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


Seminar: Future challenges and trends in HCI - Physical Computing


Harald Reiterer


Daniel Klinkhammer







Fr 10:00 - 11:30 (Introduction: 25.04.2014)


Novel ways of interacting with computers and smart devices commence major challenges to interaction design practice. The increasing number of different form factors and a trend towards natural interfaces and user experience design introduce an unprecedented variety of possible designs. This new complexity requires for a better integration of creative design techniques into the development process. An elementary form of expression in traditional design disciplines is sketching. It allows visualizing envisioned concepts in a quick and simple way.

The seminar will introduce the participants into creative techniques of sketching for interaction design. Therefore, several techniques will be discussed and practiced using real-world scenarios in the context of novel automotive infotainment systems. Therefore, a representative from the German automotive industry (Mr. Bohrer, Audi) will be available for introducing participants to the major challenges of this design domain and for providing feedback on the presented designs. Eventually, participants will investigate various methods in detail, reflect upon their application and document their results in short summaries.
The seminar will be organized in three main meetings. Between these main meetings each participant will meet regularly with his or her individual advisor (Prof. Reiterer and members of the HCI group). The advisors will give feedback on the chosen sketching techniques, their appropriation and on produced design artifacts.

The introductory lecture will be held on 25.04.2014.
Physical computing means building interactive physical systems by the use of software and hardware that can sense and respond to the analog world.
Physical computing is used in a wide variety of domains and application:

  • In museums
  • In art
  • In product design
  • In commercial applications
  • In scientific applications
Prototyping plays an important role in Physical Computing. Tools like Arduino, Phidgets and VVVV help designers to quickly prototype their interactive concepts.

The audience should already be firm with general methods and techniques of interaction design and usability engineering (e.g. through our courses “Interactive Systems“ or “Usability Engineering“). Participants are expected to be familiar with basic HCI literature such as “Interaction Design“ (Rogers, Sharp & Preece), “Human-Computer Interaction“ (Dix et al.) or “Designing the User Interface“ (Shneiderman & Plaisant).
This seminar is highly recommended for students that seek to do their bachelor or masters project in HCI.






Participants will have to present their work within two presentations as well as a collection and summary of their design artifacts (one-pager & shoebox). This is a hands-on seminar which means that participants are expected to work independently on practical projects that will be presented to the other students during the course. The results of the research conducted during the seminar will eventually be documented in form of a collection of design artifacts.

  • Oral presentations
  • One-page documents describing each idea
  • Collection of design artifacts (shoebox)

In total 120 hours, split into:
28 hours course of study with attendance
92 hours of self-study time


The seminar is based on these three books that complement each other:

  • Dan O'Sullivan, Tom Igoe (2004), Physical Computing: Sensing and Controlling the Physical World with Computers, Thomson
  • Jan Barth, Roman Stefan Grasy, Martin Lukas, Jochen Leinberger, Markus Lorenz Schilling (2013), Prototyping Interfaces: Interaktives Skizzieren Mit VVVV, Schmidt Hermann Verlag
  • Hartmut Bohnacker, Benedikt Groß, Julia Laub, Claudius Lazzeroni, (2009), Generative Gestaltung: entwerfen, programmieren, visualisieren, Schmidt Hermann Verlag