User interface

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What is it?

A user interface is a way that people interact with a computer system, including how they exchange information and instructions with it. When developers create information systems, they often design them with the user in mind, taking into account the target audience for their resource or application. In the review process of a new system, users are often asked to test and evaluate the system to help ensure it meets their needs.

Australian Curriculum definition

User interface

Characteristics of the boundary between users and a computer system, or the manner in which users interact with computer hardware or software. In software, this usually comprises of fields for text and number entry, mouse pointers, buttons and other graphical elements. In hardware, switches, dials and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) provide information about the interactions between a user and a machine.

Source: Australian Curriculum: Technologies glossary

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CS Field Guide: human–computer interaction

This resource is about human–computer interaction, users, tasks and interface usability.

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Computer Science for Fun: human–computer interaction fundamentals

This article discusses the concepts of human–computer interaction.

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Put the user in user interface

This learning sequence aims to support understandings of the importance of quality design and design principles in creating an efficient and effective user interface.

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Design and deliver

In this lesson sequence students create a website that acts as a showcase for a portfolio of their digital work. They learn about flexible design and how to design a site that can be viewed on a browser using any size of screen.

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Clever computers

In this sequence of lessons explore how to help students understand the elements of a digital system including hardware, software and some commonly used peripheral devices. Investigate how these elements work together.

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Everything you always wanted to know

In this lesson sequence students design, build and evaluate their own database and perform queries and build reports based on that database. Students should have prior experience creating a flat file database.

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Is it going to rain today?

Students understand the importance of data in effective decision-making, and are able to find, sort and interpret Bureau of Meteorology rainfall data, and to collect their own data and analyse the resulting datasets.

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CS Unplugged: human interface design

Use these activities with your students to explore human-centred interface design.

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Working together

Through role-play and other activities, students develop understandings of the role of hardware and software in managing, controlling and securing the movement of and access to data in networked digital systems.

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Seven seasons

Leveraging the Year 10 Geography curriculum, this sequence works with the CSIRO Indigenous seasons calendars. Students produce a searchable database that captures data using the two data sources.

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History of computing: EEEEK – a mouse!

This lesson focuses on computer and mechanical engineering. It explores how a computer mouse operates and how engineering provided an interface between humans and machines.

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Wolfram Widget Builder

Wolfram Widget Builder allows students to create their own widget to add to a website.

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Dallas Brooks Community School

In November 2016, 120 students from multiple schools across Victoria participated in a makers conference hosted by the students of Dallas Brooks Community School.

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Khan Academy: Meet the professionals

In these short case studies, professionals in computer science explain how they use their computer science and programming skills in their work.

Level F - 2:

Recognise and explore digital systems (hardware and software components) for a purpose (ACTDIK001)

Level 3 - 4:

Identify and explore a range of digital systems with peripheral devices for different purposes, and transmit different types of data (ACTDIK007)

Level 5 - 6:

Examine the main components of common digital systems and how they may connect together to form networks to transmit data (ACTDIK014)

Design a user interface for a digital system (ACTDIP018)

Level 7 - 8:

Investigate how data is transmitted and secured in wired, wireless and mobile networks, and how the specifications affect performance (ACTDIK023)

Design the user experience of a digital system, generating, evaluating and communicating alternative designs (ACTDIP028)

Implement and modify programs with user interfaces involving branching, iteration and functions in a general-purpose programming language (ACTDIP030)

Level 9 - 10:

Investigate the role of hardware and software in managing, controlling and securing the movement of and access to data in networked digital systems (ACTDIK034)

Design the user experience of a digital system by evaluating alternative designs against criteria including functionality, accessibility, usability, and aesthetics (ACTDIP039)