Courses Overview

Interaction Design Studio / Interfaces e Desenho de Interacção

An interface provides the framework, elements, and resources for a “conversation” to take place between (i) people and people, (ii) people and places, and (iii) people and products. An interface should subtly convey an expectation of what the product can do and provide feedback on actions taken.
Interaction designers invent interfaces and define product behavior. Through a process of (i) exploring the needs and desires of users, (ii) the social and functional aspects of context, and (iii) agendas of relevant stakeholders, interaction designers frame a problem through a solution that defines what a product is, what it does, and how it works. Through this integrative process, designers invent what might be, addressing the problem in order to transition the world from its current state to a “preferred” state.
In this course we will explore the fundamentals of interfaces and the interaction design process. This course means to fulfill the following requirements:

  1. Introduce and practice the fundamental concepts, methods, and practices of interaction design.
  2. Explore the ideas of “form follows interaction” and “be the user”.
  3. Explore how users develop attachment with products through identification.
  4. Explore the role that interaction with products plays in mediating relationships between people and people, people and places, and people and products.
  5. Improve student’s ability to present their design ideas.

This is mostly a studio class. There will be few theoretical lectures; students will work on a series of design assignments and are expected to actively participate in exercises and peer evaluations.
The assignments are mostly group work and results will be critiqued in class throughout the course.

Please click to see the Syllabus.


Alan Cooper and Robert Reimann (2003): About Face 2.0: The Essentials of Interaction Design. Wiley. Chapter 5: Modeling Users: Personas and Goals. 55-74.

Konrad Baumann (2001): Controls. In Konrad Baumann and Bruce Thomas (eds.) User Interface Design for Electronic Appliances. Taylor and Francis. 131-161.

John Rhienfrank, Shelley Evenson (2004): Interaction Design Language.

Don Norman (2002): Emotion and Design: Attractive Things Work Better. Interactions, July-August. ACM Press.

John Zimmerman, Ellen Ayoob, Jodi Forlizzi (2005): Searching for Intrinsic Value in Interaction: Reflections on the Conceptual Designs of Digital Music Players. In Proceedings of DPPI.

Various research readings.



Wireframe design of a ‘virtual post-it’ application to leave messages located in the real world.

Mobile application   High fidelity prototype of a mobile phone application for writing short geo-tagged blog items with photographs.

Below: Series of images taken from a video sketch demonstrating a wrist-device for tourism related information and services.

Video sketch

Video sketch

Video sketch

Still haven't found what you're looking for?