Spring 2014

LMC 3710: Principles of Interaction Design

Office: TSRB 316A
Office Hours: Fridays 11AM–1PM, or by appointment
Email: ledantec@gatech.edu

Class Meetings: Tuesday/Thursday, 12:05–1:25PM
Location: Skiles 302

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

In addition, you should have portfolio worthy projects that demonstrate your skills in interaction design and digital media.


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

Participation 10%
Essay 10%
Video Story Board 10%
Interactive Prototype 10%
System Diagram 10%
Final Project 50%

Participation & Attendance

Class attendance and 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.

Missing more than 2 classes will result in a loss of 1 letter grade.

Please note that there are three kinds of absences that will not be counted against your participation grade provided that you provide appropriate documentation within one week of the absence:

  • If you have a family emergency and provide me with a note from the proper authority.
  • If you have a GT extracurricular activity and provide me with a note from your coach or advisor.
  • If you have an internship or job interview and provide me with documentation from the company in question (the invitation to the interview is ideal in this case).

Readings & Texts

There is one required book for this course:
Todd Warfel, Prototyping: A Practitioner’s Guide

The book should be available at the GT Barnes & Nobel.

All additional readings will be made available through the class’ T-Square site.

Course Schedule

What follows is an outline for the semester. As the semester progresses, we may adjust dates and materials; however, unless specifically stated in class, you should assume this schedule is current and accurate.

Week 1

January 7

Introduction to the course and first day administrivia.

January 9

What is good interaction design?


Buchanan, “Good Design in the Digital Age”

Begin Essay

Week 2

January 14

Prototyping Interaction I


Greenburg et al., “The Narrative Storyboard”

Warfel, Prototyping, ch. 1–3.

Bring physical Object to next class

January 16

Prototyping Interaction II


Djajadiningrat et al., “Interaction Relabeling”

Essay Due

Week 3

January 21

Prototyping as Film


Raijmakers et al., “Design Documentaries”

Begin Storyboard

January 23

In-class work session

Week 4

January 28

Video Storyboard Critique

Video Storyboard due

January 30

Video Storyboard Critique

Video Storyboard due

Week 5

February 4

Video Storyboard Critique

February 6

Prototyping Tools

Begin Interactive Prototype

Week 6

February 11

In-class work session

February 13

System Diagrams


Jun, Kim, and Lee, “The System Diagrams: Shifting Perspectives”

Begin System Diagram

Week 7

February 18

Interactive Prototype Critique

February 20

Interactive Prototype Critique

Interactive prototype due, 2/23

Week 8

February 25

In-class work session

February 27

System Diagram Critique

Final Project Brief

System Diagram due 3/2

Week 9

March 4

Conference Travel

No class

March 6

Conference Travel

No class

Week 10

March 11

Doing Synthesis/Generating Concepts


Kolko, “Abductive Thinking and Sensemaking: The Drivers of Design Synthesis”

March 13

In-class work session

Synthesis and concept generation

Week 11

March 18

Spring Break

No class

March 20

Spring Break

No class

Week 12

March 25

Research & Synthesis Critique

Research Presentation due

March 27

From Concept to Prototype

Week 13

April 1

Low-fi Prototype Critique

Lof-fi Prototype Presentations

April 3

In-class work session

Week 14

April 8

Prototype Iteration Critique

Functional Prototype due

April 10

Prototype Iteration Critique

Functional Prototype due

Week 15

April 15

The Future of Interactions Design


Sterling, Design Fiction
Tomlinson et al., “Collapse Informatics”
Antonelli, “Design and the Elastic Mind” (video)

April 17

In-class work session

Week 16

April 22

Final Presentations

April 23

Final Presentations

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.