Designing Interactive Systems II SS 2008 (Aachen)


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.


  • Oct 16: The final table of the course grades is online. Sorry for the delay, a deadline came in between. Note that not all who have taken part and worked for a grade have done a user test yet.
  • Aug 15: The updated results of the second chance final exam are online. Just click on the link in the table.
  • Jul 25: The date of the second chance exam changed again: Now it is Monday, August 11th, 10:30am, room 2010. You can take this exam only if you failed the final exam and are a BA or MA student. You have to register for it by sending a mail to gero(at)!
  • Jul 21: The updated results of the final exam are online.
  • Jul 18: The results of the final exam are online. Just click on the link in the table. You can inspect your exam paper on Monday, Jul 21, 2pm, Room 2010.
  • Jul 14: Have a look at the DIS 2 Project Galery.
  • Jul 4: For the Final Project presentation on Monday, students are supposed to prepare their systems in the lab at their desks. Prof. Borchers will then walk around and have a look at all the projects. Also keep in mind that your website has to be finished by the time of the lab. It should document not only the final state of your system but also the different prototypes/presentations you have made.
  • Jun 20: The Java slides (from Wednesday's lecture) received a small update on slide 28.
  • Jun 16: The updated results of the midterm exam are online. Just click on the link in the table.
  • Jun 10: The results of the midterm exam are online. Just click on the link in the table. You can inspect your exam paper on Monday, Jun 16, 3:30pm, Media Lab.
  • Jun 9: You find the RSS feed for the project "Room 5056" at this location:
  • Jun 2: The midterm exam will take place on Wednesday, June 4, 10am, in room 5056.
  • May 26: Due to the small number of students attending the second lab session (15:3017:00) each Monday we will stop offering that session. Today it will be held for the last time. From next week on, please attend the first lab session (14:0015:30).
  • May 21: For those who have problems with the Motif assignment:
    • OpenMotif and X11 have to be installed on your system. If you don't know what either is, you must have slept through the last two lectures.
    • If you cannot install both on your system you can use the Macs in our media lab. In this case you have to first edit makeconfig.cfg and replace /sw/ by /opt/local/ since we switched from fink to Darwin Ports.
  • May 19: Despite anything that parts of this website or the assignment sheets say - we are not accepting late submissions of assignments any more!
  • Apr 22: Everybody who has not yet registered via the DIS2 registration form, please do so before the end of the week!
  • Mar 25: Welcome to this year's DIS2 course! (:cool:) The teaching schedule is still preliminary and may be subject to changes (this is true for the exam dates, too!).

Teaching Schedule

Lecture Notes
Video Recordings (Right click and save)
Required Reading
Recommended Reading
16.04.08 Introduction, Taxonomy of Input Devices 1-up 4-up Video Input devices (Card)  
17.04.08 Window Systems Architecture, Graphics Event Library 1-up 4-up Video Window System Architecture (Gosling)  
23.04.08 Base Window System 1-up 4-up Video    
24.04.08 Window Manager 1-up 4-up Video    
30.04.08 User Interface Toolkit Layer, Smalltalk, Morphic 1-up 4-up Video Smalltalk-80 user manual, Morphic User Interface (Maloney)  
01.05.08 no classes        
07.05.08 Morphic cont., Macintosh Toolbox 1-up 4-up Video Squeak pp. 20-35 (Maloney), The X Window System (Scheifler)  
08.05.08 X Window Systems Part1 1-up Part1 4-up Part2 1-up Part2 4-up Video    
14.05.08 no class        
15.05.08 no class        
21.05.08 X Window Systems cont., OSF/Motif 1-up 4-up Video (last year)    
22.05.08 no class        
28.05.08 Mac OS X, Part 1 1-up 4-up      
29.05.08 Mac OS X, Part 2 1-up 4-up Video (last year)    
04.06.08 Midterm exam      
05.06.08 Mac OS X, Part 2 (continued), MAX/MSP 1-up 4-up Video    
11.06.08 no class        
12.06.08 Windows 1-up 4-up Video    
18.06.08 JAVA, Qt Java (1-up) Java (4-up) Qt (1-up) Qt (4-up) Video    
19.06.08 Arduino Workshop   Video    
25.06.08 Mobile Window Systems (android, iPhone) 1-up 4-up Video (incomplete)    
26.06.08 Web 2.0 1-up 4-up   What is Web 2.0, Emotionally-centered Design  
02.07.08 Interactive Multimedia: Audio Output 1-up 4-up Video Sonic Finder (Gaver), ARKola (Gaver)  
03.07.08 Interactive Multimedia: Audio and Speech Input 1-up 4-up Video    
09.07.08 Interactive Multimedia: Displays, Video Input and Output 1-up 4-up Video    
10.07.08 Haptics Haptics 1-up 4-up Summary 1-up 4-up Video    
16.07.08 Looking Forward & Course Evaluation        
17.07.08 Final Exam      
11.08.08 Second Chance Final Exam      

Project Galery

The Platinum Award for the greenest solution

The Gold Award for the best explanation why Yetis aren't around anymore

The Silver Award for the most musical reinterpretation of Space Invaders

The Silver Award for the project most likely to actually get a job

The Silver Award for the project most likely to get censored


21.04.08 Hello GUI
28.04.08 Windows (not the Microsoft kind)
05.05.08 Now you see me, now you don't
12.05.08 no lab
19.05.08 RAT - Really Awesome Toolkit
26.05.08 The X Factor
02.06.08 X-Squared
09.06.08 Final Project Lab
16.06.08 Final Project Lab
23.06.08 Final Project Lab
30.06.08 Final Project Lab
07.07.08 Final Project Presentation


Assignment No.TopicMaterialsDue Date
1 Hello GUI Assignment 1 Sheet 21.04.08
2 Windows (not the Microsoft kind) Assignment 2 Sheet, Material 28.04.08
3 Now you see me, now you don't Assignment 3 Sheet 05.05.08
4 RAT - Really Awesome Toolkit Assignment 4 Sheet 19.05.08
5 The X-Factor Assignment 5 Sheet, Sample Code, xmTutor 26.05.08
6 X-Squared Assignment 6 Sheet, Demo Code 02.06.08
7 Final Project Idea Final Project Proposals 09.06.08
8 Final Project   07.07.08


  • June 04: Midterm Exam (cf. announcements)
  • Jul 17: 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 May 8 for the midterm exam and by Jul 1 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:

  • 20% - lab exercises, assignments
  • 20% - 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. They are to be completed in groups of 2 or 3. 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 one grading step per 24 hour period after the due date. Exceptions will be granted only for valid (i.e. medical) reasons.

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