Course syllabus


DAT355 / DIT045 DAT355 / DIT045 Requirements and User Experience lp2 HT20 (7.5 hp)

Course is offered by the department of Computer Science and Engineering

Contact details

Examiner:   Jennifer Horkoff

Course responsible:   Jennifer Horkoff

Course Assistants:

Leith   Hobson
Altug   Altetmek
Maximilien   Uddgren
Negin  Hashmati
Fayona Cowperthwaite
Joakim Deak
Hartmut Fischer
Ali Karkhaneh
Hannah Maltkvist
Krasen Parvanov
Sandra Smoler Eisenberg
Victoria Vu

TA Contact List

Course Representatives:

Navya  Pulikandla Satyanarayanachetty 
Himank  Meattle 
Leila  Bencheikh 
Thomas  Solibi  
Anna  Rikardsson

Course purpose

The course provides students with an introduction to the field of requirements engineering and user experience. It starts by providing a solid foundation by defining key concepts like goals, requirements and specifications. It also presents the process of identifying and documenting the requirements of a software product. Emphasis is also given to quality requirements.

The second part of the course focuses on usability aspects. The course will focus on integrating the requirements gathered in the first part with more design-oriented requirements gathered as part of a user-centric design process (for example, via interviews and the use of personas). The course also presents elements of visual design and information design, for instance, how to include aspects of user experience in the design of a software product. Further, the course touches upon methods of prototyping (for example, digital mockups) and presents some techniques to evaluate the usability of a software product (for instance, via user studies). Finally, the course will provide students with hands-on experience in designing graphical user interfaces (GUIs).



Course literature

Course Book for UX Part

Designing Interfaces 2nd Edition, by Jenifer Tidwell


Note 1: Make sure to find the 2nd edition

Note 2: You can find a PDF of this book online, but if there is a hall exam exam, the exam is open book, and you cannot bring the PDF to the exam.  If you want to use the book in the hall exam, you need the real physical book.

Note 3: If the exam in January is an online exam, you can use a PDF and do not need the physical book.  We'll announce this as soon as GU makes the decision.

Course Readings for RE Part

For the RE part of the course, the main source is the course slides.   But we also have a few  additional papers to supplement the material.   These papers are available for free through Canvas.    Some of these are copyright, so don't post them openly online.  Some of the papers are to read, and some are for reference, in case more help is needed with course topics.

Papers to Read

Sutcliffe, Alistair, and Pete Sawyer. "Requirements elicitation: Towards the unknown unknowns." 2013 21st IEEE International Requirements Engineering Conference (RE). IEEE, 2013.  10 pages.  RE unknownunknowns.pdf

Karras, Oliver, and Kurt Schneider. "Software Professionals are Not Directors: What Constitutes a Good Video?." 2018 1st International Workshop on Learning from other Disciplines for Requirements Engineering (D4RE). IEEE, 2018.  4 pages.  SE_Video.pdf

Papers to Use as a Reference (look up material if needed)

Gregory, Sarah and Terzakis, John, Writing Good Requirements Writing Good Requirements RE17.pdf

Dalpiaz, Fabiano, Xavier Franch, and Jennifer Horkoff. "istar 2.0 language guide." arXiv preprint arXiv:1605.07767 (2016).  iStar2.pdf

iStar Cheat Sheet iStar-cheatsheet.pdf

Dalpiaz, Fabiano iStar Supplementary Material  2016-12-istar_Supplimentary.pdf

MIT, Video Production Guide videoprodguide.pdf

Course design

The teaching consists of lectures, group work (assignments), class exercises, as well as supervision in connection to the exercises and assignments.

NOTE:  In Autumn of 2020 all course activities will be online.  There will be no mandatory in-person activities.   

This course will use Canvas for all communication and assignment submission.  Any real-time lectures will take place using online communication platforms such as Zoom.  

Communication Policy:  whenever possible, questions should be asked in Discussions forum of Canvas.  You can email the instructor directly (, but any question which is generally applicable to class will be directed to the Canvas discussion forum. 

Language of instruction: English

Changes made since the last occasion

Since the last occasion, some topics have been transferred to the parallel course.  The entire course has been adjusted to be given online.  

Learning objectives and syllabus

Learning objectives:

On successful completion of the course the student will be able to:

Knowledge and understanding

  • describe the process of requirements elicitation, evaluation, documentation,validation, and evolution,
  • state techniques to acquire and model user demands,
  • explain key techniques to account for usability in software products,

Skills and abilities

  • identify and specify requirements by means of, for instance, scenario-based techniques or goal-oriented techniques,
  • apply techniques to identify personas, scenarios and user stories,
  • design and implement graphical user interfaces according to usability principles,

Judgement and approach

  • select an appropriate technique to evaluate the usability of a software product,
  • choose and motivate appropriate methods for involving users in the design process.

Link to the syllabus Chalmers.
Link to the syllabus GU.

Examination form


  1. Written exam (Tentamen), 5 higher education credits, Grading scale: Pass with Distinction (VG), Pass (G) and Fail (U)
  1. Assignments (Inlämningsuppgifter), 3 higher education credits Grading scale: Pass (G) and Fail (U)


The course is examined by an individual written exam carried out in an examination hall at the end of course and written assignments normally carried out in groups of three students. The assignments part is examined on the basis of solutions to compulsory problems handed in during the course and on the basis of individual contribution to the group work.

Note:  Due to COVID, the final exam may be adjusted to be online.

There will be three group written assignments.  Each assignment is equally weighted.  Specific requirements for the assignments will be provided on Canvas.

Students are required to complete written self- and peer-assessment forms during the course which will be part of the assessment of the student's individual contribution to the project.  The instructor may adjust the individual grades of a student depending on this evaluation. 

Grading Scales

The grading scale differs for assignments vs. the exam.  For the assignments, the GU grades Pass (G) and Fail (U) are used, for the exam, we use Pass with Distinction (VG), Pass (G) and Fail (U) for GU students and 5, 4, 3, and Fail for Chalmers students. To be awarded Pass (G) for a full course, the students must pass both the exam part and the assignments part with at least grade (G). To be awarded Pass with Distinction (VG) for a full course, the student must, in addition, receive a VG on the written exam part.  Essentially, your final overall grade is the grade you get on the exam, as long as the assignment part of the course has been passed.

Written assignments and the final exam will be graded on a numeric scale, converted to percentages.  The final percentage grade for the assignments and exams will be converted to the GU and Chalmers scales as follows:

GU and Chalmers Grading Scale for Assignments:


GU Grading Scale for Exams:


Chalmers Grading Scale for Exams:


Assignment Grade Calculations

The final grade for the assignment part of the course (3 credits) will be an average of the grade for each of the three assignments.  In order to pass the assignments, you must get at least 40% on all three assignments.   If each assignments has a grade of higher than 40% and If the average grade across the assignments is passing, the students will receive a passing grade for the assignment part of the course.  Failing one of three assignments does not necessarily mean there will be a failing grade for the assignments part of the course, as long as the grade for that assignment is 40% or more. 


Example 1

A1: 50% (fail on that assignment), A2: 65% (pass on that assignment), A3: 70% (pass on this assignment)

Overall average:  61.7% (rounded), no assignment <40%, overall grade G, pass

Example 2

A1: 70%, A2: 80%, A3: 35%

Overall:  Fail, U, because A3 had a grade of less than 40%

Example 3

A1: 42%, A3: 55%, A3: 70%

All grades >=40%, but overall average 55.7%, which is less than 60%, Fail, U

Group Grades

Note that although the grade is given for a group assignment, this grade is then assigned individually to students, and may be adjusted depending on the peer evaluation form.  Thus not all students in the same group are guaranteed to get the same grade.  Such situations are rare.

Late Assignments

Up to One day late:  - 20% of final mark

Up to Two days late:  - 40% of final mark

Two or more days late:  0%

Failing Assignments

If the final grade of the assignments is a failing grade (one assignment <40% or average <60%), all three assignments must redone and resubmitted with a new case.  The redone assignments are handed in again at a date after course completion.  A new case will be provided.  Redone assignments can be done in groups or individually.

 Assignment Re-submission Dates

 Note: if you and/or your group intend to resubmit the failed assignment part of the course, please notify the course responsible two weeks in advance.

Assignment re-submissions are due on the following dates.

  • First Round:  March 19th, 2021
  • Second Round:  May 14th, 2021
  • Third Round:  August 13th, 2021

Failing the Exam

Retake examinations of the assignments part consist of written individual assignments. If a student, who has failed the same examined component twice, wishes to change examiner before the next examination, a written application shall be sent to the department  responsible for the course and shall be granted unless there are special reasons to the contrary (Chapter 6, Section 22 of Higher Education Ordinance).

In cases where a course has been discontinued or has undergone major changes, the student shall normally be guaranteed at least three examination occasions (including the ordinary examination) during a period of at least one year from the last time the course was given.

Examination  Dates

  • First round:  January, date and time to be determined
  • Second round: April, date and time to be determined
  • Third round: August, date and time to be determined

See the following for any updates:

 Authorized examination aids:  Jenny Tidwell's “Designing Interfaces: Patterns for Effective Interaction Design.  2nd Edition”

Note: if the exam is a hall exam, the book must be a  bound book, not a printed copy

Course Evaluation

The course is evaluated via an informal meeting with course representatives mid-way through the course, and a meeting after the course between teachers and student representatives. Further, an anonymous questionnaire is used to ensure written information. The outcome of the evaluations serves to improve the course by indicating which parts could be added, improved, changed or removed.

Course evaluation survey

We greatly appreciate your participation in the following questionnaire. Your answers will be treated anonymously and cannot be linked to you. If you include any comments, please be constructive and keep to the point so that we can use your comments to develop the course. Please remember to specify why you think something has worked well or less well. Offensive comments will be removed.

Thank you!

Best Regards,

CSE Student office 



Study Period: 2 November 2020- 18 December 2020

Lecture session 1: Monday at 10-12

Lecture session 2: Wednesday at 10-12

Supervision session: Wednesday at 13-15 with possible extension to 17

Location:   Due to COVID 19, this instance of the course is all online.  If there are live session (e.g., in Zoom) the access link will be posted in Canvas, either from the schedule or the announcements

A preliminary schedule will be available below in the course summary, topics and times may be changed during the course.






Nov 2


Course Intro & Practicalities


Nov 5


Requirements Creativity, Scoping & Modeling (Context, Goals)


Nov 5


Requirements Modeling


Nov 9


Requirements Modeling (Goals, Use Cases, Customer Journey Map)


Nov 11


Requirements Concepts, Documenting & Quality


Nov 11


Writing Requirements


Nov 16


Requirements Elicitation, Personas & Scenarios


Nov 17


13-15 A1 Questions (Note: rescheduled to Tuesday)


Nov 18


Act Sustainable! Design Jam (no lecture)


Nov 20


Assignment 1 Due 23:59


Nov 23


Intro to UX & Prototyping


Nov 25


UX Design Patterns


Nov 25


Patterns & Mobile Design Patterns


Nov 30




Dec 2


Usability Testing


Dec 2


A2 Questions


Dec 4


Assignment 2 Due 23:59


Dec 7


Usability Experiments


Dec 9


Videos, Validation, & Verification


Dec 9


User Test Design


Dec 14


Guest Lecture


Dec 16


Course Review


Dec 16


A3 Questions/User Studies


Dec 18


Assignment 3 Due 23:59


Jan 13?


Double Check Exam Time and Date

Additional information

Plagiarism or free-riding is not allowed; cases of such will lead to disciplinary action.

See Gothenburg University Rules regarding plagiarism:

Course summary:

Date Details Due