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COMP108 Fundamentals of Programming Design

Unit rationale, description and aim

The central role websites perform in all aspects of twentieth-century life means that web design and development are digital technologies (computing) skills that are highly valued in a wide variety of professional contexts.

This unit provides foundation in user interface(UI)/ user experience(UX) through examples and case-studies and the knowledge that past, present and emerging computing technologies have on individuals and society. Students acquire graphics skills, hypertext markup, styling and, scripting language skills and use these skills to develop an interactive web application for solving real-world problems by applying computational and design thinking skills. 

The aim of this unit is to provide students with a foundation in website design and development using mark up , styling languages and web scripting and consider how it can be applied in teaching design and digital technologies.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 Define user-centred design principles and apply them to creating an authentic website that responds to user requirements (GA5, GA8)

LO2 Design wireframes, prototypes and graphics (GA5, GA8, GA9)

LO3 Select and use a web scripting language to develop dynamic websites (GA5, GA10)

LO4 Evaluate prototypes and websites in relation to user requirements (GA2, GA4, GA8)

LO5 Plan and manage software projects using an iterative and collaborative approach, identifying risks and considering ethics, safety and sustainability (GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10)

Graduate attributes

GA2 - recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


Topics will include:

Module 1 - LO1

  • User– centred design process
  • Graphic design skills

Module 2 - LO2

  • Wireframes
  • Prototypes

Module 3 - LO3, LO4

  • Hypertext markup languages
  • Styling languages and web scripting
  • Website Project Management

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

A student-focused, problem-based learning approach is used in this unit. This approach supports the development of conceptual, procedural and professional knowledge and skills which give students the opportunity to practise design thinking and problem solving in real-world contexts.

Students encounter user-centred concepts through interactive lecture demonstrations, concepts are then discussed and broadened through analysis of case studies and further informed by research during the development of website projects. In tutorial classes students design wireframes and develop and evaluate prototypes of web solutions.

Issues in website design and development are introduced through a practice-oriented learning method. This method involves the parallel development of the procedural and conceptual skills required for development of website solutions. Students combine conceptual knowledge in wire framing and procedural knowledge of hypertext mark-up language, styling languages and web scripting to build dynamic websites. Using a computational and design thinking approach, students develop web solutions to real-world problems, developing, communicating and evaluating software solutions.

Assessment strategy and rationale

The problem-based learning strategy employed in this unit is supported by the integration of progressive authentic assessment tasks completed at critical points in the students’ learning.

Initially, students acquire knowledge in user-centred design by undertaking tutorial exercises and develop skills in design and development through practical tutorial classes. Practical tutorials provide opportunities for formative assessment which supports assimilation of knowledge.

Summative assessment aims to assess students’ competencies and application of knowledge and skills (conceptual, procedural and professional) holistically using an integrated approach to design.

In this unit, students’ problem-solving skills are assessed by means of a website design proposal, and a prototype assignment that evaluates students’ achievement of a synthesis between design theory and the application of styling and scripting languages.

The web application project will document students’ project management skills in design and development and will require evidence of project definition, research, ideation, prototyping, iteration, critical evaluation and risk assessment.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Website Design Proposal

Requires students to demonstrate their knowledge of user-centred design principles and the application of these principles to create an authentic website based on user requirements.



GA5, GA8

Prototype Assignment:

Requires students to demonstrate competence in creating a prototype or wireframe based on their website design proposal.


LO1, LO2

GA5, GA8, GA9

Website Application Project:

Requires students to demonstrate competence in developing a web application.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA2, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA10

Representative texts and references

Dawson, A. (2011). Distinctive Design: A Practical Guide to a Useful, Beautiful Web. Wiley. Retrieved from

Duckett, J. (2011). HTML and CSS: Design and build websites. Retrieved from

Frost, R. (2011). Business Information Systems: Design an App for That. Saylor Foundation.

Hamm, M. (2014). Wireframing essentials: an introduction to user experience design. Retrieved from

Miller, B. D. (2011). Above the fold: Understanding the principles of successful web site design. Retrieved from

Mullen, T., & Mullen, T. (2011). Prototyping augmented reality. Retrieved from

Pipes, A. (2011). How to design websites. Retrieved from

Richardson, A. (2016). Data-driven Graphic Design: Creative Coding for Visual Communication. London: Fairchild Books. Retrieved from

Sklar, J. (2014). Principles of web design. Retrieved from

Tselentis, J. (2012). The graphic designer's electronic-media manual: How to apply visual design principles to engage users on desktop, tablet, and mobile websites. Retrieved from

Wong, Y.L. (2015). Digital Media Primer (3rd ed.). New York: Pearson Higher Education.

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