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Syllabus for

Academic year
TDA493 - Graphical interfaces
Graphical interfaces
Syllabus adopted 2019-04-23 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPIDE
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Pass with distinction (5), Pass with credit (4), Pass (3), Fail
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Major subject: Computer Science and Engineering, Software Engineering

The course is full. For waiting list, please contact the director of studies:
Teaching language: English
Application code: 23119
Open for exchange students: Yes
Block schedule: A
Maximum participants: 70

Module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0115 Project 4,0c Grading: TH   4,0c    
0215 Laboratory 1,5c Grading: UG   1,5c    
0315 Examination 2,0c Grading: TH   2,0c   Contact examiner,  08 Apr 2021 am L,  27 Aug 2021 pm L

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Thommy Eriksson

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General entry requirements for Master's level (second cycle)
Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling the requirements above.

Specific entry requirements

English 6 (or by other approved means with the equivalent proficiency level)
Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling the requirements above.

Course specific prerequisites

To be eligible for the course the student must have a Bachelor degree of 180 credits. Additionally, the course TDA289 Human - computer interaction, 7.5 credits, or the equivalent is required. It is recommended that students completed the course CIU175 Prototyping in interaction design.


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.

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

Knowledge and understanding

  • Know how and when to use different graphical interface elements
  • Know how to use keypaths and scenarios to create an interaction sequence
  • Know about commonly used interaction design solutions for graphical interfaces.
  • Give account of the differences between touch-based interfaces and regular interfaces.

Skills and abilities

  • Design a graphical user interface adapted to a specific use and user in terms of: layout, interaction sequence, correct use of controls and look and feel.
  • Design a graphical user interface which is manipulated via mouse/pointer+keyboard
  • Design a graphical user interface for a touch-based interaction

Judgement and approach

  • Solve interaction design problems related to graphical interfaces and motivate your solutions
  • Design a relatively complex graphical interface, and be able to provide a valid design rationale for it.
  • Being able to select and apply previouly existing design solutions to new graphical interfaces.
  • Being able to, from a scenario, extract a users needs in terms of graphical interface solutions. 


Content includes, but is not limited to:

  • Commonly used interaction design solutions in graphical interfaces
  • Designing for users on different levels (e.g. beginners vs. experts)
  • Designing interaction sequences
  • Layout of graphical user interfaces;
  • Designing look and feel; using color, text and graphics
  • Correct use of graphical user interface elements such as controls, toolbars, menus, dialogues etc.
  • The difference between regular user interfaces and touch-based interfaces. 


The course is highly practical. Lectures and literature give a theoretical foundation, but this theory is immediately put into practice. 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.


"About Face - The Essentials of Interaction Design" by Cooper et al, Wiley, 2014, fourth edition.

Examination including compulsory elements

The course is examined through three modules, namely:

- Group-based lab exercise (Fail, Pass)
- Individual sit-in exam, (Fail, 3, 4, 5)
- Individual design project (Fail, 3, 4, 5)

To pass the course, one has to pass all parts of it.

Page manager Published: Mon 28 Nov 2016.