Designing Interactive Systems II – SS15

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  • 27.07.15: The 2nd MIDTERM Exam will take place on 05.08.2015, 12:30am–14:00pm in 2222 – 60 min. exam
  • 27.07.15: The 2nd Chance FINAL Exam will take place on 05.08.2015, 11:00am–12:30pm in 2222 – 60 min. exam
  • 01.07.14: The Final Exam will take place on 22.07.2015, 11:00am–12:30pm in 2356|051 (AH VI) – 60 min. exam
  • 14.04.15: The next lab is scheduled for Monday, April 27, 1:30pm.
  • 14.04.15: The regular lab time is now set to Mondays, 1:30pm–3:00pm.
  • 09.03.15: The regular lecture time is set to Wednesdays, 9:15pm–11:45pm. The first lecture will start on Wed, April 8, 2015.
  • 09.03.15: Venue for lecture and lab sessions: Room 2222 (Informatikzentrum, Ahornstr. 55).
  • 09.03.15: The Midterm Exam will be on Monday, June 1, 2015 12:15–13:45.
  • 09.03.15: Erasmus student or BSc student taking this class in advance for your Master's? Write Christian an email to register for the course.

Course Registration

03.03.15 –15.04.15 Register for the lecture in CAMPUS.
Instead, if you are an ERASMUS student or taking this class as a Bachelor's in advance for your Master's, write Christian an email.
Only ~45 seats are available for this course.
08.04.15 –15.04.15 Sign the Declaration of Compliance and hand it in during the lecture or lab session. Download
16.04.15 –17.04.15 Registration result announcement. Make sure that you have access to L2P.
  Register for the exam in CAMPUS.  
31.05.15 Last date to deregister  


Number SWS: V3+Ü2 (Aachen)
ECTS Credits: 6
This lecture will be held in English. All assignments and exams have to be handed in in English.


LectureWed9:15–11:45Room 2222, Informatikzentrum, Ahornstr. 55Start: 08.04.15
Lab Session Mon 13:30–15:00 Room 2222, Informatikzentrum, Ahornstr. 55 Start: 13.04.15

Course Aim:

After this class, students will know how the technology behind interactive systems works. They 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.


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, students will develop a minimalistic window system themselves, 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.

Activity Confirmation

Lecture, successful completion of weekly project-based group assignments, graded written midterm and final examinations.


Teaching Schedule for the Lecture

Course schedule is tentative and subject to change. Links to lecture notes and assignments will be posted as the semester progresses.

Required Reading
Recommended Reading
08.04.2015 Introduction, Taxonomy of Input Devices, Window Systems Architecture Dr. Thorsten Karrer > Card, S. et al.: A Morphological Analysis of the Design Space of Input Devices
> Gosling, D.: The NeWS Book, Chapter 3
> Nielsen, J.: Usability Engineering
15.04.2015 Graphics Event Library, Base Window System Jan Borchers    
22.04.2015 No Lecture      
29.04.2015 Window Manager, User Interface Toolkit Layer Jan Borchers    
06.05.2015 The X Window System: An Implementation of the Reference Window System, Wayland Jan Borchers > Scheifler, R. W. et al.: The X Window System  
13.05.2015 Early Window Systems (Smalltalk, Mac OS Classic, Windows pre-NT) Jan Borchers    
20.05.2015 Cross Platform Toolkits (Java, Qt) Jan Borchers, Christian Corsten    
27.05.2015 Excursion Week – No Lecture      
03.06.2015 Mac OS X Christian Corsten    
10.06.2015 Windows Philipp Wacker    
17.06.2015 Physical Computing and Prototyping (Arduino & Co.) René Bohne    
24.06.2015 Mobile Window Systems (iOS, Android) Nur Al-huda Hamdan    
01.07.2015 Web Toolkits (GWT, Cappucino) Christian Corsten    
08.07.2015 Multimodal Interfaces and Toolkits Christian Corsten > Gaver W. W.: The SonicFinder: An Interface That Uses Auditory Icons  
15.07.2015 Final Project Presentation DIS2 Students :)    
22.07.2015 Final Exam      

Lab sessions
The lab is on Mondays, 1:30pm–3:00pm. There will be no labs on the following dates:

  • 20.4.15
  • 25.5.15 (Excursion Week)

The lab on Mon. June 1, 2015, 12:15pm–13:45pm is reserved for the Midterm Exam. Please note that this lab session starts earlier.


  • 01.06.2015: Midterm Exam, 12:15pm–13:45pm in 9222 (E3)
  • 22.07.2015: Final Exam, 11:00am–12:30pm in 2356|051 (AH VI)
  • 05.08.2015: Second Chance Exam


Assignments will be assigned weekly. You can find the assignments in the L2P course room.
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 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, 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.

Late Policy

Late assignments will not be accepted. Exceptions will be granted only for valid (i.e., medical) reasons.

Grading Policy

Your final grade will be based on the exams as well as your performance in the assignments.

  • Assignments + Project: 40%
  • Midterm exam: 25%
  • Final exam: 35%

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/Hauptstudium/Spezialisierung 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

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