Course Structure

Spring Term (January-June) courses

Course descriptions

MGA 670 – Foundations of HCI (5 ECTS)

Course objectives: This course introduces students to the field of human-computer interaction focusing on the human side of the equation.

Course content: This course comprises seven modules: (a) Visibility, Affordances, Mapping, Constraints, Conceptual models; (b) Seven stages of action, Types of knowledge; (c) Feedback, Errors, Forcing Functions, Gestalt laws, Responsiveness; (d) The Human Processor Model, Fitts Law; (e) Interface Efficiency, KLM, GOMS; (f) State transition diagrams, Petri nets; (g) History and vision

MGA 671 – Interaction Design Methods (5 ECTS)

Course objectives: To obtain basic knowledge about principles and methods of interface and interaction design. To familiarize the students with the interaction design process and to develop group work skills.

Course content: Introduction to interaction design. Contextual inquiry. Personas. Scenario-based design. Involving stakeholders in the participatory design process. Developing user interface concepts and metaphors. Writing user stories. Paper prototyping. Testing the paper prototypes. User interface design patterns. User interface prototyping: tools and techniques. Developing user interface prototypes.

MGA 672 – Developing Interactive Systems (5 ECTS)

The course introduces the building blocks required for developing interactive systems, integrated development environments, UI development toolkits, and source code version control. The course will include both individual and group-based activities, which will provide students with hands-on experience of building functional prototypes. Course participants will be provided with support for deciding which platform to target in the development of their group project and will need to deliver a functional prototype by the end of the course. The course consists of the following modules: Building blocks of interactive systems; Development for smartphones and tablets; Development for smartwatches and smart TVs.

MGA 673 – Evaluating User Experience (5 ECTS)

Course objectives: The goal of the course is to highlight the experiential, affective, meaningful and valuable aspects of human-computer interaction as a complement to pragmatic attributes such as utility, ease of use and efficiency of the system.

Course content: User experience: concepts and terminology; User experience evaluation: methods, tools, metrics and criteria.

MGA 674 – Research Methods (5 ECTS)

Course objectives: To create opportunities for acquiring theoretical knowledge about various research approaches and to support developing ones ability to apply as well as to evaluate the effectiveness of the use of different research methods.

Course content: Classification and main features of research approaches and  methods. Overview of research designs for empirical and design research: experiment, survey, ethnographic research, grounded theory, narrative research, case study, action research, evaluation research. The choice of methods depending on research purposes and questions.

Fall Term (September-December) courses

Course descriptions

MGA 676 – Design Theory and Methodology (5 ECTS)

Course objectives: The goal of this course is to help students to gain a deeper understanding of designing as a problem solving activity in a specific context. The course offers Design Theory and Methodology as a framework that integrates theoretical concepts from different fields, which all contribute to the process and thus to the product. Lectures, discussions and assignments help the students to develop the ability to think critically about the design process and thus to improve their own design processes.

Course content: The course is divided into the following sections: 1. ‘Design Theory’ provides an overview of different approach to what design is all about: as science, as design thinking, as a social process and as art; 2. ‘Structuring the Design Process’ looks at the historical development of design methodology. We also address fundamental questions about design methodology: What is the use of methods? What is the value of methods? What are the differences between ‘traditional’ approaches and ‘modern’ methods? ; 3. ‘Designing as Problem Solving’ refers to different implications of designing as complex problem solving; requirements of coping with complex problems and limitations of human information processing will be discussed; 4. ‘The Designer’ focuses on how specific characteristics of the designer such as experience influence how designers think and act. Case-study material of design processes will be analyzed in order to gain an understanding of different strategies in thinking and acting; 5. ‘Design teams’ addresses the specific challenges of teams in New Product Development and the conditions that help design team to be effective; 6. ‘Approaches to studying design’ focuses on different ways of studying design. For instance, what are different ways of doing design research? This is relevant particularly because you will be studying design processes and designers in the course’s assignments.

MGA 677 – Design for All (5 ECTS)

Course objectives: The purpose of the course is to raise awareness on the topic of accessibility among teams that bring together a diverse range of skills and roles to the task of building products/services. Making decisions and taking actions that enable access for everyone ensures that the challenges that many people have with use of products/services have been considered in the design. This course focuses on Web accessibility in particular and aims to provide guidance on how to create websites and web applications that are accessible for everyone.

Course content: The course contains of following modules: 1. A Web for Everyone; 2. People First; 3. Clear Purpose: Well-Defined Goals; 4. Solid Structure: Built to Standards; 5. Easy Interaction: Everything Works; 6. Helpful Wayfinding: Guides Users; 7. Clean Presentation: Supports Meaning; 8. Plain Language: Creates a Conversation; 9. Accessible Media: Supports All Senses; 10. Universal Usability: Creates Delight; 11. In Practice: An Integrated Process; 12. The Future: Design for All; 13. Accessible UX Principles and Guidelines; 14. Mapping the WCAG 2.0 Principles, Guidelines, and Success Criteria to the Accessible UX Principles and Guidelines.

MGA 678 – Computer Supported Collaborative Work (5 ECTS)

Course objectives: In today’s world collaboration is an increasingly highly valued but poorly understood process. This course will introduce students to the theoretical foundations of collaboration, focusing on collaborative work.

Course content: Through exposure to readings and the examination of real-world scenaria students will examine issues such as the cognitive foundations of collaborative work, the construction of shared knowledge, group dynamics, conditions for effective collaboration, etc. The second half of the course will focus on computer-supported collaborative work and examine the state-of-the-art using the theoretical background introduced during the first half of the course.

MGA 679 – Ubiquitous Computing (5 ECTS)

Course objectives: The course provides an introduction to ubiquitous computing

Course content: The course consists of the following modules: 1. Introduction to ubiquitous computing; 2. Characteristics of ubiquitous computing; 3. Enabling technologies; 4. Design issues; 5. Ubiquitous computing today and tomorrow.

MGA 680 – Sustainability in Interaction Design (5 ECTS)

Course objectives: Present an opportunity to acquire systematic knowledge on how Interaction Design can drive sustainable agendas. Provide chances for learning to constructively criticize interactive solutions from the perspective of how they drive or inhibit sustainable change and to propose concepts contributing to one of the themes of Sustainable Interaction Design.

Term 3

  • MGA 682 – Group Project (15 ECTS)
  • MGA 683 – Thesis I (15 ECTS)

Course descriptions

MGA 682 – Group Project (15 ECTS)

The goal of this course is to provide the opportunity for students to work in a group practical project work. The course will follow a problem based learning approach where students will learn through solving a realistic practical Interaction Design problem. Student teams will be given a scenario and through investigation, reflection and design activities they will construct and propose a commercially valuable solution.

MGA 683 & MGA 684 – Thesis (45 ECTS)

To provide the students with conditions that support: The development of an in-depth knowledge of a specific research area; Their specialization based on an individually focused task; The shaping of one’s communication skills, written and oral expression and the exploration of new technologies in this process.

Term 4

  • MGA 684 – Thesis II (30 ECTS)

Course descriptions

MGA 683 & MGA 684 – Thesis (45 ECTS)

To provide the students with conditions that support: The development of an in-depth knowledge of a specific research area; Their specialization based on an individually focused task; The shaping of one’s communication skills, written and oral expression and the exploration of new technologies in this process.