User research for interaction design

The course introduces the students to user research concepts, methods and techniques, applied in interaction design throughout the whole interaction design lifecycle, from data collection to evaluation. The course addresses theoretical and methodological issues related to design and evaluation, with a special focus on concepts and frameworks employed in the analysis of the relationship between needs and experience of users. Methods and techniques supporting the understanding of specific user and usage contexts, as well as the development of design concepts for future user needs, are analyzed, and concrete examples of such methods and techniques are discussed within the course.

Schedule (preliminary, subject to change!)


Week Day Date Time Theme Room Teacher
35 Mon 29/08 13-15 Course introduction MA378 VK/KD
Tue 30/08 13-15

User research for Interaction design: An overview


MA378 VK
Fri 02/09 12-15 Usability evaluation, ethnography MA378 VK
36 Tue 06/09


Workshop *


Thu 08/09 13-15 Diary studies, experience MC323SEM KD
37 Tue 13/09


Assignment 2 discussion*


Thu 15/09 12-15 Data presentation and interpretation MC323SEM VK
38 Tue 20/09 13-15 Concept development & evaluation - I MA378 KD




Concept development & evaluation - II MC323SEM KD
39 Tue 27/09 13-15 Environments and ecologies . I MA378 VK
Thu 29/09 12-15 Environments and ecologies . II (workshop) * MA378 VK
40 Tue



Special users

MA378 KD
Thu 06/10 12-15 Ethical and societal considerations MA378 KD
41 Tue 11/10 13-15

Assignment 3 presentations*

MA378 VK
Thu 13/10 12-15 Workshop * MA378 KD
42 Tue 18/10 13-15

Social media

MA378 KD
Thu 20/10 12-15

Concluding discussion

Course evaluation
MA378 VK
Tue 01/11 by 10:00 Submission of take home exams
* obligatory attendance

VK - Victor Kaptelinin

KD - Karin Danielsson Öberg


The course literature consists of a list of papers, including journal articles and conference papers, for instance:

Gaver, B., Danne, T., & Pacenti, E. Cultural probes. Interactions 6 (1), Jan./Feb., 21-29, 1999.

Iacucci, G., Kuutti, K., & Ranta, M. On the move with a magic thing: Role playing in concept design of mobile services and devices.
Proceedings of DIS 2000, 193-202, ACM, 2000.

Greenberg, S. & Buxton, B. Usability evaluation considered harmful (some of the time). Proceedings of CGI 2008, 111-120, ACM, 2008.

Lee, M. K. & Takayama, L. "Now, I have a body": uses and social norms for mobile remote presence in the workplace.
Proceedings of the CHI 2011, 33-42, ACM, 2011.

Odom, W. et al. A fieldwork of the future with user enactments.
Proceedings of DIS 2012, 338-347, ACM, 2012.

A complete list of reading assignments will be provided to the students at the beginning of the course.


Individual and group assignments, graded as Pass/ Fail (G/ U), and a take home exam, graded as Pass with distinction/ Pass/ Fail (VG/ G/ U).


Victor Kaptelinin
victor (dot) kaptelinin (at) umu (dot) se

Karin Danielsson-Öberg
karin (dot) danielsson-oberg (at) umu (dot) se