Information on individual educational components (ECTS-Course descriptions) per semester

Elective: Alternative User Interfaces

Degree programme Computer Science - Digital Innovation
Subject area Engineering Technology
Type of degree Bachelor
Summer Semester 2024
Course unit title Elective: Alternative User Interfaces
Course unit code 083121160101
Language of instruction English
Type of course unit (compulsory, optional) Elective
Teaching hours per week 3
Year of study 2024
Level of the course / module according to the curriculum
Number of ECTS credits allocated 5
Name of lecturer(s) Walter RITTER
Requirements and Prerequisites

Human-Centered Design

Course content
  • Interaction paradigms
  • Multimodal interfaces (visual, auditory, haptic, olfactory, gustatory)
  • Invasive and non-invasive interfaces
  • Interaction technologies
  • Tangible interfaces
  • Information visualization principles
  • Human-machine interfaces (eg robotics)
  • Social aspects of Interfaces (Group Work, Collaboration, Social Navigation, Scent, Nuding)
  • Interaction vs. integration
Learning outcomes

New advanced interaction paradigms require an understanding of human behaviors and the situations in which people interact with computers. In addition to the technology-oriented and demand-oriented approaches, vision-oriented design approaches offer potential for revolutionary solutions.

Theoretical and methodological know-how (T/M):

  • Students are able to list the different interaction paradigms of interface design, describe their characteristics and list their advantages and disadvantages.
  • Students develop and design project based prototypes for alternative user interfaces in selected application contexts (such as industry, households, public space, etc.) and settings (such as collaboration or human-computer integration, etc.) for a particular user group with selected technology. They know how to develop and apply a catalog of criteria for technologies. In addition, they can self-study the necessary knowledge in order to use the selected technology in the development process. Students are able to master the management of the design process.
  • Students can design an evaluation setting a desired solution.

In addition, social and communicative skills (S/C) such as teamwork/willingness to cooperate, empathy, motivation, critical faculty, conflict management, reliability, negotiation skills and self-competences (S) such as learning and motivation, adaptability, decision-making, responsibility, initiative, expressiveness, appearance are trained.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Integrated course: 3 THW.

Lectures, project assignments, weekly intermediate presentation with feedback, final presentation

Assessment methods and criteria
  • Documentation of the project (contribution to the WIKI course, project diary, project planning, analysis, conception, technical documentation, evaluation concept), presentation (60%)
  • Electronic exam (40%)

For a positive grade, a minimum of 50% of the possible points must be achieved across all parts of the examination.



Recommended or required reading
  • Bederson, Benjamin B. et al. (2004): “DateLens: A Fisheye Calendar Interface for PDAs.” In: ACM Trans. Comput.-Hum. Interact., 11 (2004), H. 1, S. 90-119. Online im Internet: DOI: 10.1145/972648.972652
  • Hagberg, Sean (1997): “Edwin Hutchins, Cognition in the Wild.” In: Minds Mach., 7 (1997), H. 3, S. 456-460. Online im Internet: DOI: 10.1023/A:1008285430235
  • Hutchins, Edwin L.; Hollan, James D.; Norman, Donald A. (1987): “Human-computer Interaction.” In: Edited by R. M. Baecker; W. A. S. Buxton. San Francisco, CA, USA: Morgan Kaufmann Publishers Inc., S. 468-470.
  • Hofmeester, Kay; Wixon, Dennis (2010): “Using Metaphors to Create a Natural User Interface for Microsoft Surface.” In: CHI ’10 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems. New York, NY, USA: ACM (= CHI EA ’10), S. 4629–4644. Online im Internet: DOI: 10.1145/1753846.1754204 (Zugriff am: 2. Juli 2018).
  • Laurel, Brenda (2013): Computers as Theatre. 2. Aufl. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Addison-Wesley Longman, Amsterdam.
  • Myers, Brad A. (1998): “A Brief History of Human-computer Interaction Technology.” In: interactions, 5 (1998), H. 2, S. 44-54. Online im Internet: DOI: 10.1145/274430.274436
  • Norman, Donald A. (1999): The Invisible Computer (MIT Press): Why Good Products Can Fail, the Personal Computer Is So Complex, and Information Appliances Are the Solution. Revised. Cambridge, Mass. u.a. MIT: MIT Press.
  • Shneiderman, Ben; Plaisant, Catherine; Cohen, Maxine (2017): Designing the User Interface: Strategies for Effective Human-Computer Interaction, Global Edition. 6th edition. Boston Columbus Indianapolis New York San Francisco Hoboken Amsterdam Cape Town Dubai London Madrid Milan Munich Paris Montréal Toronto Delhi Mexico City Sao Paulo Sydney Hong Kong Seoul Singapore Taipei Tokyo: Pearson.
  • Suchman, Lucy A. (1987): Plans and Situated Actions: The Problem of Human-Machine Communication. 2. Aufl. Cambridge Cambridgeshire; New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • „Tangible Media Group“ (o. J.): Tangible Media Group. Online im Internet: URL: (Zugriff am: 24.08.2018).
  • Wigdor, Daniel; Wixon, Dennis (2011): Brave NUI World: Designing Natural User Interfaces for Touch and Gesture. Burlington, Mass: Morgan Kaufmann.
  • Multi-Touch Systems that I Have Known and Loved (o. J.): Online im Internet: URL: (Zugriff am: 24.08.2018).
Mode of delivery (face-to-face, distance learning)

In-class lecture: Compulsory attendance at project assignements and presentations