Representations for Interaction Design

USI Programme, Module M4 Panos Markopoulos

February 2005

The aim of this one week module is to learn to express design ideas through prototypes and specifications. Specifications, like design ideas, can concern various stages of the system development from conception to detailed implementation. The emphasis on interaction with the user, means that we focus on specifying aspects of the system that are salient to the users: the intended usage of the system, user tasks, detailed interaction specification the `look and the feel`, etc. 

We shall cover the following broad topics:

Mini Project:  Informal Communication at the Workplace

John is a research student in the TU/e and is working for a student association.  The association organizes a party and John puts up some funny posters they knocked up together on the department announcement board.  The next day he is surprised to see that his announcements have been taken down and the department secretary is rather annoyed with him.  The board is clearly her responsibility and she makes sure that it is tidy, it portrays the image that the staff want to project to the outside world but also it is guaranteed to give sufficient prominence to information that must be noticed by the staff.  Indeed staff have come to rely on the board for a place to find out about department wide activities but also achievements of their colleagues.  As the board is next to the staff's mail box, it is often that workers will chat about items before starting their day.

The vignette above (same as in intro course) shows that public displays of information are usually an important component of social or professional life.  They serve as a material representation of culture, a shared point of reference, sparking social interactions and setting the tone of the place. Their usage also reflects tacit structures and practices within groups and sometimes very explicit intentions by their users.  Maintaining them is usually deliberate, requires work but also some coordination amongst the team. 

Contrary to introduction course where the same vignette was offered, this course will consider how to support informal communication at the workplace.  We care for:

The solutions you should consider are quite wide, e.g., ambient, mobile and personal, or public displays used in the work environment.  





Lecture / Presentations

Deadlines/Presentations by students


Mon 21/2



Video Interviewing





Read Ethics, Lies and VideoTape

Tue 22/2


Video Prototyping

Show your interviews

Make and show a light controller a TV zapper, or .ppt controller

Analyse your team's interview using the Mackay's Ethics paper

Read the STARFIRE paper and watch the video

Write analysis of one of the examples (monsters, myPAL, sleevePAD) videos according to the STARFIRE guidelines

Video brainstorm

Wed 23/2


Specification of user interfaces with the use cases and statecharts

Show your video brainstorm results

Read UML book chapters 16 and 21


Thu 24/2 all day     Prepare the video prototype for Informal Social Communication at the Workplace

Watch the prototype of another team and evaluate it- give them a soft copy of this evaluation to include with their DVD

Write use cases for a core task in your design

Fri 25/2



Final Presentations Video Prototype 

Hand deliverable DVD see below

Hand in evaluation of another team's video on paper

Fri 25/2 14:00-15:30 JFS colloquium: Jens Riegelsberger  'The Consumer's Dilemma: Trust and Privacy in Ambient Services'.

Deliverable DVD

The deliverable is one DVD per project team. All work should be included in the DVD.

This DVD should be labeled and the contents described on its cover.

Please include the following:

A. Video Material
1. video interview
2. video brainstorm
3. video prototype

B. Documents
1. Video Interview report: including interview plan, session summary and conclusions
2. Analysis of your own interview with respect to Ethics guidelines
3. Analysis of example Video prototypes with regards to the Starfire guidelines
4. Evaluation of your video prototype by another team
5. Storyboard for the video prototype as a PowerPoint or word document or a .jpg image.
6. your slides of your final presentation
7. A Readme text with a table of contents for the DVD

Ground Rules for Presentations

Ground Rules for Reporting

  1. Each report should have a cover, including the names of team members.
  2. The report must be handed in as paper during the face to face meeting and also included in the CD you deliver with the video materials
  3. Reports should be formatted in any professional format you like...but, you could use the simple template provided.