User Interface Technology (UIT)

Course content

The course gives participants an understanding of technologies for user interfaces, focusing on emerging interaction styles and new hardware. Participants will learn the drawbacks and benefits of user interface technologies for different tasks and use contexts. In addition, they will learn about current research challenges for user interface technology.  

The course will contain advanced material on user interface software and technology and on interaction styles. The course will focus on a project within a particular technology or interaction style. In addition, we will discuss the following topics:

  • Overview of classic models of interaction (GUI and WIMP interfaces) and classic interaction styles (direct manipulation).
  • Models of user interfaces and interaction, including post-WIMP interfaces (van Dam, 1997), reality-based interfaces (Jakob et al., 2008) and instrumental interaction (Beaudouin-Lafon, 2000).
  • Emerging interaction styles such as gesture-based interaction, augmented reality, physical computing.
  • New hardware for interaction, for instance, technologies for sensing (e.g., tracking of persons and objects, wearable sensors) and tangible interfaces.


Note that only some of the discussed technologies will be worked with in-depth.


MSc Programme in Computer Science

Learning outcome

Knowledge of

  • directions in user interface technology and their relation to GUI and WIMP interfaces;
  • advantages and disadvantages of particular user interface technologies.


Skills in

  • applying techniques for sketching user experiences;
  • designing and building prototypes in hardware and software of user interface technology.


Competences in

  • using sketching to develop and discuss ideas about a particular application of user interface technology;
  • doing practical work with user interface technology in hardware and software.

This course will alternate between classroom discussions of key papers on user interface technology and lab classes, which focus on introducing user interface technology and having students develop prototypes.

See Absalon when the course is set up.

Programming skills corresponding to those obtained with a bachelor in Computer Science or equivalent are expected.

Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 20 minutes
Written assignment, During the course
The oral examination is without preparation and based on the group project report (=written assignment).
Written aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiners.
Criteria for exam assessment

See Learning Outcome.

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 24
  • Preparation
  • 32
  • Practical exercises
  • 24
  • Project work
  • 125
  • Exam
  • 1
  • English
  • 206