Designing Interactive Systems, WS 0708

Course schedule is tentative and subject to change. Links to lecture notes and assignments will be posted as the semester progresses.
Note: You must be registered with the class to download the lecture notes and assignments.


  • The streams of the history videos are available. You need the QuickTime player to watch them. Username: bob, Password: mrincredible
    • There is a Podcast available for the lecture videos. In iTunes, Advanced->Subscribe to podcast.
  • Feb 11: The updated results of the final exam are online! Just click on the link in the table.
  • Feb 21: The Final Exam 2nd Chance grades are online.
  • Feb 22: Your updated final Schein grades are HERE.
  • Mar 25: If you have successfully participated in an experiment, you can pick up your Schein from April 17th.

Teaching Schedule

Lecture Notes
Video Recordings (Right click and save)
Required Reading
Recommended Reading
17.10.07 Introduction, CMN model, Fitts' law 1up 4up 155 MB Dix - Chapter: "The Human" (pp. 11-59)
24.10.07 Perception, Gestalt laws, Affordances 1up 4up 168 MB Norman - Chapter 1Schneiderman 12.4, Dix - "The Interaction" (pp. 123-164)
31.10.07 Seven stages of action, Mappings, Constraints 1up 4up 126 MB Norman - Chapters 2-3
07.11.07 Knowledge, Slips, POET Summary 1up 4up 166 MB Norman - Chapters 4-7, Norman - Design of Future Things Chapter 1
14.11.07 History part 1 1up 4up 439 MB
- Sketchpad
- Xerox Star
Dix - Chapter 4 "Paradigms" pp. 165-186, Schneiderman 12.3, Vannevar Bush: As we may think
21.11.07 History part 2 1up 4up 273 MB
- Put That There
- Knowledge Navigator
- Sun StarFire
- UbiComp
Bruce Tognazzini: Starfire
28.11.07 Midterm exam
05.12.07 DIA cycle, Observation, Storyboards 1up 4up video uncomplete, download video from s-inf !
First Half : 56 MB
Schneiderman 3.5-3.8,4.4 Schneiderman 4.1-4.3, Dix - Chapter "Evaluation Techniques" (pp. 289-318)
12.12.07 Prototyping 1up 4up 155 MB Carolyn Snyder, Paper Prototyping (chapters 4, 6, 7)
19.12.07 Golden rules 1up 4up 123 MB Schneiderman 12.2,12.6
winter break
09.01.08 Evaluation 1up 4up 185 MB
16.01.08 In Class Design Studio
23.01.08 Notations & Outlook 1up 4up 174 MB
30.01.08 Presentation of final projects to appear to appear
06.02.08 Final Exam
21.02.08 Final Exam 2nd Chance


Assignment No. Topic Materials Due Date
1Fitts' Law Assignment 1,
Fitts Law Tapping Task,
ISO 9241-9
29.10.2007 @1200
2 Usability Breakdown Assignment 2 05.11.2007 @1200
3Designing a Home Theatre Remote Assignment 3
4 Douglas Engelbart: History Assignment 4 19.11.2007 @1200
5 Project Part 1 Assignment 5 10.12.2007 @1200
6 Project Part 2 Assignment 6 17.12.2007 @1200
7 Project Part 3 Assignment 7 07.01.2008 @1200
8 Project Part 4 Assignment 8 14.01.2008 @1200
9 Project Part 5 Assignment 9 21.01.2008 @1200
10 Project Part 6 Assignment 10 28.01.2008 @1200, Presentation during lecture 30.01.08


  • Nov 28: Midterm Exam (cf. announcements)
  • Feb 06: Final Exam (cf. announcements)
Important: Please note the date of the midterm exam and final exam. In the event that you cannot make it on those dates, it is your responsibility to notify us by Nov 18 for the midterm exam and by Jan 26 for the final exam, or you will receive a grade of zero.

Grading Policy

If you wish to take the course for credit, you must complete all assignments and exams. You will receive a schein upon successful completion of the course with a grade. The grade will be calculated as follows:
  • 15% - lab exercises, assignments
  • 25% - project
  • 25% - midterm exam
  • 35% - final exam
Note that you must achieve a cumulative score above 4.0 and pass the final exam to pass the course.


Assignments will be assigned weekly. The first 4 assignments are to be completed in groups of 2. However, groups of 4 are required for the project assignments. Assignments will be graded on the following scale:
  • 1.0 - exceptional work that clearly went above and beyond what was given on the exercise
  • 2.0 - exercise was completed satisfactorily as per the assignment specification
  • 3.0 - exercise was completed, but has some problems
  • 4.0 - incomplete exercise
  • 5.0 - little or no effort was put into the exercise
The assignments are designed to be completed in the Media Computing Lab in 2U13, consisting of Apple PowerMac G5 machines. However, many of the tools we will be using are cross-platform -- you are welcome to complete the assignment on your platform of choice. However, it will be your responsibility to ensure your program(s) run on the machines in the lab. Programs that do not run correctly on the lab machines will be graded as incomplete. We will be able to provide technical support for the lab machines only. Please note that submissions with a written component that do not meet the basic standards of university-level English will not be graded (example). They will be returned to you, and you will have the option of resubmitting the assignment with the usual late penalty.

Late Policy

Late assignments will be graded with a penalty of 0.5 per 24 hour period after the due date. Exceptions will be granted only for valid (i.e. medical) reasons.

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