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 Guidelines

A seminar is aimed at the conveying knowledge to all participants. Each participant has to acknowledge the following rules: Everybody has the RIGHT to benefit from each of the presentations; and everybody has the DUTY to guarantee that all the others benefit from one’s own seminar participation.
In order to guarantee every participant to gain from the seminar, the following rules have to be taken into account:

  • For the presenters: The presentation is not meant to convince the seminar instructor that you know what you are talking about. Instead, your task is to convey your knowledge to your fellow students.
  • For the listeners: The discussion in the end of a presentation is meant to summarize the lecture’s contents, to extend on it, and to do away with all that remained unclear to you. Join the discussion and keep it going. The answers to your questions will help all the others to better understand the presentation and might even lead to new questions.

1. Seminar Requirements

  1. independent research
  2. in-depth study of a topic, proven by a written version: 10 to 20 pages per participant AND a seminar presentation: 45 to 60 minutes per topic, plus concluding class discussion
  3. attendance and seminar participation during the whole term
  4. the essay has to be accepted by the tutor and made available as WORD/RTF-file (alternatively: LaTeX/PDF)
  5. the presentation’s transparencies are made available for the tutor as POWERPOINT-file (alternatively: LaTeX/PDF).

2. Working on a Topic

As soon as you know the date of your presentation you should make a schedule for the following stages:

  1. Bibliographical research. Immediately after you know the topic you will be presenting on you should do some detailed research in order to find appropriate texts (internet, library, people and companies that deal with the respective field of interest)
  2. Limiting the topic. Right after the bibliographical research you should look into the results: You have to select the information that is the most important for your topic. Find the core argument. Essays or papers that only touch upon your topic might provide interesting side aspects or help you to understand your issue within a larger context. This way you get a sound bibliography for your topic.
  3. Acquiring and understanding the topic. This includes, one, to select the necessary texts for your essay and the presentation and, two, acquiring the ability to answer questions about your topic. In order to find the core arguments, it is necessary to get an overview over your bibliography. You have to know how the core arguments relate to each other; you should also know the larger context of your topic, its background, and some illustrative examples. You should know your topic and its relation to the seminar inside out: e.g. you should be able to answer potential questions of your listeners. In other words: ideally, you know more about your topic than revealed in the presentation or the essay.
  4. Structure for presentation and essay. The development of a suitable structure is only possible when you know the crucial elements of your presentation and their logical sequence. Write down both the titles of chapters and subchapters as well as some keywords to each section. Please discuss this structure with your tutor before giving the presentation.

3. Communication with the tutor

The tutor’s task is to help the seminar to be a success. Please don’t hesitate to contact him in case there are any questions or problems.

  1. It is mandatory to make an appointment. That way you can be assured that s/he has enough time to take care of you and your problem.
  2. The structure of your presentation and essay have to be discussed with the tutor.

4. Presentation

4.1 Contents

The presentation is not identical with your paper:

  • less information
  • priorities
  • illustrate the core arguments with clear examples
  • your presentation is meant to sell the topic and persuade the listeners to learn more about it
  • Maximize the use value for the listeners
  • Have your listeners in mind during preparation:
    • repeat important elements
    • motivate your audience, keep them interested
    • what do they already know?
  • Confront your own results with results of others
  • The key aspects should not remain unmentioned or unclear

4.2 Form

Laptop, projector, no transparencies

  • Presentation must be no longer than 30 minutes
  • Presentation will be followed by approx. 15 minutes of discussion. Consider bringing some backup-slides that you haven't shown during the presentation
  • Colour: yes; rainbow optics: no (samples can be provided)
  • Each page must be consecutively numbered
  • Start (after title slide) with an agenda (overview) of covered topics
  • Try to maintain a clear structure throughout your presentation. It is harder for your audience to keep track of where you are than for yourself
  • Provide references for all images, graphs, tables, etc. that you haven't created yourself. Place the reference on the same slide
  • Use a decent and consistent style of referencing. At least provide author(s), title of publication, and year
  • Horizontal format
  • No chaotic use of colours (same contents same colours)
  • Font size: min. 28 pt
  • Chronology of keywords is the central thread: you should mention and explain everything you write on a slide

4.3 Structure

  • Thorough preparation of introductory sentences: Welcome your audience, mention your topic and how it relates to the rest of the seminar
  • The main structure has to be clear: central thread
  • Avoid references to what you are going to talk about in a minute
  • Summary

4.4 Preparation

  • At least two days before the day: Rehearse your presentation in front of an audience (roommates, friends); only in exceptions: alone. But in any case: Speak up
  • Your presentation should be completely finished for the day of your rehearsal
  • Be in class on time. Better be punctual
  • Be prepared for a discussion
  • Use spell-checking. Typos distract your audience and make you look awkward
  • Test your presentation beforehand in the assigned room. Make sure your presentation works out as intended. Check e.g. projector (color, brightness, resolution, font size), video adapters, sound, internet connectivity, etc.

4.5 Style of presentation

  • Be eloquent, speak fluently
  • Be serious, matter-of-fact
  • Be easy-going: you are in complete control of the situation
  • Don’t exaggerate
  • Don’t read from your notes, your presentation should be impromptu. Say it with your own words
  • Speak clear and audibly
  • Adapt the way you speak and the speed of the presentation to the audience. Make a pause after important points
  • Talk to your audience, keep eye contact
  • Keep still, don’t fidget, (pretend to) be calm...

5. Essay, term paper

The essay is the written version of your presentation.
It is meant to provide the other seminar participants with more detailed information about your topic. Therefore the written version has to contain your presentation’s core arguments. It provides the possibility to present an in-depth analysis of your topic. There you may include aspects you couldn’t elaborate on during your presentation because of the time limit. There is also enough room for more detailed examples.
Aim: Demonstrate that you have not only understood the topic but that you are also able to present the contents in a written form.
This includes:

  • Decent German or English orthography
  • Decent form
  • Formal rules
  • Tidy essay, no stains, no dog-eared pages etc.

Please stick to the following instructions when writing the paper:

5.1 Contents and Form

  • 10-20 pages
  • Structure (not more than 3 elements)
  • Discuss the main idea, elaborate on the details, provide bibliography for further information (please note the chronology)
  • The structure should follow a self-contained and rational logic
  • Begin with an abstract (0,5 1 page)
  • There should be a wide-ranging bibliography
  • Don’t just translate or quote long passages of other authors

5.2 Form Guide

Title Page:

  1. Type of essay (e.g. term paper)
  2. Type and title of seminar (e.g. Seminar, NewHCI)
  3. Title of essay
  4. Seminar director (e.g. Prof. Dr. H. Reiterer; Human-Computer Interaction)
  5. Author (first name, last name, Matr.-No)
  6. Date
  7. Title page always unnumbered. Its back side is always blank, a dedication is ok.

Contents (Table of Contents)

  • Chapter numbers
  • Chapter titles
  • Page numbers of chapters
  • The contents page has Roman page numbers (I, II, III). The essay pages are Arabic, the first one always being 1. To make it clear: The page numbers referring to the respective chapters in the contents list are Arabic. -example:
    Contents                               I
    1. Introduction........................1
      1.1 Section 1                        2
      1.2 Section 2                        3
    2. Chapter 1...........................4
      2.1 Section 1                        6
      2.1.1 Subsection 1                   6
      2.1.2 Subsection 2                   6
      2.2 Section 2                        7
    Appendix A  List of Figures           9
    Appendix B  List of Tables           10
    Appendix C  List of Listings         11
    Appendix D  List of Abbreviations    12
    Appendix E  Bibliography             14
    Appendix F  Index                    15


  • The beginning of a chapter is always at the top of a new, right hand page
  • There is never ever a title name on the bottom of a page
  • Each category, chapters, sections, subsections etc., has its own font style and font size (1., 2.; 1.1, 2.1; 1.1.1, 2.1.2 etc.). Don’t mix the different fonts and sizes within a category
  • There have to be at least two sentences of text in between two titles.
  • The distance between text and preceding title has to be the same as the distance between the title and the following text under the condition that the text segments belong to the same category.
  • The text consists of complete German or English sentences.
  • Lists, tables, figures etc. support the text, they don’t replace it.
  • Tables and figures are numbered and get a special title, e.g.: fig. 1: title
  • Abbreviations need to be explained, either in the text itself or as a subchapter, but definitely in the respective appendix.
  • Indentations are meant to emphasize something. After the emphasis proceed with the regular formatting.
  • Quotations have to be recognizable as quotations. Don’t forget to include the source, refer to your bibliography. E.g.: XXXXXXXXXX YYYYYYY [qwert93] ZZZZZZZ.
  • The same is true for tables, figures etc. when taken from other documents.
  • Write the text as flush, the hyphenation has to make sense, the blank space shouldn’t be more than 4mm
  • Orthography
  • Font size: 12 pt
  • Line spacing: 1-1,5


  • Alphabetical order of appendices
  • Appendices are list of abbreviations and bibliography, you might add additional ones
  • Example for bibliography:
    Ertmann, Q.W.
    Physikalische Eigenschaften weichelastischer
    Hochgeschwindigkeitsgeschosse am Beispiel von Haribo Gummibären.
    Ohrenbären-Verlag, Rübennasenhausen, 1993.

Title page, contents page, and appendix as well as empty pages within the text don’t count as pages when it comes to the sum total of required essay pages.

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