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    This course introduces the foundations of scientific research in the area of user interface design. Students carry out an end-to-end project in interaction with a real customer. Project topics come from the Finnish ICT industry, the public sector, and research groups in the Helsinki area. The small group size of the course ensures intensive meetings with plenty of feedback, iteration, and a collaborative atmosphere. The maximum number of students is limited to 12. In case there are more students wanting to join the course, selection will be based on study program and study success. 

    Cases in 2017

    1. Pervasive Display Analytics (customer: Aalto SCI, Prof. De Francesco) - Jiayao
    2. Retrofitting IFEs (customer: Reaktor) - Jenni
    3. Chatbots for self service (customer: Elisa) - Erkka
    4. Connecting new devices to a WiFi router (customer: F-Secure) - Howard
    5. Layout design in a password manager (customer: F-Secure) - Sunny

    Workload and Format

    32 meeting hours + 8 assignments + 3 one-to-one meetings with the customer + independent research + final presentation. Note that the number of credits may be adjusted based on actual load. Weekly meetings with lectures and exercises. Students work on their projects and present results in the meetings. Participation in weekly meetings is mandatory (maximum 3 absences).

    Learning objectives

    • Formulation of research problems 
    • User research methods
    • Representations of user research data
    • Design space analysis, task analysis
    • Sketching techniques
    • Model-based analysis of interface designs; optimization approaches
    • Research planning 
    • Research strategy
    • User testing; Experimental design; Statistical testing; Reporting empirical results
    • Data analysis and visualization methods for HCI data
    • Scientific reporting and presentations; pitching 


    Mandatory: ELEC-E7851 (or similar)

    Recommended: A course on scientific writing

    Students of the University of Helsinki are welcome join the course but are asked to contact the teacher well in advance.