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Syllabus for

Academic year
TDA491 - Graphical interfaces
Syllabus adopted 2010-02-24 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
Maximum participants: 80

Course module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course
0107 Project 7,5c Grading: TH   7,5c    

In programs



Univ lektor  Olof Torgersson
Professor  Staffan Björk


TDA490   Interaction design - graphical interfaces

Course evaluation:

  Go to Course Homepage


For single subject courses within Chalmers programmes the same eligibility requirements apply, as to the programme(s) that the course is part of.

Course specific prerequisites

The course TDA288 Human - computer interaction or equivalent.


The course aims to give a basic understanding of central problems regarding the design of screen-based and pixel-based interfaces, including methods and practical training in designing these.

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

Know commonly used interface solutions
Understand how to depict and express functionality
Layout components in a graphical interface
Make design decisions related to interaction-related issues
Solve interaction design problems related to graphical user interfaces and motivate your solutions
Design different software postures
Design interfaces for beginners, experts and users with intermediate skills
Create interfaces that utilize other input devices than mouse and keyboard
Design a graphic interface displayed elsewhere than on average computer screens
To summarize: After the course, you should be able to design a relatively complex graphic user interface, and be able to provide a valid design rationale for it.


The course is highly practical. Lectures and literature give a theoretical foundation, but this theory is immediately put into practice in a series of small exercises and a few larger projects. When practicing, focus is upon motivating, making and analyzing the design decisions made. Most of the work is done in groups of various sizes but there is also a significant amount of individual work. Content includes:
Designing for Beginners, Experts and Intermediates
Software Posture
Flow vs. excise
Designing navigation
Designing Look and Feel
Using colour, text and graphics
Information Visualization
Metaphors, Idioms and Affordances
Direct Manipulation
Selection, Drag and Drop
Manipulating Controls, Objects and Connections
Using Controls
Using Menus, Toolbars and ToolTips
Using Dialogs
Designing for embedded systems
Designing for non-traditional output and input


The course consists of lectures, seminars and exercises based on a couple of central themes.


See course homepage.


Written and in some cases also oral presentation of projects.

Page manager Published: Mon 28 Nov 2016.