Principles of Interaction (2015SS)

Course Principles of Interaction
Type VO, UE
Lecturer Riener
Course-Id 340.300 (VO)
340.301 (UE G1)
Hours/week 2 (VO)
1 (UE G1)
Education level Master's program Computer Science, 1st year
Course organization and schedule  

The course is subdivided in a lecture (2h, 3ECTS) and accompanied exercises (1h, 1.5ECTS).

  • As in previous years, we will discuss and vote in the first lecture whether or not the lecture should be organized as blocked course. At least for the exercises, the lecturer proposes a blocked organization (ca. 5-6 dates per semester) with individual and/or smaller group projects. 
Overview In this course, we will learn about the principles of human-computer interaction (HCI) with, e.g., computers, systems, web, appliances, mobile devices, etc) in the design and development of products people use. Students will experience hands-on HCI activities that they would do in industry settings (analysis - idea generation - design - evaluation). We will practice HCI-research methods (e.g., task analysis, affinity diagram, rapid prototyping, cognitive walkthrough, heuristic evaluation, contextual inquiry, survey, and experiment/usability test design) and touch traditional and current theory and perspectives (e.g., cognitive and emotional mechanisms, distributed cognition, multimodal interaction, universal design, natural user interface, embodied cognition, info viz, and sonification, etc). Students will review and critique interactions or interactive products in movies and develop further ideas based on perceptual, cognitive, and social characteristics of people. There will be lectures, but we will have discussion as much as possible. Students will conduct individual projects and team projects. Students can take this course, independent of their programming skill, design capability, or psychological background.
Learning objectives This course is designed to obtain the following academic objectives by balancing theoretical and practical aspects of "Human Factors".

  • Learn and self-define "Human-Computer Interaction" (HCI).
  • Understand the HCI domain and learn about its constructs, theory, people, methodologies, and applications.
  • Evaluate critically related articles and interactive products in real life.
  • Experience the interaction design cycle as an individual and within a team by (re)designing human-machine systems based on user-centered design principles.
  • Get some sense of HCI practice in industry.
Table of contents

  • Introduction & Motivation (Motivation for User Interface Engineering, Terms and Concepts, Trends in Computing, How to make (un)usable Products, etc.)
  • History and Future of HCI (People, Hardware-level Interfaces, SW-based UI's (interactive command line, graphical interfaces), Multimodal UIs, Speech, Gestures, etc.)
  • Designing Interactive Systems (Design vs. Requirements, Creativity Methods, Tools and Methods in the early Design Phase, Prototyping, "Wizard of Oz", etc.)
  • User Interface Engineering Process (User-Centered Approaches, Example Development Process, Human-Centered Design and Development Lifecycle, etc.)
  • Analyzing the Requirements and Understanding the Design Space (Factors that Influence the User Interface, Analyzing systems, work processes, and interaction, etc.)
  • Design Guidelines and Design Principles (Style Guides: Shneiderman, Nielson, Norman, Applied Design Guidelines and Principles)
  • Theories and Models (Fitt's Law, Hick's Law, GOMS, KML, etc.)
  • Norms, Standards, and Statistics
  • Focus Topics, for example "Driver-Vehicle Interaction" (Design and Application of Automotive User Interfaces; Individuality/Personality/User configurability, etc.)

Primary literature  

  • Bernhard Preim, Raimund Dachselt, "Interaktive Systeme", Band 1, Springer, Taschenbuch, 2. Auflage, 2010, ISBN-13: 978-3-642-05402-0
  • Christopher D. Wickens, Justin G. Hollands, Raja Parasuraman, Simon Banbury, "Engineering Psychology & Human Performance", 4th Edition, Pearson, October 17, 2012, ISBN-13: 978-0-205-02198-7
  • Jonathan Lazar, Jinjua Heidi Feng, Harry Hochheiser, "Research Methods in Human-Computer Interaction", Wiley, Paperback, 1st edition (February 1, 2010), ISBN-13: 978-0470723371
  • David Benyon, "Designing Interactive Systems", Addison-Wesley, 2nd edition, 2010, ISBN-13: 0-321-43533-0
Exam Written test, closed book, 90min. at the end of the semester (see lecture schedule).
CEUS Study guide of JKU Linz