Methods in User-Centered Design
2015-2016 - IMT5341 - 10 ECTS

On the basis of

  • IMT4032 Usability and Human Factors in Interaction Design
  • IMT4042 User-centered Information Architecture

Expected learning outcomes


  • The student will have a thorough overview of the various methods that exist to ensure high quality user interfaces and products through user-centered design
  • The student will have in-depth knowledge of user-centered methods commonly used to deliver high quality usability products
  • The student will be able to apply this knowledge to design and optimize the usability of products, services and interactive environments.


  • The student will be able to compare, discuss and select appropriate methods for requirements elicitation, design and assessment.
  • The student will be able to initiate, manage and perform user-centered and participatory design work

General competence

  • The student will be able to analyze and assess the appropriateness of various user-centered strategies and methods in design work
  • The student will be able to analyze, reflect upon and discuss academic issues related to usability and user-centered design


  • User-centered design: paradigms, ideology and concepts (including participatory design, universal design and inclusive design)
  • Laws and regulations
  • User, Activity and Task analysis
  • User-centered requirements specification
  • Contextual design
  • User-centered design (including co-operative and parallel design)
  • User-centered and co-operative inspections
  • Usability testing
  • Prototyping and formative-iterative user testing
  • Human-centered design lifecycle processes for usability work

Teaching Methods

Group works
Laboratory work
Net Support Learning
Mandatory assignments
Project work

Teaching Methods (additional text)

Student presentations

Form(s) of Assessment

Home exam, see textarea
Evaluation of Project(s)

Form(s) of Assessment (additional text)

  • Home exam, 5 hours (40 %)
  • Project Assessment (60 %)
  • Each of the parts must be passed separately

The project-case will be solved through a series of exercises throughout the course. Exercises will be on user-centered design practice (methods for understanding needs, analyzing and prioritizing, specifying and designing, inspecting and testing) as well as on assessing, comparing and reflecting on practice. Exercises may be both individual and team work. The project will be graded at the end of the semester. Students will be active in selecting methods to solve the case, and will receive feedback on their work and may improve their work throughout the course, up until deadline for final hand-in of the project report and oral presentation of the results/the project.

Grading Scale

Alphabetical Scale, A(best) – F (fail)

External/internal examiner

Two internal examiners. External examiner is used periodically, next time spring 2019.

Re-sit examination

Ordinary re-sit for the home exam.

No re-sit for the portfolio, must be taken next time the course is run.

Examination support

The home-exam is an open-book exam.

Teaching Materials

Basic textbooks:

  • Steve Krug (2009): Rocket Surgery Made easy: The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Finding and Fixing Usability Problems. New Riders publishing.
  • Benyon, David (2013). Designing interactive systems: A comprehensive guide to HCI, UX and interaction design. 3rd edition. Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley
  • Rubin & Chisnell, Handbook of Usability Testing – How to plan, design and conduct effective tests. Wiley publishing 2008.
  • Lazar, Jonathan et al. (2010). Research methods in human-computer interaction. Chichester: John Wiley
  • Kathy Baxter, Catherine Courage and Kelly Caine (2015): Understanding Your Users, Second Edition: A Practical Guide to User Research Methods (Interactive Technologies) 2nd Edition

Supporting textbooks:

  • Bruno Latour, Aramis, or the Love of Technology
  • Quesenbery & Brooks, Storytelling for user experience
  • Bill Buxton, Sketching User Experience - getting the design right and the right design
  • Andy Polaine, Lavrans Løvlie & Ben Reason, Service Design - From Insight to Implementation, Rosenfeld Media, 2013 (Paperback: 216 pages, ISBN 1-933820-33-0 Digital: ISBN 1-933820-61-6)

Minor changes may occur. Final list is presented at the beginning of the semester.