Fall 2020

LMC 3710: Principles of Interaction Design

Office: TSRB 316A
Office Hours: By appointment.
Email: ledantec@gatech.edu

Class Meetings: Monday/Wednesday, 3:30–4:45PM
Location: Online

Please note that due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, this course will be held virtually for the protection of everyone involved. If you have concerns about your ability to access these materials or in participating in virtual class sessions, please let me know so we can find a workable solution.

Course Description

In this course we will study and explore the principles and practices of interaction design. You will be introduced to a number of different techniques and tools for understanding particular interaction design challenges, you will develop scenarios and storyboards, create low-fidelity prototypes, and iterate on those prototypes to create a final design project.


CS 1301 or CS 1315 or CS 1321 or CS 1371 and LCC 2100 or LCC 2700, LCC 2720 strongly recommended

Course Objectives

After taking this course you should have an advanced understanding of interaction design and developed skills that will enable to you to:

  • Compellingly communicate design concepts and the rationale behind them
  • Create inventive design artifacts with an awareness of history, audience, and context
  • Contribute to the development of new genres and forms of digital media
  • Appreciate and evaluate future trends in the development of digital media
  • Be able to work effectively in teams to accomplish a common goal


The total grade for the class will be based upon the following factors and weights:

Reading responses 10%
Project: Requirements 10%
Project: Personas & Scenarios 10%
Project: Storyboards 10%
Project: Low-fidelity Prototype 15%
Project: Evaluation, Iteration 15%
Project: High-fidelity Prototype 15%
Project: Final Presentation & Documentation 10%
Project: Peer Review 5%


Class participation is mandatory. Participation in class discussion and in design crits are imperative because they allow you to explore content and design process collaboratively. Participation in class also challenges you to continuously question, refine, and articulate your own ideas and interpretations.

Your participation grade is determined in part by attendance, active participation in class activities and critiques, and from peer evaluation through your group project.

Lecture Material

All lecture material will be available on Canvas in the Media Gallery. You need to watch the lecture material prior to our class time to facilitate activities and discussion that will take place during our meeting times each week.

Readings & Reading Responses

All readings are either directly linked below or available in Canvas in the Perusall app. Like lecture material, you are expected to read assigned material prior to class. This semester I am trying the Perusall app to facilitate collective annotations and comments on the readings; please use these features to bootstrap discussion.

The readings are an important part of course material and will support the lectures and class discussion. To help facilitate this, you will are to write a 300- to 500-word response for each assigned readings (not each individual paper, treat all assigned readings for a day as a unit). These responses should relfect on the week’s readings synthetically (no summaries!) and may bring in prior readings (more synthesis!) or outside material.

Each response should be posted to the discussion in Canvas by noon the day the readings are assigned. Responses are graded on a 3-point scale (3 = exceptional, 2 = adequate, 1 = insufficient). I will drop your 3 lowest response scores.

Course Schedule

What follows is an outline for the semester. As the semester progresses, we may adjust dates and materials.

Week 1 Introduction to the course and first day administrivia.
Brainstorming & Critique

Brainstorming part 1 & 2
Critique part 1 & 2

How to Begin Designing for Diversity

In class:
Brainstorm project ideas: distance, justice, connection, safety, care

Week 2 Good Interaction Design & Design Process

Good Design parts 1–3

Buchanan, “Good Design in the Digital Age”
A brief history of how racism manifests itself in design and how we can learn from it.

In class:
Bring examples of good and bad design.

Studio day

Semester Project Introduction

Week 3 Understanding People

Understanding People part 1 & 2

Wixon et al. 1990. Contextual Design: An Emergent View of System Design
Decide to Give a Damn

In class:
Marta Kiosk [re-]design

Studio day

Identifying your users

Week 4 Labor Day
Personas & Scenarios

Personas & Scenarios parts 1–5

Pruitt and Grudin, “Personas: Practice and Theory”
Carroll, “Five Reasons for Scenario-Based Design”
Ethics and the User Experience – Ethics and the Individual

In class:
Create Personas & Scenarios

Project Deliverable Due (Friday, 5pm):
System Requirements

Week 5 Doing Synthesis/Generating Concepts

Design Synthesis parts 1–4

Kolko, “Abductive Thinking and Sensemaking: The Drivers of Design Synthesis”
Design Thinking Is Fundamentally Conservative and Preserves the Status Quo
Design Thinking is a Rebrand for White Supremacy

In class:
Concept Maps

Studio day

Clarify concepts, people, goals

Project Deliverable Due (Friday, 5pm):
Personas and Scenarios

Week 6 Prototyping Interaction I

Prototyping parts 1–3

Lim, Stolterman, and Tenenberg “The Anatomy of Prototypes: Prototypes as Filters, Prototypes as Manifestations of Design Ideas”
Lichter “Prototyping in Industrial Software Projects – Bridging the Gap Between Theory and Practice”

In class:

Prototyping Interaction II

Prototyping parts 4–8

Greenburg et al., –The Narrative Storyboard–
Warfel, Prototyping, ch. 1–3.

In class:

Project Deliverable Due (Friday, 5pm):

Week 7 Modes & Metaphors

Modes and Metaphors parts 1–4

Greenburg et al., –The Narrative Storyboard–
Warfel, Prototyping, ch. 1–3.

In class:
Studio (prepare for critique)

Studio day


Week 8 Heuristic Evaluation

Heuristic Evaluation parts 1–4

How to Conduct a Heuristic Evaluation
10 Usability Heuristics for User Interface Design
Severity Ratings for Usability Problems

In class:
Project Heuristics


Critique + Work on prototypes

Week 9 Usability Testing

Usability Testing parts 1–5

Dumas and Redish 1999. A Practical Guide to Usability Testing
Gergel and Tan. “Experimental Research in HCI,” in Ways of Knowing in HCI

In class:
Discussion / Work on prototypes

Studio day


Project Deliverable Due (Friday, 5pm):
Low-fi prototypes

Week 10 Studio day
Studio day
Week 11 Studio day


Studio day


Week 12 Studio day

Project Deliverables Due (Monday, 5pm):
Evaluation report

Studio day

Asynchronous Critique

Week 13 Studio day

Asynchronous Critique

Project Deliverables Due (Friday, 5pm):
High fidelity prototype

Studio day
Week 14 Final Presentations
Final Presentations
Week 15 Open Studio

Project Deliverables:
Final artifact and writeup

Week 16 fin

General Class Policies

It is important to keep in mind that this class focuses on the principles and processes of information design, not on technical skills; it is therefore up to you to develop and/or hone your facility with Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop.

Students whose work meets all criteria outlined for an assignment will receive a grade of C; students whose work meets all criteria and shows additional sophistication, thoughtfulness, research and creativity will receive a grade of B; students whose work meets all criteria and goes well beyond the expected in terms of sophistication, thoughtfulness, research, and creativity will receive a grade of A; students whose work fails to meet to all criteria outlined for an assignment will receive a grade of D or F.

Two points will be deducted for all typographic, spelling, and grammatical errors in all writing assignments.

Late assignments will not be accepted. Presentations must be given on the designated day.

Lectures will not be posted. It is your responsibility to take notes and remain attentive in class.

If you have questions or concerns about this or any other course policies stated in this syllabus, class assignments, email correspondence, or announced in class, please speak with me in class, during office hours, or via email as soon as possible so that we can discuss your concerns.

Debate, Diversity, and Respect

In this class, we will present and discuss a diversity of perspectives. Although you may not always agree with others’ perspectives, you are required to be respectful of others’ values and beliefs. Repeated inappropriate or abusive comments and/or behavior will be cause for disciplinary action. If you feel that your perspectives are being ignored or slighted, or you in anyway feel uncomfortable in the classroom, please contact me immediately.

The Communication Center

The Communication Center is located in Clough Commons, Suite 447. It is an excellent resource for any student (undergraduate or graduate) who wants help with a communication-related project. You can visit the center for help at any stage of the process for any project in any discipline. The knowledgeable and friendly tutors are available to help you develop and revise your projects. They are not available to “fix” your projects. Please do not ask the tutors to proofread or edit your projects.

For information on making an appointment please visit their website. If you need assistance with the appointment system, you can call 404-385-3612 or stop by the center.

All services are free and confidential.

Students with Disabilities

Students should self-report to the Access Disabled Assistance Program for Tech Students at:
220 Student Services Building
Atlanta, GA 30332-0285
404.894.2564 (voice) or 404.894.1664 (voice/TDD)

Scholastic Dishonesty and Academic Misconduct

This class abides by the university’s policies relating to plagiarism, scholastic dishonesty, and academic misconduct. Per the Georgia Tech Code of Conduct, plagiarism is defined as:

  • Unauthorized Access: Possessing, using, or exchanging improperly acquired written or verbal information in the preparation of a problem set, laboratory report, essay, examination, or other academic assignment.
  • Unauthorized Collaboration: Unauthorized interaction with another Student or Students in the fulfillment of academic requirements.
  • Plagiarism: Submission of material that is wholly or substantially identical to that created or published by another person or persons, without adequate credit notations indicating the authorship.
  • False Claims of Performance: False claims for work that has been submitted by a Student.
  • Grade Alteration: Alteration of any academic grade or rating so as to obtain unearned academic credit.
  • Deliberate Falsification: Deliberate falsification of a written or verbal statement of fact to a Faculty member and/or Institute Official, so as to obtain unearned academic credit.
  • Forgery: Forgery, alteration, or misuse of any Institute document relating to the academic status of the Student.
  • Distortion: Any act that distorts or could distort grades or other academic records.