Designing Interactive Systems 1 (Winter 2023/24) 



  Class Information: Aachen

(starting TBA)
Lecture TBA
(starting TBA)
Language English
Credits 6

  Class Information: Bonn

(starting TBA)

(starting TBA)

Language English
(BSc/MSc CS)

 Exam Dates

Midterm Exam TBA
1st Final Exam TBA
2nd Final Exam TBA

Limited Course Seats

This course is limited to 120 seats. To take part in this course, you need to:

Deadline: Monday, October 16 2023, 23:59

Short class overview by Prof. Jan Borchers


This class introduces you to the field of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and user interface design. Specifically, it 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 design thinking and 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, you will know how user interfaces have evolved 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. You will be able to apply design thinking methods for iterative design, prototyping, and evaluation 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 and sign a Declaration of Compliance to obtain a seat in this course.


You will need to create and edit videos for assignments and the project during this class. We don't teach video editing or provide video editing software; you will find these resources readily online.


Prof. Dr. Jan







Your overall grade will be calculated from your grades (not points!) as follows:

Assignments 20%
Midterm 25%
Project 20%
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)
  • 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

  • Register for the course in RWTHonline by Monday, October 16.
  • Sign the Declaration of Compliance, scan it, and upload it to this Sciebo folder before Monday, October 16. Name the file DIS1_DoC_last name_matriculation number.pdf

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

Lecture 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 compliance 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 22/23 - WS 21/22 - WS 20/21 - 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

We use cookies on our website. Some of them are essential for the operation of the site, while others help us to improve this site and the user experience (tracking cookies). You can decide for yourself whether you want to allow cookies or not. Please note that if you reject them, you may not be able to use all the functionalities of the site.