usability, design, interaction design, information, web usability, user interface design, usability engineering,user testing, usability inspection, heuristic evaluation, webdesign, UI, GUI, HCI, user-centered design,human-computer interaction, mensch computer interaktion,universität konstanz, usability test, benutzerfreundlichkeit, mensch-maschine-interaktion, mensch-computer-interaktion, human-computer-interaction, usable, website usability, ergonomie, ergonomisch, psychologie, gestalt principles, scenario, information visualization,informationsvisualisierung, User Interface Evaluation, Usability testing, Human Factors, Erogonomic, Ergonomics, User Interfaces, User Interface, Interfaces, informations visualisierung, visual information seeking system, visual search interface, Mensch & Computer 2012Harald Reiterer


Blended Interaction: Neue Formen der Mensch-Computer-Interaktion


Harald Reiterer


Simon Butscher, Roman Rädle





Y 311 (V/Ü), G 305 (P)


Mi/Wed 10:00-11:30 (V) 11:45-13:15 (Ü), Do/Thu 10-11:30 (P)


The course „Blended Interaction - New Forms of Human-Computer Interaction” (in German: “Blended Interaction: Neue Formen der Mensch-Computer-Interaktion”) gives a deep insight into the theories, conceptual foundations, design approaches, and practical implementation of “Blended Interaction”. This new form of interacting with interactive system is very different from traditional WIMP (=Windows Icons Menus Pointer) approaches such as today’s mouse-operated graphical user interfaces or web pages.
Instead, new post-WIMP interaction modalities are employed (e.g. multi-touch, tangible user interfaces, digital pens, gestures, speech) to “blend” the world of virtual objects and ubiquitous computing power with our familiar physical and social work environment that goes far beyond our desktops (see Blended Interaction for an introduction into “Blended Interaction” in English or German).
However, this exciting new world of more “natural” tangible and social user interfaces raises many questions for researchers, designers, and programmers:

  • How to combine stationary displays, physical objects, and mobile devices to create blended work environments?
  • How to use interactive tabletops or large displays to foster efficient collaboration between multiple users?
  • How to combine new modalities (e.g. body or touch gestures, pen or speech input) to afford “natural” interaction? And what does “natural” or “intuitive” interaction actually mean?
  • What kind of programming models and languages are useful to support concurrent user activities at multiple points of actions (e.g. simultaneous input from multiple fingers, devices, gestures, physical objects, or voices)?
  • Which theories and conceptual frameworks from cognitive science, psychology, and the social sciences can help us to understand and predict the effects of Blended Interaction on the users?

The course will consist of a theoretical and practical part that both begin in Oct 2012 and run in parallel throughout the semester:
  • Course in German language
  • The theoretical part will last until Christmas 2012 and consists of 3 hours of lectures & exercises per week (V+Ü: Wed, 10:00-13:15, Y311) that introduce the theories, conceptual foundations, models, principles, and hardware & software technologies for Blended Interaction.
  • The practical part will last until Feb 2013 and will be taken out in teams of two participants. Each team will be assigned a project in which the knowledge gained from the theoretical part has to be applied on the design and implementation of a prototype. Each week, every team will present its progress as part of 1.5 hours of project presentations (P: Thu, 10:00-11:30, Y311) in front of the entire course. This is also the chance for the participants to get recommendations and advise from the teachers and experts of the HCI group. At the end of the course, the system must fulfill the specified task from the assignment and must be usable as an interactive prototype written in C#/WPF, Java or other appropriate programming languages.

Prerequisites (=Teilnahmevoraussetzungen)
To participate in the course, previous participation in the course “Human-Computer Interaction” or equivalent experience from other courses or universities is recommended. Previous experience in programming graphical user interfaces or input event processing in C#/WPF or Java is a must.






  • Frequent presence and active participation in theoretical lectures (V), practical exercises (Ü), and project presentations (P). Presence during all team presentations and final presentation is mandatory!
  • A written exam (60 min, multiple choice or similar) before Christmas holidays (Dec 19th, 2012).
  • Two team presentations of the progress and the intermediate results of the practical project and discussion of its design and implementation (Dec 6th, 2012 and Jan 17th, 2013).
  • Final team presentation of the result of the practical project and discussion of its design and implementation (Feb 20th, 2012).
  • Self-explanatory presentation that explains and discusses the design and the implementation of the project. It should report on the encountered problems and their solution. In particular, the presentation must feature related work from scientific journals, books, and conference papers and related designs of commercial products.
  • The final grade is calculated from the grades for the quality of the presentations (20%), the quality of the interactive prototype (40%), and the mark of the written exam (40%).


Imaz, M., Benyon D. (2007). Designing with Blends - Conceptual Foundations of Human-Computer Interaction and Software Engineering. MIT Press. [recommended are chapters 1 to 4]