Media Computing Project SS 2015 (Bonn): Productivity Apps

Course information:


The theme for this year's project is 'productivity'. We live in a competitive and busy world, where productivity has never been more important. By being more productive, one can improve his/her efficiency in accomplishing tasks (e.g., better quality of work, more work done in lesser time). As if this is not an incentive enough, productivity has also been shown to increase happiness ('The Happiness Hypothesis').

Some of the famous productivity applications in the iOS app store are OmniFocus, TextExpander, 30/30, Sunrise Calendar, etc.

What You Will Do

During the course of MCP SS 2015, students will develop a productivity app on iPhone using core iOS frameworks (e.g., CoreData, EventKit, and Notifications). Students will follow human-centered design process by involving target users to make design decisions. The focus will be on the design process needed to develop apps that make a significant difference to the world we live in.

What You Will Learn

After the course, you will understand the user-centered design cycle, prototyping, and several interaction techniques. You will understand the requirements and constraints of designing for a mobile device, get to know core iOS frameworks, and will be able to get your next idea up and running on an iPhone.

Note: We will provide you with iPhones if you don't own one.

Preferred Student Background

DIS 1 (Designing Interactive Systems 1), which we offer in the winter semesters, is a prerequisite for the course. Your project will be evaluated based on usability heuristics that were presented in DIS 1.

Knowledge of/experience in Objective-C and iOS programming will give you a headstart in the project. Nevertheless, we will review some fundamentals for you in class during the semester.

Hint: Please mention your background and a link to your portfolio in the free text field in your application for the lab. This will increase your chance of being selected.

Assignments and Learning Material

You will find the course slides, references, and assignments in the L2P learning room.


Week From date To date Discussion in the lab (on 'From date') Tasks for the week
1 09.04. 16.04. Kick-off meeting: Introduction to MCP lab, mobile development, Xcode, and Swift Optional Assignment: Swift and Xcode basics
2 16.04. 23.04. Interactive session on Swift programming basics A01: Stopwatch (due on 23.04.)
3 23.04. 30.04. Property lists, protocols, delegation, and Event Kit A02: Task Manager (due on 07.05.)
4 30.04. 07.05. Students present A01 solutions, project topic introduction and brainstorming A02: Task Manager (due on 07.05.), brainstorm ideas for productivity apps
5 07.05. 14.05. Students pitch their ideas Low-fidelity prototype
6 14.05. 21.05.
No lab (Ascension of Christ)
Evaluation of low-fidelity prototype
7 21.05. 28.05. Students discuss their progress Medium-fidelity prototype
8 28.05. 04.06.
No lab (Pentecost Week)
Medium-fidelity prototype
9 04.06. 11.06.
No lab (Corpus Christi)
Evaluation of medium-fidelity prototype
10 11.06. 18.06. Students discuss their progress High-fidelity prototype
11 18.06. 25.06. Students discuss their progress High-fidelity prototype
12 25.06. 02.07. Students discuss their progress High-fidelity prototype
13 02.07. 09.07. Students discuss their progress Evaluation of high-fidelity prototype
14 09.07. 16.07. Students discuss their progress Add documentation and prepare for final presentation
15 16.07. -
Final Presentation


  • 20% assignments + class participation
  • 10% prototypes & documentation
  • 60% final project deliverable
  • 10% final presentation

Administrative Details

Language: The course will be held in English and all submissions are expected to be in English
Tutors: Krishna Subramanian Credits: 10 ECTS.
General information: The course description is in the MCP landing page Grading policy: Once the project phase has started, resignation from the course will result in a grade of 5.0.

Past Semesters

MCP WS 2014 — Digital Fabrication
MCP SS 2014 -- L2P Apps
MCP WS 2013 — Digital Fabrication
MCP SS 2013 (Bonn) — Mobile Gaming
MCP WS 2012 — Interactive Assembly
MCP SS 2012 (only available from within the RWTH-net, use VPN)
MCP WS 2011 MCP SS 2011 MCP WS 2010 MCP SS 2009 MCP SS 2008 MCP SS 2007 MCP SS 2006

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