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TDDD58 12 hp /Interaction design project

Course information


In this course you will learn more about methods for user research, design and prototyping of interactive products and services.

You are assumed to have taken an introduction to marketing, visual communication, and graphic design before this course. In this course, we deal with the methods used in a human-centered design process and look at how interactive products and services are experienced by users and customers, whom we are going to create business and pleasure for. The best proven way of getting there is user research with interviews and observations that provide a good basis for a creative design work and an iterative prototyping. It is these methods that this course is about.

Course Evaluation from Last Year

Last year the examination was experienced as messy, since the four examination assignments had both individual and group parts, and both design work and reading work. This year it has, after discussions among the teachers and student representatives, been clarified by having two group design work assignments, one individual design assignment and one reading assignment.

Working and Teaching Methods


Lectures introduce or broaden the perspectives given through the readings and seminars. Smaller exercises are also conducted at some lectures. The course includes the following lectures, but only the first half of the semester has been scheduled (slides will also be linked from this list):

  1. Introduction by Mattias Arvola.
  2. HCI and Interaction Design by Mattias Arvola. Readings: Chapter 1 in Arvola (2014), Chapter 1-2 in Saffer (2009), Löwgren (2013), Carroll (2014)
  3. Qualitative User Research Methods by Mattias Arvola. Readings: Chapter 2 in Arvola (2014), Blandford (2013), Chapter 3-5 in Saffer (2009)
  4. Writing Critical Reviews by Lisa Malmberg. Readings: Jewell (2013)
  5. Ethnographic Method by Björn Alm, Senior Lecturer in Social Anthropology. Readings: Blandford (2013), Randall & Rouncefield (2013)
  6. Concept Design by Mattias Arvola. Readings: Chapters 2-3 in Arvola (2014) Chapter 6 in Saffer
  7. User Interface Principles by Mattias Arvola. Readings: Chapter 4 in Arvola (2014), Chapter 7 in Saffer (2009), Chapter 1-7 in Krug (2014)
  8. User Interface Sketching by Mattias Arvola (from presentations accompanying the book 'Sketching User Experiences, the Workbook', by S. Greenberg, S. Carpendale, N. Marquardt and B. Buxton). Readings: Chapter 4 in Arvola (2014), Chapter 7 in Saffer (2009)
  9. Paper Prototypes and Formative Usability Testing by Tim Overkamp. Readings: Chapter 4 in Arvola (2014), Chapter 8 in Saffer (2009), Chapter 8-9 in Krug
  10. Computer Prototypes by Mattias Arvola. Readings: Chapter 5 in Arvola (2014), Chapter 8 in Saffer, Chapter 8-9 in Krug (2014)
  11. Usability Testing by Johan Åberg. Readings: Chapter 4-5 in Arvola (2014) and Tullis & Albert (2008), Chapter 8 in Saffer (2009), Chapter 9 in Krug (2014)


Attendance at the three seminars is required. Observe that the seminar groups are not the same as the project groups. The seminars and accompanying individual readings are run and graded by the TA (teaching assistant), Lisa Malmberg. A seminar is 45 minutes. You need to prepare for the seminars by reading the literature. A written preparation in the form of 1-2 questions for discussion and a summary work as an entry ticket to the seminar. Bring two copies, one to hand in as you arrive and one for your own use during the seminar. See also the instructions for Assignment 4. If you miss a seminar, you must notify the TA in advance. You must then complete a supplementary task, which is to talk to a couple of other students who were there about what was discussed and the lessons you can learn from it. Do not wait for too long after the seminar to do this. Submit then a written summary of that conversation (no more than two pages) to the TA, together with your written preparations for the seminar. Deadlines for re-submissions apply for the supplementary task. Seminars for Swedish speaking students are in Swedish. Seminars in English for exchange students will be held separately.


Attendance at the two presentations is required. Presentations are held as critique sessions with three project teams at the time. Critique sessions are conducted around a show-and-tell about produced materials. It is important to give constructive critique on the others work. Three groups have presentation at the same time so that learning may occur between groups. For the presentation every group has 20 minutes for presentation and 10 minutes for critique. If you miss a presentation session, you need to notify the examiner in advance and conduct a supplementary task, which is to reflect on the assignment: on no more than 1000 words, describe the work you have done, and discuss what lessons you have learned, and what you could do differently in the future. Submit by email to the examiner at the deadline for supplementary examination.

Supervision Sessions

The supervision sessions work as checkpoints for group work. There is one checkpoint for the user research part of assignment 1, and one checkpoint for the revisions part of assignment 2. The idea is to check what the group has done, how it went, and what the next step is. Three groups have supervision at the same time so that learning may occur between groups. Every group has 15 minutes. Prepare questions you wish to ask the supervisor.

Teaching Sessions

There are two kinds of teaching sessions: Exercises and Design Studios.

  • Exercises. Some teaching sessions focus on exercises that are prepared by the lecturer.
  • Design Studios. Other teaching sessions are in the form of design studios that take place in a combined supervision and reporting by groups that sit down and work on their assignments while the teacher walks around and gives feedback. We expect all students to attend and work at the design studios, and if someone repeatedly is missing we will consider that an indication that something is wrong in the project team. The studios are however not strictly mandatory.

Group Work

The project work in Group Project Assignment 1 and 2 is done in groups of approximately five students. The groups are the same as in the course TEIO36. Students that do not take that course will be placed in a group. There is time in the time table marked as group work (Swe. grupparbete) (without teacher and without a lecture hall) for the groups to use as they please.

Individual Work

Individual work is required both in reading before the seminars and writing up preparations. There is also an individual design assignment. Supervision over Skype can be booked for individual work, if there is not time in conjunction to teaching sessions, seminars or lectures.


Formative feedback on your thoughts and discussion questions on the course literature will be given during discussions at seminars with peers and TA.

Formative as well as summative feedback on your writing will be given by teachers on your written texts. Minimal feedback will be given on summaries (there usually isnÕt that much to say about them), whereas critical reviews and reports are given more feedback.

Formative feedback on your group design work will be given during teaching sessions. Summative feedback on group design work is given after presentations.

Formative feedback on your individual design work is given during teaching sessions and booked Skype supervision sessions. Summative feedback on your individual design work is given at the end of the course.

Course Literature

Mandatory Course Literature

If you sit at home you access all electronically available articles available through the databases (eg. ACM and Emerald) at the Linköping University Library. If you use the university computers or the university WiFi you can just click the link to the articles. Some of the articles are openly accessible. Please note that there are slight differences between the course literature for students that read Swedish and students that do not read Swedish.

For Swedish speaking students:

For English speaking students:

Recommended Literature

Recommended, but not mandatory, literature for those who wish to go deeper:

  • Buxton, B. (2007). Sketching User Experiences: Getting the Design Right and the Right Design. Amsterdam: Morgan Kaufmann.
  • Carroll, J. M. (2014). Human Computer Interaction - brief intro. In M. Soegaard, and R. F. Dam (Eds.), The Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction, 2nd Ed.. Aarhus, Denmark: The Interaction Design Foundation. https://www.interaction-design.org/encyclopedia/human_computer_interaction_hci.html (accessed 2014-06-05).
  • Curtis, G. (2002). Idea Log? Stanford: Stanford University. http://hci.stanford.edu/courses/cs247/2012/readings/WhatsAnIdeaLog.pdf (accessed 2014-08-05).
  • Goodwin, K. (2009). Designing for the Digital Age: How to Create Human-Centered Products and Services. Indianapolis: Wiley.
  • Greenberg, S. (2014). Your Sketchbook. Calgary: University of Calgary. http://saul.cpsc.ucalgary.ca/pmwiki.php/Teaching/581Sketchbook (accessed 2014-08-05).
  • Greenberg, S., Carpendale, S., Marquardt, N., & Buxton, B. (2011). Sketching User Experiences: The Workbook. Amsterdam: Morgan Kaufmann.
  • Holtzblatt, K., & Beyer, H. R. (2013). Contextual Design. In M. Soegaard, and R. F. Dam (Eds.), The Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction, 2nd Ed.. Aarhus: The Interaction Design Foundation. http://www.interaction-design.org/encyclopedia/contextual_design.html (accessed 2013-08-12).
  • Jewell, R. (2013). WritingForCollege.org: Chapter 30 Critical Review. http://www.tc.umn.edu/~jewel001/CollegeWriting/WRITEREAD/CritReview/default.htm (accessed 2015-06-16).
  • Johnson, J. (2010). Designing with the Mind in Mind: Simple Guide to Understanding User Interface Design Rules. Amsterdam: Morgan Kaufmann.
  • Löwgren, J. (2013). Interaction Design - brief intro. In M. Soegaard, and R. F. Dam (Eds.), The Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction, 2nd Ed.. Aarhus: The Interaction Design Foundation. http://www.interaction-design.org/encyclopedia/interaction_design.html (accessed 2013-08-12).
  • Löwgren, J., & Stolterman, E. (2004) Design av informationsteknik: Materialet utan egenskaper. Lund: Studentlitteratur. (English version: Thoughtful Interaction Design, MIT Press, 2007)
  • Norman, D.A. (2013). The Design of Everyday Things: Revised and Expanded Edition. New York: Basic Books.
  • Nielsen, L. (2013). Personas. In M. Soegaard, and R. F. Dam (Eds.), The Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction, 2nd Ed.. Aarhus: The Interaction Design Foundation. http://www.interaction-design.org/encyclopedia/personas.html (accessed 2013-08-12).
  • Tidwell, J. (2011). Designing Interfaces: Patterns for Effective Interaction Design, 2nd Ed.. O'Reilly.
  • Tullis, T., & Albert, W. (2008). Measuring the User Experience: Collecting, Analyzing, and Presenting Usability Metrics. Amsterdam: Morgan Kaufmann.