Successful Summer Course on Interaction Design in Helsinki

Two members of the HTO group, Åsa Cajander and Marta Larusdottir, lectured in a two week summer course at Aalto university in Helsinki, 29. July – 9. August. The course subject is: Experimental Interaction Design – https://blogs.aalto.fi/ixd19/.

The course was sponsored by Nordplus and lecturers from 5 universities collaborated on contributing to the course. These were: Virpi Roto and Andrés Lucero from Aalto University, Jan Stage from Aalborg University, Ilja Smorgon, Tallinn University, Åsa Cajander and Mikael Mikael Laaksoharju, Uppsala UniverPesity and Marta Larusdottir, Reykjavik University.

The students were international. They were 23 students participating from Iceland, Sweden, Eistonia, Denmark and Finland. The students learned and practised how to analyse user groups, interview users, state usability and UX goals, sketch a user interface, prototype and evaluate those with users. For the design part, the students used the Google Design sprint process, which is a 5 day process on how to analyse, design and evaluate a small but carefully selected part of the whole system, that the students wanted to develop. Typically, the students got a half an hour lecture and then worked on applying the method introduced in the lecture for one to two hours, so the lectures were combined with a lot of group work activities.

The students delivered in feedback on the course on the last day, and gave positive feedback on their experience. They liked particularly the balance between „talking and doing“ in the Google design sprint process, as they phrased it. The Google design sprint process got very high ranking from the students for being useful in the course and in the future. It was inspiring to meet these engaged students that really liked learning and practising the course material.

Previously two occations of the course have been held in Tallinn 2017 and in Reykjavik 2018. We have written two publications to explain and discuss the courses. These are:

1. Get Realistic! – UCD Course Design and Evaluation – https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-05909-5_2

2. Balance Talking and Doing! Using Google Design Sprint to Enhance an Intensive UCD Course, to be presented at INTERACT 2019, track E on Thursday 5th of September – http://interact2019.org/programme/#thu

Marta Lárusdóttir

Associate Professor at Reykjavik University
Marta Kristín Lárusdóttir is Associate Professor in School of Computer Science at Reykjavik University and chair of the CRESS research center there.

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