Designing Interactive Systems (Winter 2020) 



  Class Information: Aachen

Lab Mon, 14:30 - 16:00
(starting 11/02/2020)
Studio Wed, 10:00 - 12:30
(starting 10/28/2020)
Language English
Credits 6

  Class Information: Bonn

Lab Tue, 12:30 - 14:00
(starting 11/03/2020)
Studio Wed, 10:00 - 12:30
(starting 10/28/2020)
Language English
Credits 6

 Preliminary Exam Dates

1st Final Exam 13.02.21
2nd Final Exam 15.03.21


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. 


You will have to create and edit videos for assignments and the project during the whole course. We will neither offer an introduction to video editing nor provide video editing software.


Prof. Dr. Jan






Your final grade will be calculated from your grades of the assignments, project, and final exam as follows:

Assignments 30%
Project 20%
Final Exam 50%

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)
  • Computational Social Science (M.SC)

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, October 29.
  • Sign the pdfDeclaration of Compliance and hand it in before 11:59 on Thursday, October 29. For this, send the course supervisors an email with the subject "[DIS20] DoC <your full name>.

We will announce who has been selected for the course by email at the end of the week.

Reading Material

We highly recommend that you buy Norman's book since you have to read it for the 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
 1   Virtual Office: No More Lonely Home Office
 2   Projector Cube: Far From Screens, Bring People Back to Your Home
 3   Conversation Focus
 4   CafeConnect
 5   EmotiCase: Perceiving emotions in communication over distance
 6   AG: Never Missing Important Message
 7  Coin Run: Run with friends remotely
 8  Bracemate
 9  AvaChat: Avatar-Based Chat Messenger
 10  Personal Assistant
 11  Slippy: The learning assistant for video calls
 12  Sircle: Helping, Playing & Organizing
 13  The Digital Living Room: A virtual community app
 14 MediaSync: Project Your Friends
 15  The easy device
 16  Pokee: Touch your Partners <3 in a second
 17  -
 18  New Application: The Greatest Connector
 19  BikeCity: Interactive Indoor Biking Experience
 20  KitchenConnect the social cooking app


 Group #  Project Topic
 1  LunchBuddy
 2  The Bar Experience
 3  Exercising forest: Asynchronous Game
 4  Studymate: When there is no one, there is Studymate

Lecture Zoom Recordings Declaration of Consent

The lecture will be recorded. We will only record the presenter and not the students. However, if you ask a question your voice will be in the recording. Therefore, have a look at the declaration of consent regarding lecture video recordings


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 19/20 - 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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