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Cognitive Interaction Design, 7.5 Credits

Swedish name: Kognitiv interaktionsdesign

This syllabus is valid: 2023-06-26 and until further notice

Course code: 5DV188

Credit points: 7.5

Education level: Second cycle

Main Field of Study and progress level: Computing Science: Second cycle, has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
Cognitive Science: Second cycle, has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements

Grading scale: TH teknisk betygsskala

Responsible department: Department of Computing Science

Established by: Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 2017-08-08

Revised by: Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 2023-03-07


This course looks at interaction design from a cognitive science perspective. Using (digital) artefacts as the main study object, the focus is on theoretical considerations of interaction design and its (cognitive) consequences on human users. We usually attribute character and intentional behavior to the people and artefacts that we interact with. How we perceive these artefacts is partly shaped by their design, and partly by our own cognitive capabilities and previous experiences. Understanding how design affects cognition (and vice versa) becomes increasingly important in the age of ubiquitous computing and the rise of autonomous systems.


The covers includes:

  • questions of how (digital) artefacts are perceived and conceptualized by their users;
  • artefact complexity: different kinds of complexity, the artefacts role in interaction, and how to mediate it;
  • cognitive tools: supporting cognition with (digital) artefacts, and artefacts as (integral) part of cognition;
  • user interfaces: from desktop to mobile to ubiquitous computing;
  • the role of emotions and aesthetics;
  • an outlook on latest developments in the field.

Some of the theories and techniques are applied in group-work project assignments.

Expected learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding
After completing the course, the student should be able to:

  • (FSR 1) explain why it has been frequently argued that a cognitive perspective on design is useful and important,
  • (FSR 2) explain and compare different types of interaction (interaction metaphors, stances, and paradigms), and different models of cognition (distributed cognition, cognitive tools, extended mind hypothesis),
  • (FSR 3) evaluate the cognitive and complexity consequences that a particular design decision for some aspect of an artefact may have on other aspects of the artefact,
  • (FSR 4) describe current trends in the field and their challenges.

Competence and skills
After completing the course, the student should be able to:

  • (FSR 5) evaluate artefacts and interaction processes taking a cognitive perspective,
  • (FSR 6) critically discuss concepts and ideas presented in scientific literature in the field, relating them to each other and content taught in the course,
  • (FSR 7) utilize and account for results and ideas presented in scientific publications in the field in their own analyses and design ideas.

Judgement and approach
After completing the course, the student should be able to:

  • (FSR 8) demonstrate an understanding (by critically discussing) of how design decisions for an artefact may have consequences for its users in terms of perception, acceptance, ease of use, and emotional attachment.

Required Knowledge

At least 90 ECTS, including 45 ECTS Computing Science or Cognitive Science, or 120 ECTS within a study programme. At least 7.5 ECTS human-computer interaction. Proficiency in English equivalent to the level required for basic eligibility for higher studies.

Form of instruction

Education consists of lectures, classroom exercises in smaller groups, and mandatory assignments. In addition to scheduled activities, individual work with the material is required.

Examination modes

The examination consists of a written exam in halls and written assignments. At least one assignment is also orally presented. The grade on the course is one Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass with Merit (4), or Pass with Distinction (5).




Adapted examination
The examiner can decide to deviate from the specified forms of examination. Individual adaptation of the examination shall be considered based on the needs of the student. The examination is adapted within the constraints of the expected learning outcomes. A student that needs adapted examination shall no later than 10 days before the examination request adaptation from the Department of Computing Science. The examiner makes a decision of adapted examination and the student is notified.

Other regulations

This course may not be used towards a degree, in whole or in part, togehter with another course of similar content. If in doubt, consult the student counselors at the Department of Computing Science and / or the program director of your program. In particular, this course can not, in whole or in part, be used in a degree together with 5DV067 Cognitive Interaction Design.

If the syllabus has expired or the course has been discontinued, a student who at some point registered for the course is guaranteed at least three examinations (including the regular examination) according to this syllabus for a maximum period of two years from the syllabus expiring or the course being discontinued.


Valid from: 2023 week 26

Material som tillhandahålls av institutionen/Material provided by the department
Inst för datavetenskap/Dept. of Computing Science :