183.123 Usability Engineering
This course is in all assigned curricula part of the STEOP.
This course is in at least 1 assigned curriculum part of the STEOP.

2021S, VU, 2.0h, 3.0EC


  • Semester hours: 2.0
  • Credits: 3.0
  • Type: VU Lecture and Exercise
  • Format: Distance Learning

Learning outcomes

After successful completion of the course, students are able to...

- understand and assess usability and its constituent parts as a measure of software quality
- integrate and apply selected usability engineering methods in software development projects
- evaluate the usability of software using a variety of different methods
- plan, prepare, conduct and analyse a usability test.


Subject of course

Usability Engineering is used to ensure or check and measure the usability of products. In this course basic knowledge and methods of usability engineering are imparted and the following topics are covered:

- Introduction to usability engineering and its basic concepts: What is usability? What criteria define usability? How can we measure and evaluate these criteria?
- Role of usability engineering in software development projects: What processes and methods can be used? What is user centered design? How can usability engineering impact the success or failure of a software development project?
- Overview of usability engineering methods: usability testing, cognitive walkthrough, heuristic evaluation, GOMS-KLM, Interviews, ...
- Practical application of the presented usability engineering methods: cognitive walkthrough and usability testing.


Teaching methods

This course comprises of lectures and assignments. The lectures cover the basics and introduce different usability engineering methods (e.g. usability testing, contextual inquiry, cognitive walkthrough, heuristic evaluation, GOMS-KLM, interviews, surveys, ...)

The presented methods are to be applied in the practice part with concrete applications and real users. Within the exercise 3 examples have to be worked out. The first example has to be worked on as an individual example, the second and third examples are group examples which are handed in and evaluated together. The group formation takes place after the submission of the 1st example. In group examples 2 and 3, the results are to be presented in a submission discussion and comments are to be made. The entire group must be present at the submission meetings.

At the end of the term there will be a written exam. The final exam will be conducted online in TUWEL. In addition, there are three practical assignments (some of which to be completed in small groups). The theory and basics presented during the lectures will be applied in the completion of the practical assignments.

Mode of examination


Additional information

If you have any questions please contact us at usability@inso.tuwien.ac.at. Please visit the website for further organisational information.

Effort for the student (ECTS-Breakdown):

  • Preliminary Talk: 2h
  • Lectures: 16h
  • Self-studies & Learning for Exams: 10h
  • 3 practical assignments: 45h
  • Exam: 2h


Total: 150 hours (3 ECTS)



Course dates

Thu15:00 - 17:0011.03.2021 - 17.06.2021 Stream via Zoom (LIVE)Lecture
Usability Engineering - Single appointments
Thu11.03.202115:00 - 17:00 Stream via ZoomLecture
Thu18.03.202115:00 - 17:00 Stream via ZoomLecture
Thu25.03.202115:00 - 17:00 Stream via ZoomLecture
Thu15.04.202115:00 - 17:00 Stream via ZoomLecture
Thu22.04.202115:00 - 17:00 Stream via ZoomLecture
Thu29.04.202115:00 - 17:00 Stream via ZoomLecture
Thu06.05.202115:00 - 17:00 Stream via ZoomLecture
Thu20.05.202115:00 - 17:00 Stream via ZoomLecture
Thu27.05.202115:00 - 17:00 Stream via ZoomLecture
Thu17.06.202115:00 - 17:00 Stream via ZoomLecture

Examination modalities

- 3 practical assignments
- written exam (online in TUWEL)

Course registration

Begin End Deregistration end
12.02.2021 00:00 12.03.2021 23:59 12.03.2021 23:59


Study CodeSemesterPrecon.Info
033 526 Business Informatics STEOP
Course requires the completion of the introductory and orientation phase
033 532 Media Informatics and Visual Computing STEOP
Course requires the completion of the introductory and orientation phase
033 533 Medical Informatics STEOP
Course requires the completion of the introductory and orientation phase
033 534 Software & Information Engineering STEOP
Course requires the completion of the introductory and orientation phase


  • Nielsen, Jakob (1993). Usability Engineering. Boston, MA: Academic Press.
  • Holtzblatt, Karen, Wendell Jessamy, & Wood, Shelley (2004).Rapid Contextual Design: A How-To Guide to Key Techniques for User-Centered Design. Morgan Kaufman.
  • Rubin, Jeffrey & Hudson, Theresa (1994). Handbook of Usability Testing: How to Plan, Design, and Conduct Effective Tests. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, NY.
  • Cooper, Alan (1999). The Inmates Are Running the Asylum. Macmillan Computer Publishing, Indianapolis.
  • Buxton, Bill (2007): Sketching User Experiences. Morgan Kaufmann.

Previous knowledge

No prior knowledge is required. Prior knowledge of VU User Interface Design or VU Interface & Interaction Design are advantageous, but not required.