Course syllabus


DAT157 / TIA243 Designing User Experiences lp4 vt21 (7.5 hp)

Course is offered by the department of Computer Science and Engineering


Designing interactive systems is often, but not always, about designing for efficiency. However, it is just as important to design the experience of use, as the functionality of the artifact in itself, although they are closely intertwined. Apart from designing for efficiency, we can also aim for playfulness, criticism, embodiment or various emotions (e.g. fear, joy, comfort), all of which create different user experiences. In this course we will look closer at different kinds of user experiences and discuss and practice how to design for them.



The following learning outcomes and contents are taken directly (and unabridged) from the syllabus:

Study plan at Chalmers

Study plan at Gotehburg University

Learning outcomes -- Knowledge and understanding

KU1: Know how to describe and relate to common views on the user experience.

KU2: Know how ideas on various different user experiences are rooted in other disciplines.

KU3: Know how to analyze and discuss a certain design in terms of user experience and design goals.


Learning outcomes -- Skills and abilities 

SA1: Analyze possible user experiences provided by an interactive system or object.

SA2: Design towards a certain user experience, making it permeate all aspects of the artifact.

SA3: Be able to motivate one’s design decisions in relation to the user experience one is designing for.

SA4: Give and receive constructive feedback regarding design for user experiences.


Learning outcomes -- Judgement and approach 

JA1: Be able to select and apply approaches and theories from related fields in order to discuss and attain a certain user experience.

JA2: Be able to conclude and discuss the ethical and societal consequences of designing a certain user experience.


Content includes, but is not limited to…

C1: What it means to design for a user experience

C2: Common views and approaches towards designing user experiences

C3: Analysis of possible user experiences provided by an interactive system or object

C4: The connection between design objectives, design rationale and design decisions



The course is given in English. The course features both practical and theoretical parts, as well as work in groups and individual work. Lectures, literature and literature seminars give a theoretical foundation, which are immediately put into practice. Focus is upon turning analysis and reflection into practical action. Focus is also on exchange of thoughts, feedback, designs and ideas. Hence, the course requires active participation; participants will spend most of their study time engaged with each other, working in pairs or groups.



The course covers the following four overarching topics (all of which consist of 1-2 lectures, one literature session and one design exercise):

  • UX Foundations and Methods
  • Essentials: Designing for Emotions and Persuasion
  • Speculative Design and Critical Design
  • Spatial-Temporality in UX design


The examination comes in the form of taking part in mandatory activities. The only graded element is an individual project (a design task), which is given at the start of the course; the intention is not that students should start with it right away, but in this way they know from the start what is being expected, and in addition they can start pursuing a suitable topic and idea. Then, the last two weeks of the course are spent creating this design and the presentation of it.


Mandatory activities

Exercises + feedback sessions

Literature seminars

Individual project


Voluntary activities



Relation between the learning outcomes, the content, and the parts of the course

Lectures:KU1, KU2, KU3, SA1, JA1, JA2, C1, C2

Literature + Literature seminars:KU1, SA3, JA1, JA2, C1, C2, C3

Exercises:SA2, SA3, JA1, JA2, C1, C4

Crits:KU3, SA1, SA3, SA4, JA1, C3, C4

Individual project:KU3, SA1, SA2, SA3, JA1, JA2, C1, C4



There is no book in this course. Instead each topic will be introduced with a lecture, and 1-5 accompanying papers which will be analyzed and discussed in the literature seminars. All literature can be downloaded from the course’s Canvas pages.



The course is examined through three modules, namely:

  • Exercises, 2 credits (Fail/Pass)
  • Literature assignments, 2 credit (Fail/Pass)
  • Individual project, 3,5 credits (Fail, 3, 4, 5)


In order to pass the entire course, the student needs to receive Pass on the first two modules and at least 3 on the third module. If you fail one or more parts, you cannot get a final grade, but you will get a grade and the credits for the parts you did pass. 


 To cheer you up…

…a student that has achieved extraordinary well – for instance by being very active in class, sharing knowledge, improving other's work or working hard on common projects – but still does not quite match up to certain final grade, might get that anyway. 



Last year the course was conducted fully online. This year, we will have blended learning with most activities happening online. Some of the activities may happen outdoors but you will be able to conduct them wherever you are. 




Mafalda Samuelsson-Gamboa (


Sjoerd Hendriks (

Jasmina Maric (




Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this course will be run fully online. See the Schedule page for details on exact times. If it is not possible for a student to attend some of the sessions, arrangements will be made to ensure they can achieve the learning goals in other ways. 



The guiding schedule is on Canvas and overrules TimeEdit. TimeEdit shows only the rooms booked (which are not really important at this point)



Photo on the course logo by Marcus Lenk on Unsplash

Course summary:

Date Details Due