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About the course

  • Responsible for the course: Susanne Koch Stigberg (
  • Official course description: [1]
  • Facebook group: [2]


Now you can find Harald's lecture notes in the schedule.

Please remember to send me your project information, so i can prepare the expo.

Next week I will talk to you about writing the paper, conferences etc. For that I want you to prepare ones again a short presentation of your project. You still have a whole week to complete your practical project work, that means 7 whole days to prototype and evaluate. Make them count!


Normal lecture times are Thursdays 8:15-14:00 in room D1-053.

Week Part Theme Notes Literature Exercise
34 Intro What is Interaction Design [[3] Introduction], [[4] Bodily Play] Interaction Design Ch. 1-2
Thoughtful Interaction Design Ch. 1
Bodily Play
35 Theory Cognitive Aspects [[5]Understanding the User] Interaction Design Ch. 3
[[6] The Model Human Processor]
[[7]Cognitive Engineering]
[[8] Affordances]
Bodily Play
36 Theory Social Aspects
Student Presentation Bodily Play
Introduction Arduino
[[9] Tangible User Interfaces] Interaction Design Ch. 4
[[10]Distributed Cognition],
[[11]NEW Situated Action],
[[12]Activity Theory]
Beyond the desktop
37 Theory Emotional Aspects
Tangible Bits Paper Presentation
[[13] Tangible User Interfaces] Interaction Design Ch. 5
[[14]Dramatic Interaction],
[[15] NEW Embodied Interaction]
optional literature: [[16]Tangible Bits]
Beyond the desktop
38 Interfaces Presentation Beyond the desktop
Conceptualising Interactions
Introduction Quantified Self
[[17]Conceptualising Interactions]
Interaction Design Ch. 6 Data Representation
39 Interfaces Future Interfaces read & present an article of your choice Data Representation
40 Design Hand Gesture Design Workshop
Information Design
[[19]Design Workshop]
[[20] Information Design]
41 Design Presentation Quantified Self
Introduction Design
Idea relay & Peeling Apples
Project Topic Pitch
Project work
42 Design Tool Perspective [21]Contextual Design]
[22] 1999 Article]
Interaction Design Ch7-10
Project work
43 Design Medium Perspective [24] Participatory Design] Interaction Design Ch7-10 Project work
44 Design Art Perspective Interaction Design Ch7-10 Project work
45 Design Prototyping [[25]Prototyping] Interaction Design Ch11 Project work
46 Evaluation Evaluation Part 1[[26]] Interaction Design Ch 13-14 Project work
47 Evaluation Evaluation Part 2[[27]] Interaction Design Ch 15 Project work
48 Research [[28]HCI research community and publication channels] optional [[29]Introductions] [[30]How to structure and write a paper] Project work
49 Project EXPO Everything must be handed in that day Project work

Current Topics

Each student should present a current hci conference paper (>2010) in 10 minutes next Thursday. Sign up below with your name and paper title.

Student Paper
Marius Using space and time to encode vibrotactile information: toward an estimate of the skin’s achievable throughput
Kristina AquaTop Display
An Lam Under Pressure: Sensing Stress of Computer Users
Agete Hand in Hand With the Material: Designing for Suppleness
An Tran Activity Recognition for the Mind: Toward a Cognitive "Quantified Self"
Haris Hand Motion-Based Remote Control Interface with Vibrotactile Feedback for Home Robots
Per-Olav “Dad, Stop Crashing My Car!”: Making Use of Probing to Inspire the Design of Future In-Car Interfaces
Hafsteinn Time-Me: helping children understand time
Karl Henrik Human Computer Interaction That Reaches Beyond Desktop Applications
Tommy High-Performance Pen + Touch Modality Interactions: A Real-Time Strategy Game eSports Context
Morgan Evaluating HCI using the Microsoft Kinect augmented with Non-invasive BCI

Reading Assignments

During the first three weeks we will have a reading club with important HCI literature. Every student should read all papers and come well prepared to lecture. Each student should submit one question / comment per paper at least 24h before lecture. These questions will be used as a starting point for a paper discussion.

For each paper there will be two responsible students. (Deadline 24th August) These students will prepare a short summary of the paper from their perspective and then lead the paper discussion.

Week Paper First person Second person
35 The Model Human Processor Marius Haris
35 Cognitive Engineering Morten Karl Henrik
35 Affordances Per-Olav
36 Distributed Cognition Kristina
36 Situated Action Hafsteinn An Tran
36 Activity Theory Tommy
37 Dramatic Interaction Agete An Lam
37 Embodied Interaction Morgan


Dramatic Interaction

Question Student
Laurel uses the elements to describe how a human computer system can be like. To me it seems such a description fits more computer games, rather than a full description for HCI. How well do you think such a model can be used to create a HCI, based on todays standards? Haris
Does haptic feedback fall within the category of language? Marius
How would you apply this theory when designing a HCI system? Kristina
Do you think by using the six elements and the causal relations will lead to a better design to HCI or is it just a theory? Per-Olav
What are the merits of looking at HCI from this perspective? Tommy
Could you elaborate on the internal traits and external traits of an agent in human-computer activity? An Tran
How do you think a game that allows the user to use the senses smell, hearing and sight and maybe taste would be accepted today compaired to the already most common games that only realy on hearing and sight. Karl Henrik

Embodied Interaction

Question Student
Because the meaning should be determened by the user and only influenced by the designer. Would it

be beneficial for the computer to adapt the meaning to the user?

Can you please tell with Your own Words what ubiquitous Computing model is? Agete
Do you think that interfaces have become more user aware (in terms of knowing what the user wants and how the user will use the interface) ever since this article was written? Haris
Heidegger rejected Husserl's idea of the separation of mind and body. Who do you think has the best idea? Per-Olav
Heidegger "The way we act in the world is logically prior to the way we understand it". Do you agree with this? Kristina
Could you give some examples to illustrate how the Phenomenology concept is used in technology in this day and age? An Tran
"More generally, however, by embodiment I mean a presence and participation in the world, real-time and real-space, here and now."

Is there any kind of interaction which does not fall under the category of embodied interaction given this definition of embodiment?

How can this paper help todays designers to improve their interaction design. Karl Henrik

Distributed Cognition

Situated Action
Question Student
I see how appealing this approch is from a theoretical perspective, but how useful is in in practice?

To me it seems that the ethnographic grounding that the analysis requires would be very difficult to do without spending a very considerable amount of time collecting and analyzing data.

If a ship navigator can feel the bearing in his body. How can this apply to other professions in terms of skills developed by experience? Morten
We have read that the distributed cognition theory have been applied to the bridges of ships, cockpits and air traffic control rooms. Can you think of any other systems in todays society the theory might be beneficial to apply to? Haris
pad++ is no longer developing or supporting. Do you know any technology today that is based on pad++? Per-Olav
Has this paper changed your perspective on communication and machine? Agete
Could you provide some examples for the two principles of Distributed Cognition: the boundaries of the unit of analysis and the range of mechanisms? An Lam
What do you think are the most interesting aspects about DCog. Hafsteinn
Could you give an example to demonstrate the effect of culture in distributed cognition in real-world design? An Tran
Question Student
On page 62 in "4.4 The indexicality of language " the author uses an excerpt from Garfinkel, 1967, p.22. Why do you think the author decided to use this in the tekst? Agete
Lucy argues against starting to write a complete documentation for a product because it would be impossible to write a documentation that was unambigous for every situation.

In more complicated products, some features are often less promenent because showing all the possibilities equally would be impossible. Some solve this by adding by adding several deeper levels of menues so the user can reach the desired features, often without knowing in advance the exact feature he is looking for. Is this an application of this theory?

If two people see another who is upset. The first will comfort and the other will do everything to make him/her more upset. These are two outcomes of one situation. Could this situations fit into the context of situated actions? Per-Olav
Going from a regular mobile phone to a smart-phone can be a huge leap for some. Do you think that OS for phones like the android and iOS have been thorougly designed to understand different users planning and executing of actions, based on the interfaces it provides? Haris
How can this theory be applied in Human Interaction Design? Kristina
In the article it says that we must account every meaningful action separately. How may this statement be applied when designing a system? Morgan
Do you think that a good interface still needs skill to be used or should the user be capable to use the interface with zero skills? Karl Henrik

Activity Theory

Question Student
Does this theory only work with expert users? In addition it implies that the individual cognitive reflection of the world is based on our activity with objects and the artifacts that surrounds us, do you think this theory has any drawbacks with this external point of view? Kristina
In chapter "1.2 Introduction to the Framework " the author uses an example with newspapers, if you were to write this articles now, what would you have used? Agete
on page 177: "We cannot ask the person to predict his or her future operation in a future action." Is this really true? Per-Olav
The article is roughly 25 years old by now. Do you think technological development since then has made the design of UI & application of activity theory easier since then? Hafsteinn
Is there a way we can create programs that fit both novice and expert users, both by avoiding unneccesarry breakdowns and time consuming operations? Haris
Could this be extended into the realm of programming languages by letting the language be the artifact?

Example, some programming languges are better than others at representing the semantics of what you want to do. By seeing the action being what you want to achieve, the operations as what you type, and breakdowns being when you are unable to continue without thinking about the programming language itself?

How do you think different users with different levels of competence can effect the design of user interface? An Lam

The Model Human Processor

Question Student
Id like to ask about your thoughts on Example 1. Where the author shows us how the "fastman" requires his "movie" to be running at atleast 20fps to suspend his disbelief.

How accurate do you think this is? Especially today- if this article is from 1986? 24fps work for movies because they cheat using motionblur to trick the eye, something games cant simulate quite as well without sacrificing precious GPU time / fps. When applied to gaming today, i'd like to think that 30 is the bare minimum, while 20 would nett you numerous complaints. There's allso the "expectation of seeing/perceiving your input". So even if you cant "see" the differance in a game (some cannot)- they can still perceive the "input-lag". What kind of "perception" do you think that correlates to?

What is faster? reading one image or one word.

Example: Image of a horse or the word horse.

This is a very interesting paper presenting the Model Human Processor, which could be used for approximating human performance which is a difficult task at that time. The author also gave some practical and straightforward examples on how to use this model.

However, still I don’t see the purpose of calculating human performance. Could you or the lecturer discuss more about the importance of human performance computation, particularly on interaction design?

An Lam
How do you think the validity of this model human processor are and have it been used to develope an intraction design? Per-Olav
Much as a photograph develops, a person reacts before the image is fully complete or developed, is this a form of association? Kristina
The paper claims this model can be used to analyse and improve common mental tasks. In which ways could you use this model to improve something like the arrangement of your menus in a computer application? Tommy
In example 4 they write about a user reaching a button.

They write that the movement is not continous, but dividided in micro-corrections, and each correction takes at least one cycle of Porceptual-, one for Cognitive- and one for Motor processor (observe, decide and perform correction). How may this way of thinking help us in interaction design?

Do you think this model can give a bigger understanding of the human mind and human behaviour, why or why not? Karl Henrik

Cognitive Engineering

Question Student
The article came out in 1986 according to .

Do you think time and technological development since then has made it easier or more difficult to avoid "bad design".

How important is it for the user to have full control over a system and its actions, and how will it benefit the user? Agete
When windows 8 was intruduced to the public, it offered a new design called the "metro". The design was more "touch" oriented and was meant to make the windows interface much easier to use. With a new way of efficently showing all your favorite apps, pictures, and folders in one place, the new design made things much easier. The start menu was taken away, but users could still switch to the desktop. When disussing the gulf of execution and evaluation, do you think that the new windows interface brought users closer to the system with its different and new interface to control, and the system closer to the user with big app displays and etc? Or do you think it only made it worse, when thinking about new and old users? Haris
When working with data visualization it is possible to use both simple plots to show the data and more immersive experiences such as 3D landscapes. Most visualizations of sufficiently large data sets provide some interactions for filtering or focusing on a region of the data. When using these interactions, it is common for some of these tasks to require significant computation time and would therefore cause a large gulf of execution.

If the same delay occurred in a 2d plot and an immersive 3D experience. The perceived delay would be significantly worse in the more immersive experience. Why is this, and how important would this be in the choice of visualization method?

Do you think this problems is relevant with the technology we got today? if so what would you do to improve it? Per-Olav
As stated in the reading, there are a series of tradeoffs need to be taken into considerations when designing an interactive system.

I was wondering if in practice, are there any measures/standards on evaluating how “user friendly” a systems is for the designers to follow?

An Lam
The seven stages of user activity. In which case may some stages be skipped or replaced? Kristina
One advice from this text is to separate the design of the interface from the design of the system, but it doesn't elaborate on where to separate the two, or what should be considered sufficiently separate. So I'm wondering what kind of assumptions are acceptable to make of the interface, in the design of the system. Tommy
In the article they say that the number of input mechanisms and the variety of output is limited, which makes it difficult to design computer systems. This article is written in 1986, and the techology today is much better than it was at that time.

Is there some output or input mechanisms which has emerged since then, that may be used to improve the design of computer systems?



Question Student
What do you think is the most important in design, the visual or the usability? Agete
Recent research into shape-changing and deformable interfaces have started to enable not only the image displayed on a screen to be updated, but also the shape of the interface itself by using motors, and smart materials.

Most of the work in this field has been focused on displaying information in some physical way, not interaction. How do you believe these types of interfaces can provide affordances for interaction?

Many new interfaces in our society contain appearances that imitate physical objects in their design. These appearances help to describe functions inside the interface, a form of Skeuomorphism. Take the phone icon that is on many of our smart-phones, as an example. When we want to make a call, we can most likely instantly realize which app or icon to press, since the image on the icon resembles a phone. The phone on the icon resembles an old phone which many of us can spot in muesums or classic movies. Generations living today will most likely still recognize the classical phone, but there is a chance that future generations might not. The article mentiones that skeuomorphism is losing ground in interaction design, but is this entirely true? Will technology have to change to create new affordances suitable for future generations, or will future generations have to keep up with the past? Haris
I cant think of any great questions…

But can you think of any culturally different affordances, signifiers or social signifiers while traveling abroad. Anything that left an impression, or maybe something you misinterpreted? :p

In recompense, here are some interesting videos/lectures starring Norman- for anyone that's interested.

Speaking about complexity, And around the 7minute mark and for about 4 minutes he mentions affordances and signifiers. and later at 34:22 - "social signifiers", etc.

TED lecture about “The three ways that good design makes you happy” – not quite as relevant, but again fun & only 13minutes in total.

What does it mean to detect invariants? please explain in a simpler way than the article. Kristina
Perceived affordances inform users of available actions [], why does feedforward come before perceived affordances? (figure 44.12) An Tran
One of the goals of affordances is to make things more intuitive and to make it immediately obvious how you can use a product. However, this notion seems to encourage skeuomorphism. Do you think the concept of affordances favours skeuomorphic design, and if not, why not? Tommy
In section Norman says that signifiers are substantially different from affordances. Do you think that affordances and signifiers can go under the same category, why or why not? Karl Henrik

Technology labs

Interaction design is not only theory, but much is learned during the process of making. To enable students to use and reflect on HCI theory the class contains out of 3 technology labs. These labs are meant to give students vital interaction design experience in a playful and relaxed setting. We do not grade these labs, instead we engage students to try and fail experience with new technology. The labs are placed beyond the desktop, since we believe that future interaction designers will work with a greater design space than that of a traditional computer.

Please help to build up the Makerspace. We hope that all projects are documented and shared at our makerspace website to inspire other students and build a community of makers @hiof

  • Document your prototype. What did you do and how did you do it!
  • Share your online resources. Did you find an interesting documentation online, add it to our link list.

Please share on Makerspace!

Bodily Play

In this workshop we try to inspire students to create gesture based interactions for games. Inspired by Florian Floyd Müller, students will use their bodies as play. The idea is to design a digital game for the body instead of the computer. Floyd categorizes digital game in three genres:

  • playing with the computer (traditional computer games)
  • playing through your body (kinect )
  • experience your body as digital play (see examples from last year @makerspace).

The goal is to:

* work in teams
* get used to the makerspace
* use new technologies
* use design thinking
* extend our perspective on interaction design beyond the desktop, 
* design an exertion multiplayer game

Students will present their games for each other and it is recommended to try out each others games for feedback. The deliveries for this work are:

  • how-to documentation @Makerspace (document idea and code)
  • a short video of how to play it that can be used at presentation game

Week 34-36

Presentation Day: 3rd of September!

Beyond The Desktop

In the second lab we continue to work beyond the desktop and introduce tangibility as a way to interact with digital data. Students will create their own tangible interface using the Arduino prototyping toolkit to enable social and emotional aspects of use.

The goals of this lab are:

* get used to Arduino and Processing
* transform digital data into tangible bits
* introduction to user-centered design
* reflect on social and emotional aspects of technology
* reflect on internet of things
* reflect on human senses and technology

Students will present their work for each other The deliveries for this work are:

  • how-to documentation @Makerspace (document idea and code)
  • a short video of how to use your technology

Week 36-38

Presentation Day: 17th of September!


Activity trackers have become popular. Our smart phones have numerous sensors that track how we interact with them and the world. In this lab students will create an Android App using the AWARE framework to track some activity in their lives. The app should provide a clear user-value and illustrate how sensor data can be used in a QuantifiedSelf context. Students are encouraged to use some basic machine-learning techniques to enable more advanced features, such as gesture detection etc. The goal is however to provide an app that raises awareness about some features in our lives.

The goals of this lab are:

* get used to Android programming
* get used to AWARE framework
* basic know-how to integrate machine learning
* transform sensor data into something meaningful
* work with information visualization
* reflect on tracking Apps
* reflect on quantifiedSelf movement
* reflect on behavior change

Students will present their work for each other The deliveries for this work are:

  • how-to documentation @Makerspace (document idea and code)
  • available apk for all to test
  • a short video of how to use your technology

week 38-40

Presentation Day: Wednesday 1st of October!

Final Project

In the final project students demonstrate their knowledge in interaction design / HCI practice and theory.. They can build up on one of the technology labs or choose a new topic. The outcome of the project is a conference paper, poster and video.

Sign up for one final project group

Group Students Project Place
Group 1 Kristina, Marius and Haris GPS utility
Group 2 Tommy, Karl Henrik, Hafsteinn, Agete, Per-Olav How to teach children the time
Group 3 An Lam, An Tran How Gamification promotes collaboration on using shared washing machine at student dormitories
Group 4 Morgan Buckholm Pettersen, Morten Olsen How use of technology may help counteract bullying


Group 1:

  • nexus 5

Group 3:

  • 2 nexus 5
  • 1 arduino
  • 1 wifi-shield


Students are encouraged to submit their paper to a suitable conference.

  • Minimum 4 pages (short paper)
  • Written for a specific European conference (format, content, references,....)
  • Presents your work in a scientific manner with related work
  • First draft (you can get further guidance upon submitting to a conference)


Often conferences have a poster section, there you can present your work.

  • Create a poster for selected conference (content, layout,....)
  • You can print large poster at IT drift. Have enough time!!!


Often conferences appreciate short video demonstrations (max 60sec) of your project.

  • Create a video (max 60 seconds) for selected conference


Date: 3rd of December 10-12 am Place: Makerspace

This event is like a mini conference with exhibition and talks. The first 30 minutes guests can look at the exhibition. Each group should prepare a booth. You can use for example a table and present your prototype, poster and video. After that we start with short paper talks. You should prepare a presentation / demonstration (10-15 minutes).

The order of the presentations is as followed: 10:30 How to teach children the time 10:50 Student App for shared laundry room 11:10 How use of technology may help counteract bullying 11:30 GPS utility

I will promote the event as much as possible. Therefore I will need:

  • at least one picture from your group. It could be a picture of your prototype or some interesting context, or process.
  • a name & abstract for your project

Please send me this information before 19th of november!

Possible Conferences

==== non-european conferences ====


The exam will be about 30 minutes (10 minutes presentation and 20 minutes discussion).

It consists of an individual presentation (10 minutes) and discussion on your project work and course content (20 minutes). For the presentation you can prepare a slideshow to present your projects, the methods you used and the results. Here you should focus especially on two parts:

  • the design approach (what methods you used and why / what results you got / your reflection on process)
  • the hci field (what field does your project belong to? what related work is there? what is similar and different with your project?)

After the presentation we will have a max 20 minute discussion based on your presentation. Part of the discussion will be the course content. You should be able to talk briefly at least on one hci theory (Reading circle).

Please sign up for a time slot below.

Day Time Student
8 Dec 09:15 Haris
8 Dec 09:50 Marius
8 Dec 10:25 Kristina
8 Dec 11:00
9 Dec 12:15 Karl Henrik
9 Dec 12:50 Per-Olav
9 Dec 13:25 Morten
10 Dec 09:15 Morgan
10 Dec 09:50 Agete
10 Dec 10:25 Tommy
10 Dec 11:00 An Tran
10 Dec 12:15 Hafsteinn
10 Dec 12:50 An Lam
10 Dec 13:25 Michael