This course teaches the theoretical and practical foundations for human computer interaction. It covers a wide overview of topics, techniques and approaches used for the design and evaluation of modern user interfaces.

The course covers the principles that underlie successful user interfaces, provides an overview of input and output devices and user interface types, and familiarizes students with the methods for designing and evaluating user interfaces. Students learn to critically assess user interfaces, to design user interfaces themselves, and to evaluate them in empirical studies.


Eligibility and Other Information

Please refer to the course website for details on eligibility and other information.


The goal of this seminar is to acquire basic conceptual and practical skills in developing physical user interfaces for interactive devices and objects. These user interfaces extend interaction beyond a screen and leverage the benefits of physical interaction in the real-world. Examples comprise wearable fitness trackers, interactive furniture, or computer-augmented lego bricks for children. Students will learn about the conceptual basics of physical user interfaces. They will learn how to use micro-controllers, sensors, and actuators to make objects and devices interactive. They will learn what methods and techniques exist for prototyping of physical user interfaces and learn to apply them in the user-centered design process. The seminar will cover the following topics: 

  • Conceptual basics of physical user interfaces: Ubiquitous computing, tangible interaction, embodied interaction
  • Basic Electronics
  • Microcontrollers (Arduino)
  • Sensors (e.g., touch, temperature, light, motion) and actuators (e.g., motors and servos)
  • Prototyping and digital fabrication (3D printing, milling and cutting)
  • Wearable user interfaces and Interactive skin