Hide menu

729G22 Interaction Design

Course information

Interaction design is a central part of good IT and systems development. It has importance for several different roles of an organisation that aims to develop systems that actually work for the people they are intended for. Examples of roles that come into contact with the subject include interaction designers, user experience designers, usability experts, project managers, product managers, procurers, interaction programmers, etc.

Learning Objectives

You will in this course learn to use appropriate methods to create usable and well-designed systems. The focus is on designing the system in terms of how it should work and look for the people who will use it, and on how to research needs and present situation.

On completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  • Account for interaction design as a central knowledge and practice area for good IT and systems development,
  • Account for the role of interaction design in an organisation that develops or uses systems,
  • Define, prioritise, communicate and evaluate design objectives,
  • Plan, carry out and communicate usability evaluations,
  • Create, evaluate and argue for a certain design solution among alternative solutions,
  • Design and evaluate prototypes.


The fairly abstract learning objectives can further specified in terms of contents of the course. You will during the course get to know more about:
  • The steps of Goal Directed Design,
  • How to plan an interaction design project,
  • How to do user and stakeholder research,
  • Techniques for modelling user research information,
  • How to create and use personas,
  • Different kinds of scenarios in interaction design,
  • Techniques for requirement analysis (scenario-based, persona-based, and stakeholder-based requirements),
  • Different kinds of requirements: Data needs, functional needs, constraints, qualities and experience attributes,
  • How to sketch on several different design concepts and frameworks and assess them rationally,
  • How to sketch, storyboard, and write scenarios with a focus on interaction framework (the form factor is not focused),
  • How to create detailed design in a paper prototype,
  • How to evaluate a paper prototype with users.

Working and Teaching Methods

The course is composed by:
  • Lectures.
  • Teaching session/exercise in paper prototyping + usability testing (conducted as a part of the project work),
  • Project work in groups, with written and oral presentation
  • Project supervision in the form of regular checkpoints,
  • Individual, written report based on the project work (decides the grade),
  • Course literature (see below)


Feedback from teachers are given at the checkpoints with the project groups. Written and oral feedback is given on the user and domain analysis. Oral feedback is also given on the usability evaluation. Finally, written feedback is given on the individual report.

Course Literature

  • Main course book: Goodwin, K. (2009). Designing for the Digital Age - How to Create human-Centered Products and Services, Wiley. ISBN: 978-0-470-22910-1.
    Please observe that the course largely builds on this book, and that the individual report requires detailed references to different passages of the book.
  • Secondary course book (in Swedish): Arvola, M. (2014). Interaktionsdesign och UX - Om att skapa en god användarupplevelse. Studentlitteratur. ISBN: 978-91-44-09764-0.
    This book present a slightly different perspective compared to Goodwin. It has more information on concept design and paper prototyping.
  • Article: Marc Rettig, Prototyping for tiny fingers, Communications of the ACM, Vol. 37, No. 4, 1994. http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/175276.175288
    Read this article on paper prototyping if you cannot read the Swedish book by Arvola (2014). If you sit at home you access the article through the databases (eg. ACM) at the Linköping University Library. If you use the university computers or the university WiFi you can just click the link to the article directly.
  • Article: Jonas Löwgren, Interaction design - brief intro. In Mads Soegaard and Riike Friis Dam (Eds.), The Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction, 2nd Ed. n.d.. https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/book/the-encyclopedia-of-human-computer-interaction-2nd-ed
    An introduction to the field.
  • Online resource Usability.gov (OK, 8/8 2016)
    Good resource on usability testing among other things.
  • Supplementary readings for the interested student:
    Arnowitz, J., Arent, M., Berger, N. (2006). Effective Prototyping for Software Makers. Morgan Kauffman.
    Cooper, A., Reimann, R., Cronin, D. (2007). About face 3: The essentials of interaction design. New York, NY.: John Wiley & Sons.
    Mullet, K., & Sano, D. (1995). Designing visual interfaces: Communication oriented techniques. Mountain View, CA.: Sun Microsystems, Inc.


Slides from lectures will be posted below in conjunction to the lectures.


The course contains several different forms of examination. More information can be found under the heading Examination in the navigation menu of this web site.

Course Evaluation from Last Year

The course evaluation showed that the course has been appreciated, especially the feedback to students, the course book, and the lectures. The course has been slightly changed to this year since it runs on fewer weeks.

Continuation Courses

There are many courses in interaction design and user experience on the the master programme in cognitive science. Below are some examples:
  • Interaction programming (also on the undergraduate programme),
  • Advanced interaction design,
  • Interaction design studio,
  • Service design studio,
  • Design research methods,
  • Usability testing.

Course Communication, Ethics and Copyright

Communication with Teachers: Current information and news about the course is always published on the course website. You are required to keep an eye on news and changes that are published on the site. When you contact the teachers by email, always use the email address that you got through the university, and you also need to keep an eye on information from the teacher that may be mailed to your LiU account. Teachers are not expected to reply during evenings and weekends.

Research and Design Ethics: Be sure to always have informed consent from people who involved in your study or who appear in text or images in your student work. Anonymize them if possible. Make sure that they are aware of the aims and possible future use of their participation. See the HSFR guidelines for research ethics (in Swedish) or the Guidelines for Research Ethics in the Social Sciences, Law and Humanities from the National Committees for Research Ethics in Norway (in English). See the AIGA Standards of Professional Practice for guidelines for professional ethics in design.

Copyright: You own the copyright to material produced during your studies, but the university reserves the right to use the material produced during the course of informational, educational and research purposes, unless you explicitly say otherwise. This means that some projects may be included in the preparatory material for next year's students. Student work may also be used in contexts where the university in various ways is presented. A transfer of copyright from students to an external client requires an explicit agreement (in writing) between the students and the client.

Page responsible: Mattias Arvola
Last updated: 2016-09-27