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Graduate courses

Departments' graduate courses for PhD-students.


Syllabus for

Academic year
TDA486 - Human-centred design  
Human-centred design
Syllabus adopted 2019-02-21 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPIDE
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Five, Four, Three, Fail
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Major subject: Computer Science and Engineering, Information Technology

Teaching language: English
Application code: 23127
Open for exchange students: Yes
Block schedule: B
Maximum participants: 80

Module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0107 Project 7,5c Grading: TH   7,5c    

In programs



Yemao Man

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TDA485   Interaction design - user centered design


In order to be eligible for a second cycle course the applicant needs to fulfil the general and specific entry requirements of the programme that owns the course. (If the second cycle course is owned by a first cycle programme, second cycle entry requirements apply.)
Exemption from the eligibility requirement: Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling these requirements.

Course specific prerequisites

The course TDA289 Human - computer interaction or equivalent is required,
and the course TDA466 Methods of interaction analysis is recommended.


The course consists of both theoretical and practical parts. The theoretical part presents the history and development of Human-Centred Design (HCD) from research to industrial applications. Relevant design theories and processes, such as user-centred design, rational unified process, ecological interface design and design of products for leisure and entertainment are covered in the course. Literature seminars provide additional theoretical grounding and reflection, as well as different industrial practical experience/problems where speakers representing different types of companies are invited. The practical parts consist of laboratory work with usability evaluation methods and carrying out an investigation project at industry. The industrial project will emphasize on 1) how to investigate existing design process and usability problems in products, 2) how to implement a HCD process in a specific company, and 3) how to motivate potential benefits of the usability concept and human-centred design process in industry. The project will be carried out in small groups.

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

The aim of the course is to give the students comprehensive knowledge about Human-Centered Design theories and practical experiences of applying such knowledge in complex design projects.

Learning outcomes: Knowledge and understanding
Be able to give the state of the art for the central components of Human Centered Design. Be able to present an overview of the broad field of Human-Centered Design theories and practices. Develop understanding for HCD's broad societal, ecological and ethical aspects.

Learning outcomes: Skills and abilities
Be able to apply the theories into concrete project practices. Be able to plan and organize a Human Centered Design project. Be able to apply Human Centered Design methods in specific design challenges.

Learning outcomes: Judgment and approach
Be able to explain the advantages and the limitations of different theories and methods in this area.
Have ability to assess and motivate when Human-Centered Design is applicable. Be able to set a broad perspective of HCD issues.


The theoretical part presents the fundamental and state of the art of Human-Centred Design (HCD) from research to practical applications. Seminars provide additional theoretical grounding and reflection, as well as different practical experience/problems. The practical parts consist of small-scale workshops as well as a major practical project. The project emphasizes on investigating a design challenge by applying Human-Centered Design, and produce meaningful project deliverables. The project is carried out in small groups.


The course is given in English. The course features both
practical and theoretical parts, as well as work in groups and individual work.
Lectures, literature and literature seminars give a theoretical foundation,
which are exposed and discussed against examples of real-world design
challenges. Focus is upon turning theoretical components of HCD into practical
action. Focus is also on exchange of thoughts, feedback, designs and ideas.
Hence, the course requires active participation. Participants will spend a
significant part of their study time at school, working in pairs and in groups.


See the course homepage.

Examination including compulsory elements

This course consists of lectures, literature seminars
(required 80% attendance), design-workshops (not mandatory) and a group-project
(mandatory).The course has one individual assignment in form of a home
exam (mandatory, individual grade, (Fail,
3, 4, 5) and a project report (mandatory, Pass/Fail). The individual assignment and project report
must be completed with at least Pass in order to complete the course.

Page manager Published: Thu 04 Feb 2021.