DOIS 2023 Design Of Interactive Systems


Wendy E. Mackay, Inria & Université Paris-Saclay
Janin Koch, Inria & Université Paris-Saclay

M1, M2, PhD

Introduction to the Design of Interactive Systems teaches quick and effective user-centred design methods, emphasising situated interaction, rapid design and redesign.


The Design of Interactive Systems course is about design methods—how to quickly design and redesign an effective interactive system. Students will investigate a design problem from the user's perspective and produce a scenario-based video prototype of a new system based on their users' needs. Students will then redesign their system to address breakdowns and accommodate new situations and present it to the rest of the class. The course includes a series of individual and group exercises that build upon each other — all are required to successfully complete the final project. Class attendance and participation is essential!

Warning: This course is designed to go fast!

The techniques in this course were created and refined in both industry and research settings and will be useful not only in other classes and for your Masters internship, but in your future career, whether you become an interaction designer, entrepreneur, or researcher. This course provides an overview of the overall design process, but also challenges many assumptions about UX design in industry. Students have applied these methods to create successful startups, to design both commercial and open-source applications, and as a foundation for HCI research.

If you complete the course successfully, you will able to observe users and design from their perspective, focusing on the interaction not just the interface. You will learn to work quickly, iterating rapidly between sketching interaction and assessing the results. You will also learn to work effectively in groups, and avoid analysis paralysis when group members disagree.

Course structure:

This is a project-oriented class that combines lectures and in-class activities over the Tuesday and Wednesday sessions. The course also includes specific homework exercises as well as work on the final project.

You will work in groups, ideally with four participants, on individual, paired and group exercises. You will have five weeks to create the first story-based video prototype and and two weeks to completely redesign and improve it, and then present it to the class. This website contains all the assignments and space for uploading your work, as well as links to tools that will enable you to conduct collaborative video-based assignments.

This course will be conducted in person. Attendance is required: If you have a good reason for not attending, let your other team members and Janin Koch (janin.koch@inria.fr) know in advance. We will take attendance at every class.


Most grades are based on group activities, but individual grades also count for certain assignments, as does class participation.

Participation and exercises: 40%
Video prototype #1: 10%
Final presentation, revised video prototype & poster: 50%

Final presentation:

Each group will have 10 minutes to present their project, including a summary of their design process and the video prototype that illustrates their design. An external jury and other class members will then have 5 minutes to ask questions. Note that this is not a concept video with a marketing pitch. Rather, it is a early-phase design artefact designed to communicate the current state of the design, in a story-based format, to other designers and users.


Workspace & group reports