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


New Directions in Human-Computer Interaction: Blended Interaction


Harald Reiterer







P603 / D247


Do/Thu: 8:15 - 9:45 (P603), 10:00 - 11:30 (P603), 15:15-16:45 (D247)


The course "New Directions in Human-Computer Interaction: Blended Interaction" 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 literature below for an introduction into "Blended Interaction" (both English and German are available).

However, this exciting new world of more "natural" tangible and social user interfaces raises many questions for researchers, designers, and programmers:

  • 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?
  • How to combine stationary displays, physical objects, and mobile devices to create blended work environments?
  • How to use large interactive tabletops, large displays, or multiple mobile 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, voices, or computer vision)?
To participate in the course, previous participation in the course "Interactive Systems" or equivalent experience from other courses or universities is recommended. Previous experience in programming graphical user interfaces or input event processing in C#/WPF, Java, or HTML5/JavaScript/CSS3 is a must.

The course will consist of a theoretical and practical part that run in parallel throughout the semester:
The theoretical part will consist of 4 hours of lectures & exercises per week that introduce the theories, conceptual foundations, models, principles, and hardware & software technologies for Blended Interaction.
The practical part 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 2 hours of project presentations in front of the entire course. This is also the chance for the participants to get recommendations and advise from the lecturers. 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 HTML5/CSS3/JavaScript.






Frequent presence and active participation in theoretical lectures (VL), practical exercises (Ü), and project presentations (P). Presence during all team presentations and final presentation is mandatory! Participants are requested to sign in every lecture, exercise, and project presentation. Absence can result in exclusion from this course.

Written Exam
Participants must pass a written exam. The exam will be 1 hour and is based on multiple choice questions or alike.

For the practical part, participants are grouped into teams. Each team has:

  • 1 intermediate presentation of their current state of the project. The presentation must include design rationals and a competitive comparative analysis.
  • 1 final presentation of the result of the practical project. The presentation must incluce a brief introduction into design rationals, presentation of their interactive prototype and implementation details, a report on the encountered problems and their solution and lessons learned.

All presentations must discuss related work from scientific journals, books, and conference papers and related designs of commercial products.

Final Grade
The final grade is calculated from the grades for the written exam (40%), the quality of the intermediate presentation (20%), and the quality of the final presentation and interactive prototype (40%). Each part of the final grade needs to be passed with 4.0 or better in order to pass the entire course.