HCI core lecture for the Winter term 2019-2020

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.



  • Fundamentals of human-computer interaction
  • User interface paradigms, input and output devices
  • Desktop & graphical user interfaces
  • Mobile user interfaces
  • Gestural user interfaces
  • User-centered interaction design
  • Design principles and guidelines
  • Prototyping
  • Evaluation of user interfaces

Augmented reality and virtual reality have been a topic of intense research for the last decades, but mostly restricted to research labs. In the past few years, massive advances in affordable consumer hardware and accessible software frameworks are now bringing AR and VR to the masses. A myriad of devices and applications are now finding their way to the end-users, suggesting AR and VR will be the next big platform for interactive computing. For instance, powerful head-mounted displays are getting affordable for mainstream users, such as the Oculus Rift or Microsoft Hololens; smartphones feature increasingly powerful cameras and on-board visual processing; and tracking systems that can be easily deployed in the living room feature a quality that long was restricted to high-end lab systems.

Indeed, augmented and virtual reality interfaces bring unique benefits for interaction, including a high degree of immersion, opportunities for more natural interactions, or seamless integration within a physical context. Prominent recent examples comprise AR games, such as Pokemon Go, or computer-augmented lego bricks for children.

The objective of this seminar is to acquire basic conceptual, technical and practical skills in developing AR/VR applications. We will address the unique challenges of AR/VR on those three levels.

The seminar will cover the following topics:

  • Conceptual basics of AR/VR interfaces: The VR/AR continuum
  • How to design great AR/VR interfaces
  • Understanding and applying tracking technologies and implementing them using state-of-the-art APIs
  • Visual interfaces for AR/VR
  • Haptic interfaces for VR/AR
  • Designing and building interactions for AR applications
  • Applications of AR/VR