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Graduate courses

Departments' graduate courses for PhD-students.


Syllabus for

Academic year
TDA486 - Human-centred design
Syllabus adopted 2015-02-12 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPIDE
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Five, Four, Three, Not passed
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Major subject: Computer Science and Engineering, Information Technology

Teaching language: English
Open for exchange students
Maximum participants: 80

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

In programs



Docent  Fang Chen


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 an account 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.
Know how to differentiate between HCD, UCD and ACD, as well as describe them and their respective constraints and possibilities.

Learning outcomes: Skills and abilities
Be able to plan and organize a Human Centered Design project
Be able to organize and 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.


The course consists of both theoretical and practical parts. The theoretical part will present the history and development of human-centered design from research to industrial applications. Relevant design theories and process, such as user-centered design process, ecological interface design methods and design for pleasure products will be covered in the course.
During lectures relevant scientific research papers from journals and books will be presented and discussed. At the seminars, students will be encouraged to present and discuss relevant papers and topics, teachers will give reflections. In the practical part, students will carry out project work in relevant companies with the focus of the interaction design oriented projects.


This course consists of lectures, literature seminars, design-workshops, and a group-project. 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 groups.


See course homepage.


Outcome A will be evaluated by
1. Literature home exams
2. Students' presentation of literatures studies included answering questions.
Outcome B will be evaluated by
3. Industrial project reports
4. Project Group presentations to the companies which the project is carried out & in the class
The course is examined by means of home exam (grading), literature seminars (pass only), project work and documentation (pass only).

Page manager Published: Thu 04 Feb 2021.