[I-U Logo] Human-Computer Interface Design
Novel Interaction Techniques
MICT First trimester, second module, 1 credit

Contents of this page (last modified: Monday, 6 March 2000)

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What's New

The slides and table of contents for all of the classes will remain available electronically on this page for some time.

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Electronic Versions of Slides

  1. Table of contents
  2. Slides from Class 1, November 2nd
  3. Slides from Class 2, November 9th
  4. Slides from Class 3, November 16th
  5. Slides from Class 4, November 23rd
  6. Slides from Class 5, November 30th (4.4 MB)
  7. Slides from Class 6, December 7th
    Second half of these slides: example final exam

These slides are unusually easy to view on-line, as is explained on the following page:

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Some Useful Links

Here is a small selection of links that may be useful to at least one participant for the design briefings.

User-Adaptive Systems

On user-adaptive systems, I've prepared a web bibliography that may be useful, though it's still far from complete:

As is indicated, many of the papers listed are available electronically from the on-line proceedings of the conferences UM97 and UM99. The latter conference also includes a lot of papers that haven't yet been indexed in the bibliography.

Wearable Computers

As you may already have discovered, a good starting point is the MIT page on wearable computers, which includes a lot of links to pages of other labs.

The specific page on Nomadic Radio (cf. Class 2) has a lot of interesting information.

Web Issues

Some tutorial material is offered by the firm DynamicDiagrams.

Jakob Nielsen has an interesting column on usability issues, a lot of them concerning the Web.

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Brief Course Description

For more detailed information on the structure of the course, the grading, etc. see the slides distributed in Class 1.

What You Will Learn

Technical advances in recent years have given rise to a number of types of computing systems and devices that enable novel forms of interaction, including:

Each of these types of system offers some obvious potential advantages to the user, but each type also introduces new usability issues: How can the new techniques be employed in a way that fits optimally with the needs and capabilities of users?

The particular techniques covered in this course will depend in part on the interests of the participants. For each technique examined, you will gain familiarity with the potential advantages for users, with the usability issues that the technique raises, and with ways of dealing with these issues (including ways that have not yet been widely employed).

Students who have already taken the introductory course "Human-Computer Interface Design" will gain experience in applying the general principles and concepts learned in that course to these techniques. Other students will gain an initial acquaintance with these principles and concepts through specific, fairly complex examples. (Taking the introductory course at some later time may be advisable.)

In the practical part of the course you will gain experience analyzing a particular interaction technique in depth, and you will gain a detailed knowledge of the usability problems associated with that technique.


The course will begin with an overview of a number of relevant techniques. Each student will then select a particular technique to examine in depth. The schedule for the rest of the course will depend on these selections.

Some of the reading material will be taken from the book "Human-Computer Interaction" by Dix et al., of which other parts have been read in previous courses. In addition some articles (and other materials) that are available via the World-Wide Web will be read.

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Organizational Aspects

Instructor's Coordinates


About 60 pages of the following textbook are be part of the required reading:

Most of the other chapters of this book are used in other courses on human-computer interface design.

Several copies of the book are available in the University's library.

The best way to get a personal copy of the book is probably through Amazon.de:

More detailed information about the book is available from a separate Web page. Even once you have the book, you may want to consult this page for additional support:

The slides that the authors provide to instructors can also be downloaded, but they contain little material that isn't contained in the book.

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Template for IBIS Argumentation

The document template ibis.dot can be used in Word to create the IBIS argumentation structures for the design briefings.

Don't try to get by without it, because, you will waste time with inappropriate fonts, etc.

Instructions for the First Use

  1. Use the Find function to locate a file with the extension .dot (e.g., normal.dot). This file will presumably be in one of the folders in which Word document templates (*.dot files) are normally stored and accessed. Note what folder you're in, so that you can store ibis.dotin the same folder.

  2. Store ibis.dot to the folder that you've just found: Use the rightmost mouse button when clicking on the file name ibis.dot. Then click on "Save Link as ..." (Netscape) or "Save Target As ..." (IE), so that the browser will save the file to disk instead of loading it into a text window.

  3. In Word, use File / New to create a new document.

    When asked what template to use, choose ibis.dot. (You may have to click on one of the tabs shown to get to the folder in which you've stored ibis.dot.)

  4. The new document will be initialized with a sample IBIS outline.

  5. Switch to Outline mode through the View menu.

  6. Replace the pieces of text with your actual questions, answers, etc.

    If you've already prepared an outline with another document template, you can insert it at the end of the file using the "Insert / File" command.

  7. Use the two leftmost arrows on the task bar to change the level of an entry, moving it to the right or left.

  8. There should also be a keyboard shortcut for these operations: Shift+[right/left arrow].

  9. Use the numbers on the task bar to view only entries up to a certain level.

  10. By clicking on the white + or - sign before a subtree, you can select an entire subtree.

    You can then use the mouse in the obvious way to move the subtree to the right or left, or up or down.

  11. By clicking on the icon on the right of the taskbar with the large and small "A"s, you can switch between a larger and a smaller font.

    We'll use the larger one when projecting outlines onto the screen, but the smaller font may be more convenient for your own use

Points to Bear in Mind

What Word Doesn't Seem to Allow