Spring 2019

LMC 3710: Principles of Interaction Design

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

Class Meetings: Monday/Wednesday, 3:00–4:15PM
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


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

Participation 10%
Reading responses 10%
Individual Design Challenges 10%
Group Project: Requirement Gathering 10%
Group Project: Low-fidelity Prototype 15%
Group Project: Evaluation, Iteration 15%
Group Project: High-fidelity Prototype 15%
Group Project: Final Presentation & Documentation 10%
Group Project: Peer Review 5%

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 & Reading Responses

There are no required texts for this course. All readings will be made available through the class’ T-Square site.

You will need to write 300- to 500-word responses to the readings through the course of the semester. Each response should be posted as in-line text (no attached documents!) to the “Reading Responses” assignment in Canvas by 10am 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; 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.

Individual Design Assignment: Typography
Due January 14

January 9

Brainstorming & Critique

Week 2

January 14

In-class Critique

Individual Design Assignment: Layout
Due January 23

January 16

Good Interaction Design & Design Process


Buchanan, “Good Design in the Digital Age”

Moggridge, from Designing Interactions

Week 3

January 21

No class. MLK Day

January 23

In-class Critique

Week 4

January 28

Prototyping Interaction I


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”

Begin group project
Requirement Gathering due February 18

January 30

Prototyping Interaction II


Warfel, Prototyping, ch. 1–3.

Week 5

February 4

Understanding Users


Wixon et al. 1990. Contextual Design: An Emergent View of System Design

February 6

Storyboards, Scenarios, Personas


Greenburg et al., –The Narrative Storyboard–
Pruitt and Grudin, “Personas: Practice and Theory”
Carroll, “Five Reasons for Scenario-Based Design”

Week 6

February 11

Doing Synthesis/Generating Concepts


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

February 13

From Concept to Prototype

Week 7

February 18

In-class Critique

Group Project cont’d
Low-fi Prototype due March 4

February 20

Studio Day

Week 8

February 25

Heuristic Evaluation


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

February 27

Usability Testing


Dumas and Redish 1999. A Practical Guide to Usability Testing

Week 9

March 4

In-class Critique: Prototype

Group Project cont’d
Evaluation due March 27

March 6

Studio Day

Week 10

March 11

Modes & Metaphors


Norman 1988 Psychology of Everyday Things, Chapter 1

March 13

Studio day.

Week 11

March 18

No class. Spring Break.

March 20

Week 12

March 25

The Future of Interaction Design


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

March 27

Studio day.

Week 13

April 1

Studio day.

April 3

Project presentations: Evaluation

Group Project cont’d
Hi-fidelity prototype, documentation, presentation due April 22

Week 14

April 8

In-class critique.

April 10

Studio day.

Week 15

April 15

In-class critique.

April 17

Studio day.

Week 16

April 22

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.