Course syllabus

CIU176 / TIA108 Prototyping in interaction design lp1 HT21 (7.5 hp). Course is offered by the Department of Computer Science and Engineering

Course purpose

The course gives an introduction to, and practice in, creation of different types of prototypes in Interaction Design. The contents cover both physical prototypes (e.g. paper prototypes, prototyping through controllers and micro-controllers, and prototyping through tinkering and physical modeling) and digital, screen-based prototypes (sketching, coding and design of interactive prototypes, video prototypes). The student can choose to focus on either a physical or screen-based prototyping path but should have basic skills and experience in both.

After the course, you should have a clear understanding of the use and idea of prototyping in Interaction design, as well as be able to create prototypes at different levels of fidelity using appropriate tools and technologies.


Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

- Describe how prototypes are used in interaction design.
- List the pros and cons of different types of prototypes.
- Explain what can be learned from a certain prototype and why.
- Explain what can NOT be learned from a certain prototype and why.

Skills and abilities

- Create physical prototypes in various materials, with various techniques.
- Create video prototypes to present a concept or proposal.
- Create simple illustrations and carry out basic image manipulation.
- Create graphic user interface designs using mock-up tools.
- Perform basic programming of micro-controllers connected to sensors and actuators.
- Program simple interactive prototypes.

Judgment and approach

- Decide which type of prototype to use in order to find out what needs to be learned or tested, taking possible constraints into account, e.g. time and budget.
- Evaluate a prototype.
- Incorporate suitable prototypes at the right stages in a design process.



The examination is based on four parts:

  • The practical performance and oral presentations during participation in workshops, usually done in groups. This work has a fail/pass grading.
  • Written, relatively short documentation from each workshop, written on an individual basis. Including text, sketches, audio, images, video, and code (as relevant for each workshop). This work has a fail/pass grading.
  • Group prototyping project demonstrating the IxD process and developed prototype/s. This work has a fail/pass grading.
  • Final home exam (written essay), written individually. The essay must include references to course literature and central topics presented during the course, as well as discussions of how your own work related to the theories and models.

In order to receive a final grade on the course, a student needs to pass workshops, project work, and the home exam.


Grading guidelines

The home exam will be graded on the ability to (critically and constructively) reflect about course-related matters (like suitability or consequence of various materials and methods, or related aspects being brought up in the project, exercises, literature, lectures, etc.). Here are some guideline principles to exemplify the grading:

  • Points approximately corresponding to grade 3 (Chalmers) or G (GU): Retell things that have been brought up in the course, in course literature or other related materials. Demonstrate comprehension of methods and material and able to give cause for and argue in favour of a point of view. To some extent also present own insights and points of view.
  • Points approximately corresponding to grade 4 (Chalmers) or G (GU): Conduct an own line of arguments about design work and prototyping, think for oneself and put knowledge into new or other contexts. Analyse and position oneself in relation to matters of the course, choose a point of view and give good cause for it.
  • Points approximately corresponding to grade 5 (Chalmers) or VG (GU): Critical thinking. In addition to the things mentioned above, be able to identify and present potential problems and imperfections with approaches, methods or materials in sketching and prototyping together with own suggestions of solutions. Choose a point of view and present constructive suggestions. For example, not only be able to give good causes for a new method within interaction design, but also be able to identify potential problems and shortcomings with it, and present suggestions of solutions.


Contact details

  • Examiner: Mohammad Obaid (
  • Teacher: Sjoerd Hendriks (
  • Teacher: Georgios Diapoulis (
  • Teacher: Ziming Wang (
  • Teaching Assistant: Birgir Baldursson (
  • Teaching Assistant: Svend Gudbjart Geerthsen (
  • Teaching Assistant: Michael Ngibuini (
  • Teaching Assistant: Qing Lin (
  • Teaching Assistant: Christopher Molin (

Student Representatives:

  • Jessica Addison-Saki  (
  • Kalle Areschoug (
  • Bryan Awele Azimoh (
  • Anton Eriksson (
  • Smedra Touma (




Course literature

Link to Literature for the Prototyping Course: Click here.

Course design

 Link to the Class Schedule: Click here.

Changes made since the last occasion

The course has been adjusted to include literature discussions. Following the Chalmers recommendations, the course will have a mixed mode where lectures on theory will mostly be presented via online channels, and practical activities will be done in-studio.


Course summary:

Date Details Due