Ihmiskeskeisen teknologian yksikkö
   kevät 2012

IHTE-1800 seminar in human-computer interaction (3 op/cu):

Experience-Driven Design, Spring 2012

Registration has now closed and the course is running full speed ahead :-)


User experience (UX) has become a major keyword and trend in interaction design. UX concerns with emotional and hedonic aspects of the use of a product or service, whereas traditional usability is more concerned with efficiency and effectiveness. Highly satisfying UX is becoming a key differentiating factor in interactive consumer products, especially in personal, mobile and ubiquitous applications. However, good UX is crucial also in work-related products, such as machinery software and information services.

Several models and frameworks have appeared over the past 10 years to describe what UX with technology is, for example by Hassenzahl, Forlizzi and Ford, and Mahlke. At the same time, a large number of UX evaluation methods have been developed for measuring the goodness of the created product from an experiential perspective, see for example All about UX. What is lacking in the engineering field, is a sufficient picture of the design approaches in which the (affective) experience is put into the main focus and primary target of the design. This seminar will attempt to cover that area of experience-driven design.

Objectives and topics of the seminar

This seminar has two fold objectives: First, students will become familiar with experience design related approaches. Second, students will gain first-hand experience of designing for user experience by doing a practical design assignment.

In the first part of the seminar, there will be three lectures UX and design. Students will also read some articles or book chapters (given to them) on experience and design, and these will be discussed in the lectures.

The second part of the seminar is a practical assignment in which the students will conduct a design study of a specific topic. The groups of students (3-4 students in one group) should produce a demonstration of a new product or service that they have designed with an experience-driven approach. The demonstration can be, for example, a semi-interactive demo, a video illustrating the concept, or some other artefact that is able to communicate the concept and the experiences it should create. In addition to the demonstration, a brief design report is written, describing the design process and rationale, and the tentative user feedback of the concept.

Seminar will be held in English if there is at least one non-Finnish speaking student. In any case, the reports will be written in English.

Seminar staff and contacts

Responsible teacher: Prof. Kaisa Väänänen-Vainio-Mattila

Other teachers:
Andres Lucero (Nokia Research Center),
Prof. Timo Saari,
Thomas Olsson

All contacts regarding the issues of the seminar should be addressed to:
ihtesem (at) cs.tut.fi


The seminar will take place in 7.2.-30.4.2012. All lectures take place in classroom K0739 (located at TUT Human-Centered Technology, Konetalo-building).


Sessions and deadlines related to practical assignment (see below) in groups:

  • March 6th at 12-16 in Nokia Innovation Centre : Co-design session
  • Working on the assignments in March-April
  • Half-way review sessions separately for each group, to be held 19.-23.3.
  • Deadline of the practical assignment: 23.4.2012
  • Ending session and presentations: 26.4. at 12-16

Practical assignment (harjoitustyö)

The goal of the practical assignment is to try out some design methods/techniques to come up with an innovative design that fulfills some intended type(s) of experience(s) in the target users. Groups of 3-4 students should produce some kind of tangible/well visualized demonstration of the concept they have designed. In practice, this would be at least a video demonstration. However, interactive and easy-to-implement mock-ups (e.g. Flash demo) or other demonstrations (e.g. UI mock-ups, storyboards/comic strips) are highly encouraged. The way of demonstrating the design can depend on the concept itself and the targeted experiences, and the students should create a way of demonstrating it that they see the most appropriate in the case. Ideally, the designed concept would be novel and appropriate in its intended context of use and users.

The topic of the design study will be roughly outlined by the teachers but the students will invent or identify the more specific design problem themselves. In addition to the given topic, the design sets off with a specific target experience (or several) that will be aimed at in the design. Alternatives for the target experiences will be provided by the teachers.

The target user group can be the students themselves. Consequently, it is not required to conduct any empirical user research to base the design on.

The main steps/phases of the design study are to:

  1. Set design goals and target experiences (based on the given topics and targets and referring to some related research) for a specified context and user group
  2. Ideate the concept by using some ideation techniques (the co-design session on March 6th + group's own refinement)
  3. Create a tentative demonstration(s) of the concept (or of several optional concepts) --> set a date with the teachers for a half-way review (to be held on 19.-23.3.)
  4. The main deliverable will be a demonstration that makes the concept easier to understand, and is able to communicate the fundamental ideas & experiences behind the concept.
  5. Conduct a small-scale, informal end user evaluation of the concept
  6. Write a brief design report (appr. 5 pages in ACM paper format) that describes the design process (using appropriate references), the design rationale, and the user evaluation findings.
  7. Presentation of the design to others in either one of the ending sessions. Discussion and evaluation of the resulted concepts and the design processes.

The final presentations were given 26.4.2012. Links to the presentations and reports:


Some articles will be read and discussed in the lectures, but no course book is required. Here are some related readings:

  • Sketching User Experiences: Getting the Design Right and the Right Design by Bill Buxton, Morgan Kauffman, 2007
  • Experience Design, Technology for All the Right Reasons by Mark Hassenzahl, Morgan and Claypool, 2010
  • Product Experience by Schifferstein and Hekkert, Elsevier, 2007
  • Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things by Donald Norman, Basic Books, 2003
  • Design Research Through Practice: From the Lab, Field, and Showroom by Koskinen, Zimmermann, Redstrom and Wensveen.
  • Zimmerman, Dourish, Gaver, Höök, Löwgren, etc. (ask for more info)
In addition, students will themselves look for further literature references for their practical assignment

Requirements for passing the course

  • Attending 2/3 lectures, attending the co-design session and the halfway review, and attending one of the ending sessions
  • Returning the practical assignment (report) acceptably by the given deadlines (TBD, before the presentations starting on April 27th)

If a student cannot attend the required number of lectures/final presentations, they may substitute some of the attendances with extra tasks (to be agreed with Kaisa)


Maximum number of 24 students can attend the seminar. The seminar is intended primarily for doctoral students in the field of HCI, but if there is space, also undergraduates with previous knowledge in HCI and UX can attend.

With the above restrictions, the seminar is open to TUT's students, the students of UCIT graduate school and the students of Tauchi unit at UTA. Students outside TUT should get the JOO permission (e.g. through the special cooperation arrangement between IHTE and Tauchi (see http://www.cs.tut.fi/ihte/opetus/tauchi.shtml)).

If you have taken a previous post-grad seminar with the "IHTE-1800" course ID, it does not prohibit you to attend this seminar as well.

UCIT-students from outside Tampere can apply funding from UCIT to cover the travel expenses.

The seminar will be held in English if there is at least one non-Finnish speaking student.


The registration has now closed!

Pre-registration is required by January 16th, 2012. To register, please send the following information to ihtesem (at) cs.tut.fi:

  • Your name, e-mail, and student number (TUT students)
  • Your home university
  • Are you a post-grad student or a Master student
  • Major and minor subjects
  • Do you speak Finnish
  • What are your expectations of the seminar or what would you specifically like to learn

All registered students will be informed by January 20th, 2012 if they can attend (see the restrictions above).