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Unit of study_

INFO2222: Computing 2 Usability and Security

Semester 1, 2020 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

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 related to security. 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.

Unit details and rules

Unit code INFO2222
Academic unit Computer Science
Credit points 6
(INFO1103 OR INFO1105 OR INFO1905 OR INFO1113) AND (INFO1111 OR INFO1711 OR ENGG1111 OR ENGD1000 OF ENGG1805)
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Sue Chng,
Lecturer(s) Alan Robertson,
Sue Chng,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Final exam Take-home Exam plus Viva Voce
Written and non-written elements.
50% - 2.5+ hours
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO13 LO12 LO11 LO10 LO9 LO8 LO7 LO6 LO5
Assignment Mini-assignments
Reflective essays and mini-quizzes.
10% Multiple weeks Depends
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10 LO11 LO12 LO13
Assignment group assignment Assignment 1
Written and non-written elements
20% Week 07 5000 words/ 10 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9
Assignment group assignment Assignment 2
10% Week 10 2500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3 LO10 LO12 LO13
Assignment group assignment Assignment 3
Written and non-written elements.
10% Week 13 12 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO10 LO11 LO12 LO13
group assignment = group assignment ?

Assessment summary

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at an exceptional standard, as defined by grade descriptors or exemplars outlined by your faculty or school. 


75 - 84

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at a very high standard, as defined by grade descriptors or exemplars outlined by your faculty or school.


65 - 74

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at a good standard, as defined by grade descriptors or exemplars outlined by your faculty or school.


50 - 64

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at an acceptable standard, as defined by grade descriptors or exemplars outlined by your faculty or school.
Fail 0 - 49 When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

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.

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Introduction and the usability context: introduction to the unit and to the challenges in enabling the use of system features by humans. Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO3 LO4
Week 02 Users I: Investigating users and their importance in understanding usability Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO8 LO9
Week 03 Usability in Design and Implementation: How to perform the processes of usability engineering in the context of software and system engineering Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO3 LO4 LO6 LO9
Week 04 IA and Navigation Design. Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO3 LO4
Week 05 User II. Human factors - individual physiology, cognition and broader psychology, social and organisational structures. Online class (4 hr) LO1 LO3 LO4 LO7
Week 06 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 Online class (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 07 Security terminology, identification and authentication Online class (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO10
Week 08 Web and database security Online class (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO13
Week 09 Cryptography and network security Online class (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO13
Week 10 Software and system security Online class (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO12
Week 11 Physical and operational security Online class (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO11 LO12 LO13
Week 12 Privacy, legal and ethical issues Online class (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO11 LO12 LO13
Week 13 Review and revision Online class (4 hr) LO2 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10 LO11 LO12

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. work effectively in a team
  • LO2. understand the balance between risk, achieved security, and cost; experience with threat modelling and risk analysis as tools to choose this balance for a given system
  • LO3. produce written reports that evaluate a web site for usability and security
  • LO4. experience building a prototype interface, and learning aspects of it independently from provided resources
  • LO5. knowledge of design guidelines and how to apply them to design user interfaces
  • LO6. use iterative prototyping, with design and evaluation cycles, to explore a design space
  • LO7. demonstrate knowledge of a core set of cognitive, physiological, organisational, and other key human factors and their implications for interface design
  • LO8. demonstrate awareness of the major challenges for designing effective user interfaces, including factors associated with individual users, cultural and organisational contexts
  • LO9. evaluate interfaces, following a user-based technique
  • LO10. understand common security terminology in security literature
  • LO11. understand different ways in which security of computer systems can be compromised, e.g. physically, remotely, operationally (esp. social engineering); and relate specific attack scenarios to the major security goals such as authentication, integrity, secrecy, non-repudiation
  • LO12. understand the major challenges for security of programs, information, computers and networks, and ability to avoid most egregious (typical) flaws in designing and operating IT systems
  • LO13. demonstrate a high-level knowledge of common approaches to achieve security goals in computer systems (environment control, communications security and OS security, secure operational practices).

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

No major structural changes have been made since this unit was last offered.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.