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Rapid prototyping of interaction concepts in higher HCI education

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2014-10-20, HDI 2014, Freiburg

Rapid prototyping of interaction concepts in higher HCI education

Abstract: In teaching HCI (Human-Computer Interaction), there is the persistent challenge of constructing practical exercises with interesting goals while staying focused on HCI and not getting lost in technical details. In the introductory course "Interaction Design" at the University of Hamburg, students have three weeks to conceptualize and implement prototypical interaction concepts for the game Neverball. In contrast to most other HCI introductory courses, they do not design mock-ups, but produce actual concrete software. To make this possible within the three-week timespan, Neverball has been extended with a TCP-based interface. This renders the costly familiarization with the game's source code unnecessary and the students are able to concentrate on their interaction prototypes. We recount our experiences from several iterations of the project and describe our methods during its execution. The results shall support other teachers and lecturers in the area of HCI in creating similar praxis-oriented exercises with results that "can be touched".

This article was presented at HDI 2014 (6th conference on university didactics of computer science). It is part of the conference proceedings.

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