Designing Interactive Systems (Winter 2019)

  Class Information: Aachen

Lab Mon, 14:30 - 16:00
(starting 14.10.2019)
  Room: AH VI
Studio Wed, 10:00 - 12:00
(starting 09.10.2019)
  Room: 2356|053.2
Language English
Credits 6

  Class Information: Bonn

Studio & Lab Tue, 13:00 - 17:15
(starting 22.10.2019)
  Room: b-it building, room 0.109
Language English
Credits 6


Midterm Exam 27.11.19
1st Final Exam 04.02.20
2nd Final Exam 06.03.20

This class introduces students to the field of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and user interface design. Specifically, the course covers the following topics:

  • Fundamental concepts of human cognition, such as perception and memory performance.
  • Models of interaction between people and their environment, such as affordances, mappings, constraints, slips, and mistakes.
  • Milestones in the history of Human-Computer Interaction.
  • Principles of iterative design.
  • Techniques for prototyping user interfaces.
  • User studies and evaluation methods.
  • Golden rules of user interface design.
  • User interface design notations.

After this class, students will know how user interfaces have been developed over the past decades, and what constants of human performance need to be considered when designing them. This class forms the basis for the classes “Designing Interactive Systems II” (which looks at more technical aspects of user interface development) and “Current Topics in HCI and Media Computing,” as well as the “Post-Desktop User Interfaces” seminar and other courses from our research group. Students will be able to apply iterative design, prototyping, and evaluation methods to design usable, appropriate user interfaces in a user-centered fashion. All assignments are group-based to foster collaboration skills, and project-centered to strengthen organizational skills, conflict management, and presentation skills. Learning to think in designers' terms is a crucial competence for computer scientists working on user interfaces, a job that requires collaboration in interdisciplinary teams.

This class is limited to 120 seats. You need to register to obtain a seat in this course. 


Prof. Dr. Jan








Your grade will be calculated as follows:

Assignments 20%
Project 20%
Midterm 25%
Final Exam 35%

Fields of Study

  • Computer Science (B.Sc.), (M.Sc.)
  • Media Informatics (M.Sc.)/Multimedia-Benutzung und -Wirkung/in Aachen (mandatory course)
  • Software Systems Engineering (M.Sc.)/Areas of Specialization/Media Computing and Interactive Systems
  • Technical Communication (B.Sc.) (mandatory course)

Course Allocation and Registration Guide

Number of SWS: V3+Ü2
ECTS Credits: 6
Course language: English for all lectures, assignments, and exams

We only have 120 seats are available for this course. To have a chance for a seat in this course, you have to complete the following steps:

  • Register for the course in RWTHonline by Thursday, 10.10.2019.
  • Sign the pdfDeclaration of Compliance and hand it in before 5pm, Thursday, 10th October. Note: Scans or pictures are not valid, you need to hand in your form in person. We will give priority to students who hand in the Declaration of Compliance before this deadline. 

On Friday, 11.10.2019, we will announce who has been selected for the course by email.

Reading Material

We highly recommend that you buy Norman's book, since you have to read it for class during the first few weeks. From the Dix et. al., and Schneiderman books, you just have to read some chapters. You can find these books in the library.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions



Group #
Project topic
  How Can We Use a Car While Not Using It?
  Making Mopping Fun
  Motivating Students to Stay Focused During Lectures
  Spy App: Mindful Use of Technology
  Making Chores Fun
  CookSpot: The Cooking Spotlight
  Mindful Use of Technology
  Making Chores Fun – Throwing Board
  Helping You Reminding Your Flatmates of Their Tasks
  Helping Activists Escape Their Bubble
  Making Game Streams Interactive
  Bonfire: Connecting People on the Go
  Reward Pedestrians for Being More Observant in Traffic
  Connecting Spatially Separated Teams
  Better Betting: An Overlay for Betting on Stream
  Waiting for the Laundry Turned a Game
  Preventing Spoilage of Forgotten Food
  Making Shopping Fun
  Stationary Car
  Visibility in the Kitchen
  Include and Motivate Participants of Teambuilding Events
  Finding Activities for Team Building Experiences


Group #
Project topic
1 Carcuum
2 Act n' Play
3 Smartypants
4 Konmari Katze

Previous Offerings

WS 18/19 - WS 17/18 - WS 16/17 - WS 15/16 - WS 14/15 - WS 13/14 - WS 12/13 - WS 11/12 - WS 10/11 - WS 09/10 - WS 08/09 - WS 07/08 - WS 06/07 - WS 05/06 - WS 04/05 - WS 03/04

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