment. Some may be more about practice activity. See Learning outcomes for details of what is assessed in relation to each goal and Assessment for details of how the outcome is assessed. See Attributes for details of practice provided for each goal.