Interaction Design WikiInteraction Design Methods

Interaction Design Methods 2019


Spring 2019 

Instructor: Dr Joëlle Bitton 

Teaching Assistant: Martin Dusek

Office hours by appointment 

Class sessions include a lecture/discussion each Monday from 10.30-12.30 in 4.K14, or other date/room if noted in the schedule below. Starting in week 3 and continuing for the rest of the semester, two students will give presentations every week. 


This course proposes to investigate the methods of interaction design and the challenges they pose, with a particular focus on human-centred design. With notions of cultural contexts, historical overviews, and case studies, we’ll discuss the foundations of interaction design methods and their evolution. During the overlap with the Interaction Design process course, some of these concepts will be put into practice. 


From the third week, each course will be structured around two student presentations of fifteen minutes each and class discussions, with occasionally an additional lecture from the instructor or guest lecturer.


Grades will be based on the oral and written presentations and on class participation. Contributing to constructive group feedback is an essential aspect of class participation. Regular attendance is required. Two or more unexcused absences will affect the final grade. Arriving late on more than one occasion will also affect the grade.

Oral presentations 30% 

Final essay 30%

Class participation 20% 

Journal/Blog 20%

Any assignment that remains unfulfilled receives a failing grade. 


Students must independently prepare lectures on selected texts from the week. These can be presented in different formats.
Possible presentation formats are:

The presentation should include a 2-pages written discussion, sent to the instructor by the Wednesday 14.00, in the week prior to the class to get enough time for feedback and possible changes, and then made available to the class the Friday 14.00 prior to insure a general discussion.

The paper should include title, author, date, context, summary, bibliography.

Additional sources can be added to inform the discussion if necessary.

The students presenting should engage the class in a discussion with questions and/or with active participation in an exercise.

The essay is a final 1500-words essay with a diversity of sources and bibliography (classified by genre: book, book chapter, journal article, conference article, academic thesis, newspaper article, web article, etc). 

The topic of the essay is chosen by the student and proposed by Week 8 in the form of a short paragraph (100 words) explaining the topic and the questions at stake. I will inform the student if the topic is accepted in that week. The final essay has to be submitted by Week 12.

The paper should be written in English if possible.

A separate 'Journal' is developed by each student that reflects on learnings from the seminar. It should be in the form of an online blog (ie. WordPress, Tumblr or other):

Readings are mandatory every week. Additional readings are provided for reference, and if you have time to read through (although it's expected that you at least check quickly the paper).
Students are expected to discuss and comment in class based on the readings they have done prior to the class.
A reading guideline is provided to support the reading process.
Texts vary in length every week, this is considered part of the learning process in this class to go through a reading and gather essential ideas in a limited time.


Readings are made available in the shared IAD server.


Week 1 - 25.02.19 Deconstructing Interaction Design

The focus of this introductory lesson is a discussion on the term "Interaction Design". 

From your short experience as design students in the first semester and your various experience as customers and users, we’ll uncover the variety of meanings of interaction design.

We’ll also look at the syllabus and go through the lectures to prepare.


Löwgren, J. & Stolterman, E. (2007). Thoughtful Interaction Design. The Process (15­-41). 

Week 2 - 04.03.19 Perspectives of design

Historical outline and introduction of design methods theories. Highlighting the notion of design, technology and human experience.

Lecture : “Perspectives of Interaction Design”


Carroll, J. M. (2000). Making Use: Scenario-­Based Design of Human­Computer Interactions. The MIT Press. “the Process”

Dreyfuss, H. S. (1955). Designing for People. (26-­43). 

Dubberly, H. ­(2004). How do you design? Dubberly Design Office.

Kolko, J. (2011). Exposing the Magic of Design: A Practitioner’s Guide to the Methods and Theory of Synthesis (Oxford Series in Human­Technology Interaction) (1 ed.). Oxford University Press, USA.

Additional readings:

Dreyfuss, H. S. The designer’s role (sketch).

Kolko, J. (2007). Thoughts on Interaction Design. Brown Bear LLC. (Chapter 3) 

Week 3 - 11.03.2019 Design in the everyday context

Design takes place everyday, is inspired by popular culture and in turn is inspiring stories and the collective imagination. Overview of design for various contexts.



Bell, Genevieve, Blythe, M. & Sengers, P. 2005. “Making by Making Strange: Defamiliarization and the Design of Domestic Technologies”. In ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction. 12. 149-173.

Carroll, J. M. (2000). “What is Design?” In Making Use: Scenario­Based Design of Human­Computer Interactions. The MIT Press.

Kirk, David S., Chatting, D. J., Yurman P. & Bichard, J. 2016. “Ritual Machines I & II: Making Technology at Home”. In Proceedings of CHI ‘16

Marianne de Laet and Annemarie Mol. 2000. The Zimbabwe Bush Pump: Mechanics of a Fluid Technology, In Social Studies of Science. 30/2. 225–63

Donald Norman. 1988. The Design of Everyday Things. 54-80.

Daniela Rosner and Jonathan Bean. “Learning from IKEA Hacking: “Iʼm Not One to Decoupage a Tabletop and Call It a Day.” Proceedings of  CHI’ 09.

Shedroff, N. 2012. Make it So. Rosenfeld Media. 

Additional readings:

Dourish, P. & Bell , G. 2011. Divining a Digital Future: Mess and Mythology in Ubiquitous Computing. Cambridge: MIT Press. 

Kakalios, James. 2005. The Physics of Superheroes. The Gotham Books Publishing Group. 

Week 4 - 18.03.2019 Human-Computer Interaction and methods

Interaction Design and the field of HCI research are intertwined. Desk-based research, cultural probes, participatory design, ethnographic video, etc… terms that are at the heart of methodologies.



Buur, J., Fraser, E., Oinonen, S., & Rolfstam, M. 2010. “Ethnographic video as design specs”. In Proceedings of SIGCHI Australia’ 10.

Liz Danzico . 2010. “From Davis to David: Lessons from Improvisation”. In Interactions.

Fogg, B.J. 2003. “Conceptual Designs”. In Laurel, Brenda (ed.). Design Research. Methods and Perspectives

Gaver, Bill, Dunne, T., & Pacenti, E. 1999. “Design: Cultural probes”. In Interactions, 6(1), 21-­29. 

Oulasvirta, A., Kurvinen, E., & Kankainen, T. 2003. “Understanding contexts by being there: case studies in bodystorming". In Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, 7(2), 125­-134. 

Sanders, E., & Stappers, P. J. 2008. “Co­creation and the new landscapes of design”. In CoDesign, 4(1), 5–18. 

Verplank, Bill. 2008. Interaction Design Sketchbook. 

Week 5 - 01.04.2019 The experience and the user-experience

At the heart of the design is the human experience: how to keep track of it?



boyd, danah. 2007. “Why Youth (Heart) Social Network Sites: The Role of Networked Publics in Teenage Social Life.” In MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Learning – Youth, Identity, and Digital Media Volume (ed. David Buckingham). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. 

Horst, Heather. 2011. Free, Social, and Inclusive: Appropriation and Resistance of New Media Technologies in Brazil. In International Journal of Communication. 5. 437–462.  

Kaye, Joseph, Levitt, M. K., Nevins, J., Golden, J. & Schmidt, V. “Communicating Intimacy One Bit at a Time”. In Proceedings of CHI ‘05

Krueger, M. W., Gionfriddo, T, & Hinrichsen, K. “Videoplace - An Artificial Reality”. In Proceedings of CHI ’85.

Merholz, P., Wilkens, T., Schauer, B., & Verba, D. (2008). Subject To Change:
Creating Great Products & Services for an Uncertain World: Adaptive Path on Design
. O’Reilly Media, Inc. (Chapter 1 + 5) 

Additional Readings

Buchenau, M. & Fulton Suri, J. 2000. “Experience Prototyping”. In Proceeding of DIS ’00.

Holmquist, L. E. 2005. Prototyping: Generating Ideas or Cargo Cult Designs? In Interactions. March-April 2005. 

Week 6 - 08.04.19 The question of the prototype

The prototype is the actuation of an idea, its evaluation, its dissemination, its validation all at once? Where does the prototype stop?



Montgomery, Will. 2013. “Machines for Living”. In Wire. 243. 28-35.

O’Sullivan, D. & Igoe, T. 2003. Physical Computing: Sensing and Controlling the Physical World with Computers. Premier Press. 

Pask, Gordon. 1971. “A Comment, a Case History and a Plan.” In Cybernetics, Art, and Ideas. Edited Reichardt, Jasia. London: Studio Vista. 76-99. 

Ramakers, Raf, Anderson, F., Grossman, T. & Fitzmaurice, G. 2016. “RetroFab: A Design Tool for Retrofitting Physical Interfaces using Actuators, Sensors and 3D Printing”. In Proceedings of CHI ’16.

Youn­Kyung, L., Erik, S., & Josh, T. 2008. The anatomy of prototypes: Prototypes as filters, prototypes as manifestations of design ideas. In ACM Trans. Comput.­Hum.Interact. 15(2). 1–27. 

Additional Readings

Ehn, P., & Kyng, M. 1991. Cardboard computers: Mocking-­it-­up or hands­-on the future. In Design at Work: Cooperative Design of Computer Systems. 169–195. 

Bolchini, D., Pulido, D., & Faiola, A. 2009. “ “Paper in screen” prototyping: an agile technique to anticipate the mobile experience”. In Interactions. 16(4). 29–33. 

Week 7 - 15.04.2019 Evaluation by narration

Why do we document, why do we practice pitching, selling ideas? How do we share and disseminate a design? 


Exercise: Storytelling


Auger, James. 2012. “Demo or die: Overcoming oddness through aesthetic experience”. In Why Robot? Speculative Design, the domestication of technology and the considered future. PhD Thesis. RCA, London. 

Hertz, G. & Parikka, J. 2012. “Zombie Media: Circuit Bending Media Archaeology into an Art Method”. In Leonardo. 45:5. 424–430.

Ishii, Hiroshi & Ullmer B. 1997. “Tangible Bits: Towards Seamless Interfaces between People, Bits and Atoms”. In Proceedings of CHI ‘97

Ishii, Hiroshi, Lakatos, D., Bonanni, L. & Labrune, J. “Radical Atoms: Beyond Tangible Bits,Toward Transformable Materials”. In Interactions. 19:1. January/ February 2012. 38-51. 

Kim, J., Lund, A. & Dombrowski. 2010. “Mobilizing Attention: Storytelling for Innovation”. In Interactions.

Loch, Christopher. 2003. Moving Your Idea Through Your Organisation. In Laurel, Brenda (ed.). Design Research. Methods and Perspectives

Additional Readings

Brown, D. M. (2010). “Competitive Reviews” In Communicating Design: Developing Web Site Documentation for Design and Planning. 254­-263. Berkeley: New Riders. 

Nelson, Ted. 1974. Computer Lib. Dream Machine. Seven Dollars.

Quesenberry, W. & Brooks, K. 2010. “Why Stories?”. In Storytelling for User experience. Rosenfeld Media. 

Week 8 - 29.04.2019 Re: Evaluation

What does it mean to evaluate a work, what are the tools, how is a project fitting its intentions? Is evaluation even necessary in the context of design?



Bardzell, J., Bolter, J., & Löwgren, J. 2010. “Interaction criticism: three readings of an interaction design, and what they get us”. In Interactions. 17:2. 32–37. 

Greenberg, S., & Buxton, B. 2008. “Usability evaluation considered harmful (some of the time)”. In Proceedings of CHI ’08.

Nørgaard, M., & Hornbæk, K. 2006. “What do usability evaluators do in practice?: an explorative study of think ­aloud testing”. In Proceedings of DIS ‘06.

Preece, J., Rogers, Y., & Sharp, H. 2002. “Introducing Evaluation”. In Interaction Design. Wiley.

Sengers, P., & Gaver, B. 2006. “Staying open to interpretation: engaging multiple meanings in design and evaluation”.  In Proceedings of DIS ‘06.

***Assignment for all: propose the topic of your essay***

Week 9 - 06.05.2019 Visual abstractions

Diagrams, sketching, mind mapping, working with data, visualising information: this is the work of explaining to your audience, from clients, to customers, to collaborators, the essence of an argument.


Exercise: Diagrams


Buxton, B. 2007. Sketching User Experiences: Getting the Design Right and the Right Design. Morgan Kaufmann. 76-81.

Eggers William. D., Hamill R., Ali A. 2013. “Data as the new currency. Government’s role in facilitating the exchange”. In Deloitte Review. 13. 18-31. 

Fisher, D., DeLine, R., Czerwinski, M., & Drucker, S. 2012. Interactions with big data analytics. In Interactions. 19(3). 50­-59. 

Mackinlay, J. D. & Winslow, K. Designing Great Visualizations. Study for Tableau Software. (undated, retrieved November 2013).

Pavliscak, Pamela. 2015. Data-Informed Product Design. O’Reilly. 

Additional Readings

Rogers, Y., Sharp, H. & Preece, J. 2002. “Identifying Needs and establishing Requirements”. In Interaction Design: Beyond Human­ Computer Interaction. John Wiley & Sons. 201-­211. 

Week 10 - 13.05.2019 Innovation for all

The history and practice of design is following that of technology, how do they correlate in notions of innovation and creativity?



Blanchette, Jean-François. 2011. “A Material History of Bits”. In Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology. 62:6. 1042-1057. 

Jones Rhys, Haufe P., Sells E., Iravani P., Olliver V., Palmer C. and Bowyer, A. 2011. “RepRap - The Replicating Rapid Prototyper.” In Robotica, 29.

Kelley, T. (2001). The Art Of Innovation: Lessons In Creativity From IDEO, America’s Leading Design Firm. Crown Business. 23-52.

Ou, Jifei, Dublon, G., Cheng, C., Heibeck, F., Willis, K.D.D. & Ishii, H. 2016. “Cilllia - 3D Printed Micro-Pillar Structures for Surface Texture, Actuation and Sensing”. In Proceedings of CHI ‘16

Seago, Alex & Dunne, Anthony. 1999. New Methodologies in Art and Design Research: The Object as Discourse. In Design Issues. 15:2. Summer 1999. 

Additional Readings

Kelley, T. (2001). The Art Of Innovation: Lessons In Creativity From IDEO, America’s Leading Design Firm. Crown Business. 53­-66. 

Week 11 - 20.05.2019 Speculative design, design, art

Where design and art collide: what is your design standing for? 



Auger, James. 2012. “Speculative design: The products that technology could become”. In Why Robot? Speculative Design, the domestication of technology and the considered future. PhD Thesis. RCA, London. 

Campbell, Jim. 2000. “Delusions of Dialogue: Control and Choice in Interactive Art”. In Leonardo. 33:2. 133-136.

Dunne, Anthony and Raby, F. 2001. Design Noir: The Secret Life of Electronic Objects. August / Birkhäuser. 

Edmond, Ernest A. 2014. “Human Computer Interaction, Art and Experience”.  In Candy, Linda & Ferguson, S. (eds.). Interactive Experience in the Digital Age. Evaluating New Art Practice. Springer.

Tsaknaki, Vasiliki & Fernaeus, Y. 2016. “Expanding on Wabi-Sabi as a Design Resource in HCI”. In Proceedings of CHI ‘16

Week 12 03.06.2019 Teach (room change: 4K11)

For our final class, we go back to the basics of design: its pedagogy. Interaction Design is though here as a mediation for everyday life: how can you as students use your knowledge to develop your craft and to share your lessons learned.

***Assignment: Submit your Final paper***.


Ackermann, Edith K. 2016. “Learning to Code: What is it? What’s In It For The Kids?— A Tribute to Seymour Papert". Trans. version from publication in Tecnologie didattiche (TD 27-2002).

Moriwaki, Katherine & Brucker-Cohen, J. 2006. “Lessons from the scrapyard: creative uses of found materials within a workshop setting”. In AI & Society. 20:4. 506-525.