Designing Interactive Systems 2 (2019)

   Class Times

Lecture Wed, 8:30 - 11:00
Lab Mon, 14:30 - 16:00
Room 2222, i10 Seminar room


Midterm TBA
Final PT1 18.07.2019 15:00
Final PT2 09.08.2019 15:00

This course builds on the foundations of Designing Interactive Systems I, and provides an understanding of how interactive multimedia systems are built from a computer science point of view. It covers the principles of event-based operating systems, window system architectures, input and output device technology for multiple modalities, as well as User Interface Management Systems and UI development toolkits and their relative merits. In the labs, you will develop a minimalistic window system yourself, but also learn to work with various real-life development environments, including window systems such as Java Swing and multimedia development environments, to develop user interfaces.

After this class, you will know how the technology behind interactive systems works. You can analyze, design, and implement graphical and other user interfaces for existing and emerging technologies, both for the desktop and beyond, and including interfaces for multimedia contents. Group-based, project-centered assignments and lab activities convey hands-on experience building user interfaces and foster project management and teamwork skills.

The class consists of weekly lectures, labs, reading assignments, project-based group assignments, and graded written midterm and final examinations.



For any questions about the class, please contact Sebastian Hueber, M.Sc..


The following schedule is tentative and subject to change.

  • Introduction

    •  Lecture: Introduction, Card's Design Space


    •  Lab: Card's Design Space


    •  Assignment 1: Hello, GUI!

      Due 15.04.

  • Window System Architecture

    •  Lecture: Graphics & Event Library, Base Window System


    •  Lab: GEL & BWS


    •  Assignment 2: Window System (Part 1)

      Due 22.04.

    •  Lecture: Window Manager, User Interface Toolkit


    •  Assignment 3: Window System (Part 2)

      Due 29.04.

  • X, Wayland & Smalltalk

    •  Lecture: From X to Wayland, Smalltalk and Squeak


    •  Lab: Squeak


    •  Assignment 4: Window System (Part 3) & Squeak

      Due 13.05.

    •  Lab: Midterm Preparation


  • macOS

    •  Lecture


    •  Midterm Exam


    •  Lab: macOS Apps


    •  Assignment 5: macOS App

      Due 03.06.

    •  Lecture


    •  Lab: macOS Apps


  • Windows

    •  Lecture


    •  Lab: Windows Apps


    •  Assignment 6: Windows App

      Due 17.06.

  • Cross-Platform Apps

    •  Lecture


    •  Lab: Cross-Platform Toolkits


    •  Assignment 7: Java and Qt

      Due 24.06.

  • Post-Desktop Systems

    •  Lecture


    •  Lab: Mobile Apps


    •  Assignment 8: Mobile App

      Due 08.07.

  • Multimedia & Multimodal Interfaces

    •  Lecture


    •  Lab: Max/MSP


    •  Assignment 9: Max/MSP

      Due 08.07.

  • Prototyping

    •  Lecture: Software Prototyping


    •  Lab: Sketch


    •  Lecture: Hardware Prototyping


  • Final Exams

    •  Final Exam PT1


    •  Final Exam PT2



Your grade will be calculated as follows:

Assignments 30%
Midterm 25%
Final Exam 45%


Assignments will be assigned weekly. You can find the assignments in the L2P course room. Late assignments will not be accepted. The assignments are designed to be completed in the RBI Mac Lab in 4U15. You can work there according to the reservation plan. Of course, you can also use your own computer to work on the assignments. 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. Exceptions will be granted only for valid (i.e., medical) reasons.

Fields of Study

  • Informatik (M.Sc.)/Angewandte Informatik
  • Informatik (GYM+GS,SII)/Hauptstudium/B. Praktische Informatik
  • Technik-Kommunikation (M.A.)/2. Hauptfach (Technisches Fach)/Grundlagen der Informatik/isierung Informatik
  • TK 2. Fach-Grundlagen der Informatik (M.Sc.)/Wahlpflicht Informatik/Angewandte Informatik
  • Media Informatics (M.Sc.)/Multimedia Technologie
  • Media Informatics (M.Sc.)/Multimedia Technologie/in Aachen
  • Software Systems Engineering (M.Sc.)/Applied Computer Science
  • Software Systems Engineering (M.Sc.)/Practical Computer Science
  • Software Systems Engineering (M.Sc.)/Areas of Specialization/Media Informatics

Course Allocation and Registration Guide

Number of SWS: V3+├ť2 (Aachen)
ECTS Credits: 6
Course language: English for all lectures, assignments, and exams

To get a seat in this course, follow these steps before 19.04.:

Register for the course in RWTHonline. Only 30 seats are available for this course. Priorirty to Master students of Computer Science, Media Informatics, Software Systems Engineering, and Technical Communication. Registration results announcement on 19.04. Erasmus students can register during the first lab or studio. Sign the Declaration of Compliance and hand it in during the first lab or studio. Make sure that you have access to Moodle.

Previous Offerings

SS18 - SS17 - SS16 - SS15 - SS14 - SS13 - SS12 - SS11 - SS10 - SS09 - SS08 - SS07 - SS06 - SS05 - SS04

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