Study profile "Interactive Systems"
The development and analysis of interactive computer systems encompasses
their design and programming as well as the user-centred analysis and
evaluation. As a developer of interactive computer systems you must be
skilled in the fields of Computer Graphics and Human-Computer Interaction. Software is nowadays developed for many interactive devices ranging from
smartphones, tabletPCs, tabletops, ticket machines, navigation systems,
driver information systems up to the classic computer workstation in the
form of PCs. Along with the continually shrinking size of displays today
large, high-resolution displays play an increasingly important role in the
automotive industry, the financial world or entertainment industry. For both
types of interfaces, efficient graphics programming and usability is
becoming a significant factor of success. The following figure shows the main topics involved in the design of
interactive systems and the major relations between them (ACM
SIGCHI Curricula for Human-Computer Interaction). In different courses
you will learn more about the different topics and how the contribute to the
design and implementation of interactive systems.
The development of interactive systems, as an
interdisciplinary area of research imparts knowledge, methods and
approaches for the development of useable information systems. Everyone involved
in the design and development of software should have a minimum of understanding
for the technical requirements and usability of interactive systems. This should
provide you with the following skills to develop interactive software.
The study course communicates the following competences
- You are already familiar with the typical methods and techniques in
the user-centred analysis and modelling of the context of use
(requirements engineering) and can apply them independently.
- You learned the basics of interactive computer graphics in
form of hardware-centred programming and related techniques.
- You are qualified to integrate the methods and techniques in the
user-centred design of information systems (usability engineering) in
software development (software engineering).
- You are familiar with the basic principles, methods, and tools
required for the design of interactive, networked and mobile systems
and are able to apply these in projects independently.
- You are able to design and implement efficient display techniques
including Level-of-Detail methods and information abstraction
- You are knowledgeable on multimodal and tangible interaction
techniques and are able to realise them independently (e.g. for
Tabletops like the MS Surface or Smartphones like the Apple iPhone).
- You are able to conceptually design and realise your own
interaction techniques for the visualisation and exploration of large
information spaces (e.g. WWW, digital libraries, product databases).
- You are familiar with the typical methods for user-centred
evaluation of information systems and usability situations (also with
respect to international standard regulations like ISO 29241) and you are able
to put these into action (e.g. in a usability laboratory).
- You become acquainted with contributions from other disciplines
involved in the design of information systems, for example
communication design, psychology, sociology, organisation-, work- and
economic studies, cultural and media studies, law and administrative
- You work in the User Experience Group of a major
manufacturer of mobile phones (e.g. Apple, Nokia, Samsung) or provider of
telecommunications services (e.g. T-Mobile, Vodafone) and develop user
interfaces that meet international requirements.
- You work as a Usability Engineer or Computer Graphics Expert
at a major software house (e.g. SAP) and are responsible for the development
of cross-platform interaction concepts (from mobile phones, PDAs to the
- You work as an Interaction Designer at a company that
specialises in Usability Engineering (e.g. UI Design) and provide consultant
services in this position for other companies in the development of interactive
You work as a Computer-Game Developer in a computer game
company (e.g. Crytec, Electronic Arts)
- You work as a Usability Specialist at an Internet agency
(e.g. argonauten 360, GFT) and carry out usability studies for websites.
- You create new interaction concepts in the field of telematics (e.g. driver
information systems) for a major carmaker (e.g. Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, VW,
- As a member of the Usability Engineering Team, you develop a style guide
and design the user interface for the Internet portal for a major bank (e.g.
- You work in the User Interfaces department of an international
corporation (e.g. Siemens) and provide consultant services and support for a
variety of specialist departments in the realisation of interactive
applications in a diverse range of fields of application (e.g. telematics,
medical applications, control systems at power stations, production control
- You work at a university or industrial research
unit such as Microsoft
Research or Google Research researching into new interaction and navigation
concepts for next generation of user interfaces.
Prof. Dr. Harald Reiterer, work group:
Prof. Dr. Oliver Deussen, work group:
Computer Graphics and Media
Prof. Dr. Daniel A. Keim, work group: Data Analysis and Visualization
Prof. Dr. Falk Schreiber, work group: Computational Life Sciences
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