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


Welcome to the HCI students' guide

The following figure provides an overview of all basic, advanced, and research studies we offer during the summer term (ST) and winter term (WT).

Visiting some of our current lectures is the most common way to get in touch with HCI and our workgroup. If you enjoy reading and learning HCI, you can easily schedule a mentor conversation with us, in order to arrange your academic alignment with respect to HCI as your core discipline.

In our practical courses we offer you the chance to take part in several interesting and competitive research projects. An overview of the current Bachelor- and Masterprojects is available for download.

You will be fully integrated in our project work: Taking part in regularly scheduled meetings and joning us in visiting e.g. our industrial research partners.

Due to our cooperation partners (see partners for an overview), such as the library of the university of Konstanz, you have a broad choice of highly relevant topics for a HCI based Bachelor or Master thesis.

Christian Jetter's experience with HCI Christian Jetter

Christian Jetter

"In the department HCI new technologies and user interfaces are designed and tested constantly. That is why there are so many links to other interesting sciences. From graphical design over cognitive psychology to economics and sociology. I have always enjoyed this very much. I personally prefer working on the visible interface between man and machine instead of optimizing performance of invisible technology and backends. I have found it very motivating that I was integrated in real research projects and was regarded as a team member by the department. If you look at the current research activities a lot of them are inspired by suggestions and ideas directly from students. After a certain time of research in the field of HCI you will see the world with different eyes: from your mobile phone over Google to your filesharing client or a car navigation system - you will soon know how to do it better... "

Christian Gruen's experience with HCI Christian Gruen

Christian Gruen

"I've joined the chair HCI in April 2002. First I started with a HiWi job as part of the EU project called INVISIP. The aim of the project was to develop a Java application for visualising geo- graphical, tabular data in an innovative and at the same time intuitive way. After having first insights in the existing program code and after writing some modules for the visualisations I soon was concerned with questions about the data model. Some time later the generic system VisMeB was started. It was built to support queries on arbitrary databases, thus extending the potentiality and perspectives of the application quite a lot. Since beginning of 2004 VisMeB is being adapted for a concrete application domain: the library catalog can now be searched for any criteria, and special visualisations such as a media location display or a two-dimensional, axis oriented plot diagram were specially tailored to help the user to find his wished information a lot faster than with the conventional library system. It is very interesting to work in the workgroup HCI as all research work is closely connected to real projects, and your own idead are always welcome to be included. Spontaneous ideas can easily get the origin of a bigger project. Your own initiative is very important. Apart from the involvement in various projects, Human Computer Interaction is still quite a young research field, resulting in pros and contras: Copmpared to traditional fields of studies many publications lack a broad, empirically based scientific foundation. This absence of stuck convictions, however, is a good origin for a creative mutual work and ideas."

Thomas Memmel's experience with HCI Thomas Memmel

Thomas Memmel

"First time I got in touch with HCI was in the lecture on human-computer interaction which I visited in my 4th semester. After all the courses I visited on software engineering and algorithms before, it was in my opinion one of the most important issues according to software development, particularly with regard to user interface design.
I committed to the practical course and the seminar on HCI in winter term 2001/2002 and became involved into the Invisip project as a programmer, designing the data model, the user interface and some visualizations.
During that time I could deepen my skills in Java and came into contact with project management as well as extreme programming techniques.
As an usability engineer or user interface consultant, you have the possibility to be involved in important parts of the value-added chain. You have to be a communicative and comprehensively educated person, who can also act as a key mediator between technical staff and management.
It may be helpful to visit collateral courses on management, laws and economy to get insight into other important areas of business."

Fredrik Gundelsweiler's experience with HCI Fredrik Gundelsweiler

Fredrik Gundelsweiler

In changed my course of studies from Technical Informatics at the FH Konstanz to Information Engineering at the University of Konstanz because it offered an interdisciplinary orientation. The student should become qualified as a kind of mediator between technicians/programmers, management staff and other stakeholders. At the university I visited courses with technical orientation as well as courses about economy, law and management. In the 4th semester I came into contact with human-computer interaction (HCI) by a course I had to pass. At first I was a bit reserved but then I got interested in the course topics more and more. Especially the development of user-friendly Software and the design of user interfaces were my main interests. Additionally the internet and the design of websites regarding usability principles play a big role in the field of HCI. Therefore I visited some more courses about HCI like Web Usability Engineering. At the beginning of the 5th semester I decided to do my final paper at the HCI chair of Prof. Dr. H. Reiterer. This decision led to my involvement in the research project INVISIP (Information Visualization for Site Planning) concering a visual seeking system. I developed the data model and my own visualization (a scatterplot) within the project. I took profit from my Software Engineering knowledge and extended my programming experiences in Java. As early I became a Bachelor student I worked on different projects as HIWI. By now I am a scientific employee at the University of Konstanz working on the research project BEST in cooperation with DaimlerChrysler.

Stephan Huber's experience with HCI Stephan Huber

Stephan Huber

"I have chosen the research area HCI as the primary field of emphasis during my undergraduate studies. The reason for this decision was to strengthen my knowledge in areas besides the development of high-performance program algorithm, but mainly to increase the performance for the users by developing good interaction design. Therefore, I attended the available lectures and seminars offered by Professor Reiterer in order to get a basic knowledge of this research area. Since the end of 2007, I also work as a student assistant in Professor Reiterer’s research group at the University of Konstanz. This helped me to get a deep insight of the research activities and also to support various projects in the related area."

Tobias Baube's experience with HCI Tobias Baube

Tobias Baube

"Software ergonomic as itself was at first a simple term for me, which guidelines I had to fulfill. In the first larger project, I've gained deep insights into usability engineering. Here it is necessary to make the interaction with a program intuitive and to cope with user requirements. Different observations and discussions have shown, that the interface and the coexisting design were at least as important as the errorless and technical processes in the background. And step by step, the thought: "the user will know what to do" will get a totally different meaning. I made a point of doing my masters degree at the department of Human-Computer Interaction, University of Konstanz. There, the scope of lectures offer the most interesting and thrilling academics for me. However, not only the academics is wide spread, as I saw. As student assistant you are involved in current research projects and you are able to design and develop future oriented projects."

Anita Höchtl's experience with HCI Anita Höchtl

Anita Höchtl

"After my graduation in „Media Technology and Design“ at the Upper Austrian University − Campus Hagenberg, I decided to leave for a new challenge. The work as research intern in an international visualization company made my decision to change from the applied domain to the science at University. The first time, I got in touch with HCI, was as participant of a study during my bachelor studies. Especially the interplay between informatics, design and psychology has bound me. The AG HCI offers the best opportunities to deal with new technologies and to experience hands-on. Currently, as student researcher, I can not only demonstrate my technical knowledge, moreover I can give my fancy full scope."

Patric Schmid's experience with HCI Patric Schmid

Patric Schmid

"I was first exposed to HCI when i was writing my Bachelor Thesis on "Requirements Engineering". From this time on i was hooked by Requirements, Usability and Interaction Design. I have always been fascinated by the opportunities computers enable us to do, and now - using the methodical approach of HCI - i'm able to build software which does not only do it’s job, but is also really usable to the end-user."

Michael Zöllners experience with HCI Michael Zöllner

Michael Zöllner

"I’m a member of the HCI group since the end of 2008. Although I’m rather a Software Engineer than a Usability Engineer, I like to build new user interfaces and interaction techniques, especially using new kinds of input technologies, like multi-touch screens or the Kinect camera. Being part of the HCI group firstly means a lot of hard but great work, but that will pay out very soon. Being an equal member of the Permaedia/ZOIL project from day one, I was soon introduced to all of the research work and allowed to visit several HCI conferences to present that work. In Spring 2010 I stayed 6 weeks with our project partner Microsoft Research in Cambridge together with two PhD students to design and implement the FacetStreams system. Courses and lectures of the HCI group mostly consist of a big practical part. Students will almost certainly face a bunch of new in- and output devices from our MediaRoom lab. One of my recent course projects, NAVI, became a huge success in the media and my partner and I were invited to several conferences to present the system. In general work in the HCI group is very interdisciplinary, ranging from psychology to hardware crafting. Therefore not only students from the field of computer science are always welcome in our group."

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