Design Project 1



This course requires students to design, prototype, develop and evaluate an interactive system. Students will work in groups.

M2-HCID + M2 Interaction students:

For M2-HCID and M2 Interaction students the course is 7 weeks long. The project that you will be doing would be linked with one or more of the electives that you are doing. Start brainstorming on ideas in connection with the electives you are taking. Once you have a project, we will help you contact the professors to seek their advice and supervision. 

M1-HCID students:

For M1-HCID students, the course is 14 weeks long, divided into 2. We suggest you to do 2 projects, for the first 7 weeks, you can choose a project that is linked with one or more of the electives that you are doing. For the second 7 weeks, we suggest students to work on the project you are doing in the BDLabs course. You will follow the same structure than the M2-HCID and M2 Interaction students for the 7 first weeks and then we will focus the 7 last weeks on BDlabs projects. 

Start brainstorming on ideas in connection with the electives you are taking. Once you have a project, we will help you contact the professors to seek their advice and supervision.


The deliverable will consist of original software and complete documentation. The documentation is a writing that describes, analyzes, and discusses the design choices embedded within the system, conceptually, technically, and critically, and the resulting user evaluation.

Exhibition: Students will also be expected to present the interactive system during an exhibition taking place on Tuesday 23rd of January at the Proto204.

Paper: The formal writing of their project should be in the form of an interactivity paper, preferably in the CHI extended format

Design: Material for framing the Design Process is available Here or based on the design of interactive systems bootcamp

Students will be graded on the quality of the work, the written paper and oral presentation of project. There will be evaluated also based on a mid-way project progress presentation and on their class presence.

The criterion  will be the effective understanding and application of Design and HCI concepts in designing and developing and evaluating their interactive system. The user evaluation will rely on qualitative or quantitative methodologies of the student’s choice and is not mandatory but highly suggested.

If appropriate, students should also prepare a video of their project, preferably with narration.

Learning Outcomes

The students will be able to:

  • Apply HCI and Interaction Design principles in the design, development and evaluation of your interactive system.
  • Prepare and deliver a short oral presentation and written paper demonstrating your application in the design of the interactive system.
  • Conduct an in-depth project about the design and evaluation of an interactive system.


  • Mid-way project progress presentation                                          — 25%
  • Class Presence                                                                              — 15%
  • Final Interactive System  / Paper / Video and Oral Presentation   — 60%

Organization of the course: 

Week 1: 

  1. Empathy is the foundation of a human-centred design process. To empathize, you:
    1. Observe. View users and their behaviors in the context of their lives.
    2. Engage. Interact with and interview users through both scheduled and short ‘intercept’ encounters.
    3. Immerse. Experience what your user experiences.
  2. Define: Unpack and synthesize your findings into compelling needs and insights, and scope a specific and meaningful challenge. Two goals of the define mode are to develop a deep understanding of your users and the design space and, based on that understanding, to come up with an actionable problem statement: your point of view. Your point of view is your unique design vision that you crafted based on your discoveries during your empathy work. Often, in order to be truly generative, you must first reframe the challenge based on new insights you have gained through your design work. This reframed problem statement can then be used as a solution-generating springboard. Your Point of View is one that provides focus and frames the problem.

Week 2: 

  1. Ideate:  Generate radical design alternatives. Mentally it represents a process of “going wide”. The goal of ideation is to explore a wide solution space – both a large quantity of ideas and a diversity among those ideas. From this vast depository of ideas you can build prototypes to test with users. You ideate in order to transition from identifying problems into exploring solutions for your users.
  2. Prototype: Get ideas and explorations out of your head and into the physical world. Use post-it notes, a role-playing activity, a space, an object, an interface, or even a storyboard. The resolution of your prototype should be commensurate with your progress in your project. In early explorations keep your prototypes rough and rapid to allow yourself to learn quickly and investigate a lot of different possibilities. Prototypes are most successful when people (the design team, the user, and others) can experience and interact with them.
  3. Test: It is the chance to get feedback on your solutions, refine solutions to make them better, and continue to learn about your users. The test mode is an iterative mode in which you place your low-resolution artifacts in the appropriate context of the user’s life. Prototype as if you know you’re right, but test as if you know you’re wrong.
  4. Iterate! 

Week 3 / Week 4 / Week 5 / Week 6

These are the weeks you start to make the Interactive system!

Week 7 / Week 8 / Week 9 / Week 10 / Week 11 / Week 12 (for M1-HCID) :

At this point, the evolution of the class depends on the evolution of your project.

The best scenario would be to have the time at this point to evaluate your interactive System. If that is not the case, keep developing your system. You will have a chance to evaluate it, in another part of the class or if you are willing to publish about it.

For evaluating the system, you can use:

  • Structured interviews
  • Observational task analysis
  • Ethnographic field studies
  • Controlled experiments
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Think‐aloud / Wizard of Oz
  • Field Testing

Week 7 for M2-HCI and M2 Interaction and Week 13 / Week 14 for M1-HCID

Tutorial on How to Write a Paper:

Writing and reflecting on the Interactive System. Guidance for writing a good HCI paper, inspired by S. Greenberg and J Galvan.


This document describes how a researcher should structure a report describing experiments in human computer interaction. The framework provided follows that of most scientific reports, where sections should: introduce the topic and problem; describe the experiment; note the key results obtained; discuss and interpret the results; and give concluding remarks. The document also indicates what archival records should be kept of the experiment.

Note: The title should be descriptive and enticing, and should be followed by the full names, contact addresses, and email address of the authors. Abstracts are typically a 100-150 word overview of experiment, results and discussion. Well-written abstracts summarize the key findings of the paper as well as introduce the problem, so the reader knows what to expect.


This section should give an overview of the general problem area, and should then focus on the particular problem you are going to investigate. Some things typically included in an introduction are:

  • general problem introduction and statement
  • review of experimental and commercial systems
  • discussion of the relevant literature (if any)
  • personal encounters with the problem
  • review of previous experiments
  • relevant psychological or other theories

2.Related Works

A literature review is not an annotated bibliography in which you summarize briefly each article that you have reviewed. While a summary of the what you have read is contained within the literature review, it goes well beyond merely summarizing professional literature. It focuses on a specific topic of interest to you and includes a critical analysis of the relationship among different works, and relating this research to your work. It may be written as a stand-alone paper or to provide a theoretical framework and rationale for a research study (such as a thesis or dissertation).

  • Step 2: Decide on a topic
  • Step 3: Identify the literature that you will review
  • Step 4: Analyze the literature
  1. Overview the articles: Skim the articles to get an idea of the general purpose and content of the article (focus your reading here on the abstract, introduction and first few paragraphs, the conclusion of each article. Tip: as you skim the articles, you may want to record the notes that you take on each
  2. Group the articles into categories (e.g. into topics and subtopics and chronologically within each subtopic).

·       Step 5: Summarize the literature in table or concept map format

·       Step 6: Synthesize the literature prior to writing your review

Using the notes that you have taken and summary tables, develop an outline of your final review. The following are the key steps as outlined by Galvan (2006: 71-79)

  1. Consider your purpose and voice before beginning to write.
  2. Consider how you reassemble your notes: plan how you will organize your findings into a unique analysis of the picture that you have captured in your notes.
  3. Create a topic outline that traces your argument: first explain to the reader your line or argument (or thesis); then your narrative that follows should explain and justify your line of argument.
  4. Reorganize your notes according to the path of your argument
  5. Within each topic heading, note differences among studies.
  6. Within each topic heading, look for obvious gaps or areas needing more research.
  7. Plan to describe relevant theories.
  8. Plan to discuss how individual studies relate to and advance theory
  9. Plan to summarize periodically and, again near the end of the review
  10. Plan to present conclusions and implications
  11. Plan to suggest specific directions for future research near the end of the review
  12. Flesh out your outline with details from your analysis

·       Step 7: Writing the review (Galvan, 2006: 81-90)

  1. Identify the broad problem area, but avoid global statements
  2. Early in the review, indicate why the topic being reviewed is important
  3. Distinguish between research finding and other sources of information
  4. Indicate why certain studies are important
  5. If you are commenting on the timeliness of a topic, be specific in describing the time frame
  6. If citing a classic or landmark study, identify it as such
  7. If a landmark study was replicated, mention that and indicate the results of the replication
  8. Discuss other literature reviews on your topic
  9. Refer the reader to other reviews on issues that you will not be discussing in details
  10. Justify comments such as, “no studies were found.”
  11. Avoid long lists of nonspecific references
  12. If the results of previous studies are inconsistent or widely varying, cite them separately
  13. Cite all relevant references in the review section of thesis, dissertation, or journal article

·       Step 8: Developing a coherent essay (Galvan, 2006: 91-96)

  1. If your review is long, provide an overview near the beginning of the review
  2. Near the beginning of a review, state explicitly what will and will not be covered
  3. Specify your point of view early in the review: this serves as the thesis statement of the review.
  4. Aim for a clear and cohesive essay that integrates the key details of the literature and communicates your point of view (a literature is not a series of annotated articles).
  5. Use subheadings, especially in long reviews
  6. Use transitions to help trace your argument
  7. If your topic teaches across disciplines, consider reviewing studies from each discipline separately
  8. Write a conclusion for the end of the review: Provide closure so that the path of the argument ends with a conclusion of some kind. How you end the review, however, will depend on your reason for writing it. If the review was written to stand alone, as is the case of a term paper or a review article for publication, the conclusion needs to make clear how the material in the body of the review has supported the assertion or proposition presented in the introduction. On the other hand, a review in a thesis, dissertation, or journal article presenting original research usually leads to the research questions that will be addressed.
  9. Check the flow of your argument for coherence.

3.System Design

This section should clearly describe technically the system that you have designed.

4.Evaluation (If you conducted one)

This section should clearly define the problem, describe the subjects and the materials required, indicate the methodology, and list any problems encountered. Depending upon your particular experiment, the subsections below might be best presented in a different order and you may add further subsections as needed.

4.1 Introduction and goals
Introduce your experiment, and give the reader the specific goals you expect it to address. It is common at this stage to give the reader a hint of your hypotheses (if they are not already hinted at in the Introduction).

4.2 Methods
This is a detailed description of the experiment that should allow other researchers to replicate your experiment.

4.2.1 Participants

Describe your participants (e.g., any relevant demographics, if/how they were divided into categories), including total number, and recruiting approach. Indicate if any incentives were used. Comment on the representativeness of your participants relative to the target population, if their representativeness isn’t immediately obvious.

4.2.2 Conditions

If your experiment is comparing multiple different interfaces or interactive systems or techniques, describe each of them. Screen snapshots of interfaces/systems are particularly useful.

4.2.3 Tasks

Briefly describe what participants were asked to do with the interactive system(s).

4.2.4 Design

Write the formal experimental design (e.g., a 2 x 3 mixed factorial design, more specifically a 2 levels of expertise (between subjects) x 3 interfaces (within subjects) design).

4.2.5 Procedure

Describe the sequence of activities each participant followed. This should document the experiment from a participant’s perspective.

4.2.6 Apparatus

Describe the physical setup of the experiment (e.g., where was it conducted, on what kind of equipment, etc.)

4.2.7 Independent and dependent variables

Include exactly how you intend to measure each dependent variable.

4.2.8 Hypotheses

Remember to state these in terms of the independent and dependent variables. If it is not immediately clear why you would have a certain hypothesis then include a brief explanation separate from but following the hypothesis. You do not need to state the null hypothesis.

5.Results (If you conducted an experiment/evaluation)

This section is an objective report on what the numbers show. You should not try to interpret the meaning of the numbers in this section. Some of the things you may do here are:

  • report means and standard deviations in neat tables
  • indicate the statistics used and levels of significance
  • include graphs, plots, histograms, etc that tell a story about the actual figures obtained

Only critical raw data and summary statistics should be included in the actual report. However, you must keep all your raw data in a separate archival report, should anyone (a reviewer in the case of real scientific reporting) need more detail than is provided in the paper.


Interpret the results. Although you should still try to be as objective as possible, the discussion section should illuminate your critical thinking about the results. Explain what the statistics mean, account for anomalies, and so on.

6.1 Interpretation of results (possibly)
Discuss what you believe the results really mean. For example, if you find a significant difference for some effect, what does that mean to the hypothesis? Is the different seen an important one?

6.2 Relation to other works
How do the results you’ve obtained relate to other research findings?

6.3 Impact for practitioners
As computer scientists, we are particularly concerned with the implications of our findings on practitioners. Should existing interface constructs be designed differently or used in a new context? Do you have suggestions for new designs? How can the findings be generalized?

6.4 Critical reflection
Critical reflection is one of the key foundations of science. You should criticize your work (constructively, if possible), indicate possible flaws, mitigating circumstances, the limits to generalization, conditions under which you would expect your findings to be reversed, and so on.

6.5 Research agenda
The best experiments suggest new avenues of exploration. In this section, you should reflect and refine your hypotheses, describe new hypotheses, and suggest future research, ie research that you would do if you continued along this path.


Summarize the report, and speculate on what is to come.


This list should contain only papers that have been cited in text. Citations should be in a standard form, and should include all citation information.

REF: Galvan, J. (2006). Writing literature reviews: a guide for students of the behavioral sciences (3rd ed.). Glendale, CA: Pyrczak Publishing.

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