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Cognitive Design, 7.5 Credits

Swedish name: Kognitiv Design

This syllabus is valid: 2020-08-24 and until further notice

Course code: 5ID225

Credit points: 7.5

Education level: First cycle

Main Field of Study and progress level: Cognitive Science: First cycle, has at least 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
Industrial Design: First cycle, has at least 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements

Grading scale: Three-grade scale

Responsible department: Umeå Institute of Design (UID)

Established by: Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 2020-09-04


The course gives an overview of interaction design and its role in industrial design and product development. The aim of the course is to give a basic insight into interaction design and highlighting of the possibilities for cooperation between interaction designers and cognitive scientists. The processes and work methods used in industrial design and interaction design are introduced, and applied in a project that runs throughout the course. The course aim is to give basic skills and knowledge in interface construction from a design perspective. Emphasis is placed on user perspectives, typography, layout and general graphic design and also the visual expression of the interface design. The ability to create, visualise, test and evaluate various types of interfaces is practiced through the whole course. Different methods for visualisation, manual as well as computer aided, are applied in the project and a strong focus is placed on communication of ideas and results orally, visually and in writing.

Expected learning outcomes

After completing the course, the student shall be able to:

Knowledge and understanding

  • Account for central concepts and methods in the field of interaction design.

Competence and skills

  • Assess, evaluate, discuss and construct graphic user interfaces based on aspects of usability, and relate these to aesthetic and product semantic criteria.
  • Apply methods for, and independently conduct and evaluate, user studies with private persons, companies or organisations.
  • Conduct a design project in a group, or team, and present the work process and result of this orally, visually and in writing.

Judgement and approach

  • In writing describe and reflect upon their own individual design process, in relation to their future professional role.

Required Knowledge

Basic requirements for higher education. For admission to the course, students must also have 60 credits in the subject of cognitive science or the equivalent. Of these 60 credits, following courses should be included Perception 7,5 credits, Knowledge and memory 7,5 credits, Reasoning and Information Processing 7,5 credits, Action 7,5 credits, or the equivalent.
An applicant who does not fulfil the requirements can be granted exemption This applies to students with 60 credits in the fields of industrial design or engineering with focus on interaction and design.

Form of instruction

Teaching methods include lectures, seminars, tutoring, practical assignments, group and project work. Students work both individually and in groups with assignments and projects. Details and schedule according to the specific project brief as presented at the beginning of the course. Education is carried out in English.

Examination modes

Examination is carried out in the form of presentations - oral, visual and written - at specific gateways during the course, as a final presentation and as an individual reflection assignment at the end of the course. After completing the course, one of the grades Fail (U), Pass (G) or Pass with distinction (VG) is awarded the student. In order to obtain credit for the course, the student must have participated at the presentations at the specified gateways, made a final presentation of the project and contributed to a visual report, documenting the work process and the final result. The grade on the course is based on all the different forms of examination, and is set when final presentation and all mandatory assignments have been carried out.
For students who have not obtained the grade Pass, other examination sessions will be arranged.

For students in need of special pedagogical support due to disabilities, individual adaptation of examination forms should always be considered based on the students needs. The examination form is adjusted within the framework of the course syllabus intended learning outcomes. The course coordinating teacher shall, upon request from the student, consult with the examiner to quickly decide on an adjusted form of examination. The decision shall then be conveyed to the student.

Examination based on this syllabus is guaranteed for two years after the student's first registration on the course. This also applies if the course has been closed and this syllabus has expired.

For students who have not obtained the grade Pass, other examination sessions will be arranged. A student who for two consecutive examinations for the same course or sub-course has not been passed, has the right to have another examiner appointed, if there are no special reasons against this (Higher Education Ordinance chapter 6, 22 §). The request for a new examiner shall be made in writing to the Head of Department at Umeå Institute of Design.

Equivalency credits for this course can only be given if it can be shown through transcripts and course plans that a similar course has been passed, and after the course responsible and director of single subject courses have evaluated and approved the students' individual level of skills and knowledge.

Other regulations

The course can be included as a part course in a bachelor's or master's degree. The course is part of the Bachelor's Programme in Cognitive Science at Umeå University.


Valid from: 2021 week 41

Reference literature

Goodwin Kim
Designing for the digital age : how to create human-centered products and services
Indianapolis, IN : Wiley Pub. : cop. 2009 : xxix, 739 s. :
ISBN: 978-0-470-22910-1 (paper/website)
Search the University Library catalogue

About face 3 : the essentials of interaction design
Cooper Alan, Cooper Alan, Reimann Robert, Cronin Dave
3. ed. : Hoboken, N.J. ;a Indianapolis, IN : Wiley ;a Chichester :b John Wiley [distributor] : cop. 2007 : xxxv, 610 s. :
ISBN: 978-0-470-08411-3 (pbk.)
Search the University Library catalogue

Thoughtful interaction design : a design perspective on information technology
Löwgren Jonas 1964-, Stolterman Erik
Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press : 2005 : xiii, 198 s. :
ISBN: 0-262-12271-5 (alk. paper)
Search the University Library catalogue

Buxton William
Sketching user experiences : getting the design right and the right design
Amsterdam : Elsevier/Morgan Kaufmann : cop. 2007 : 445 s. :
ISBN: 978-0-12-374037-3 (pbk.)
Search the University Library catalogue

Design av informationsteknik : materialet utan egenskaper
Löwgren Jonas, Stolterman Erik
2., [rev. och utök.] uppl. : Lund : Studentlitteratur : 2004 : xvi, 264 s. :
ISBN: 91-44-04203-5
Search the University Library catalogue