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Syllabus for

Academic year
DAT157 - Designing User Experiences  
Syllabus adopted 2016-02-11 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
Block schedule: A+

Course module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0114 Laboratory 2,0c Grading: UG   2,0c    
0214 Written and oral assignments 2,0c Grading: UG   2,0c    
0314 Project 3,5c Grading: TH   3,5c    

In programs



Univ lektor  Sus Lyckvi


DAT155   Aesthetics of interaction DAT156   Aesthetics of interaction


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 requirements for the course is to have successfully completed a Bachelors degree within Computer Science or equivalent or the following courses:

  • Man-machine systems or Human computer interaction, 7.5 credits
  • Interaction design methodology or an equivalent course in design methodology, 7.5 credits
The student must be trained in practical design work within diciplines of interaction design, multimedia design, product design or architecture.


After the course you should have a clear idea of some aesthetic ideals and how to design according to them, giving a valid design rationale.

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

Designing interactive systems it often, but not always about designing for efficiency. However, it is just as important to design the experience of use, as the functionality of the artifact in itself, although they are closely intertwined. Apart from designing for efficiency, we can also aim for playfulness, criticism, embodiment or various emotions (e.g. fear, joy, comfort), all of which create different user experiences. In this course we will look closer at different kinds of user experiences and discuss and practice how to design for them.

After completing the course the student is expected to be able to:

Knowledge and understanding

  • Explain what "User Experience" means, and give an account of the most common thoeries and approaches within the area.
  • Describe UX-oriented design methods as well as their underlying theories.
  • Know how to analyze and discuss a certain design in terms of user experience and design goals.

Skills and abilities

  • Analyze possible user experiences provided by an interactive system or object.
  • Choose and apply suitable design methods.
  • Design towards a certain user experience, making it permeate all aspects of the artifact.
  • Be able to motivate ones design decisions in relation to the user experience one is designing for.
  • Give and receive constructive feedback regarding design for user experiences.


Judgment and approach

  • Be able to apply related approaches and theories in order to discuss, or design a certain user experience.
  • Be able to conclude and discuss the ethical and societal consequences of designing a certain user experience.


Content includes, but is not limited to:

  • What it means to design for a user experience.
  • Common views and approaches towards designing user experiences.
  • Analysis of possible user experiences provided by an interactive system or object.
  • The connection between design objectives, design rationale and design decisions.


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 immediately put into practice. Focus is upon turning analysis and reflection into practical action. Focus is also on exchange of thoughts, feedback, designs and ideas. Hence, the course requires active participation; participants will spend most of their study time at school, working in pairs or groups.


Selected academic papers and book excerpts


The course is examined through three modules, namely:

  • Exercises, 2 credits (Fail/Pass)
  • Literature assignment, 2 credit (Fail/Pass)
  • Individual project/home exam, 3,5 credits (Fail, 3, 4, 5)

In order to pass the entire course, the student needs to receive Pass on the first two modules and at least 3 on the third module.

Page manager Published: Mon 28 Nov 2016.