Interactive Systems

Profile description and modules:


The development and analysis of interactive computer systems encompasses their design and programming as well as the user-centred analysis and evaluation. In different courses you will learn more about the different topics and how they contribute to the design and implementation of interactive systems.
Further information


Requirements Engineering; Multimodal and Multimedia Interaction Techniques; Interaction Design for High-resolution Displays; New Interaction Paradigms and Input Devices; Usability Engineering.

The profile focuses primarily on the following:

As a developer of interactive computer systems you must be skilled in the fields of Computer Graphics and Human-Computer Interaction.

You are familiar with ...

  • You are already familiar with the typical methods and techniques in the user-centred analysis and modelling of the context of use (requirements engineering) and can apply them independently.

  • You learned the basics of interactive computer graphics in form of hardware-centred programming and related techniques.

  • You are qualified to integrate the methods and techniques in the user-centred design of information systems (usability engineering) in software development (software engineering).

  • You are familiar with the basic principles, methods, and tools required for the design of interactive, networked and mobile systems and are able to apply these in projects independently.

  • You are able to design and implement efficient display techniques including Level-of-Detail methods and information abstraction.

  • You are knowledgeable on multimodal and tangible interaction techniques and are able to realise them independently (e.g. for Tabletops like the MS Surface or Smartphones like the Apple iPhone).

  • You are able to conceptually design and realise your own interaction techniques for the visualisation and exploration of large information spaces (e.g. WWW, digital libraries, product databases).

  • You are familiar with the typical methods for user-centred evaluation of information systems and usability situations (also with respect to international standard regulations like ISO 29241) and you are able to put these into action (e.g. in a usability laboratory).
  • You become acquainted with contributions from other disciplines involved in the design of information systems, for example communication design, psychology, sociology, organisation-, work- and economic studies, cultural and media studies, law and administrative science.

Career perspectives:

After graduating with a Master's degree with a specialisation in Interactive Systems the following career options or job types are open to you:

You could work here ...

  • You work in the User Experience Group of a major manufacturer of mobile phones (e.g. Apple, Nokia, Samsung) or provider of telecommunications services (e.g. T-Mobile, Vodafone) and develop user interfaces that meet international requirements.

  • You work as a Usability Engineer or Computer Graphics Expert at a major software house (e.g. SAP) and are responsible for the development of cross-platform interaction concepts (from mobile phones, PDAs to the computer).

  • You work as an Interaction Designer at a company that specialises in Usability Engineering (e.g. UI Design) and provide consultant services in this position for other companies in the development of interactive applications.

  • You work as a Computer-Game Developer in a computer game company (e.g. Crytec, Electronic Arts).

  • You work as a Usability Specialist at an Internet agency (e.g. argonauten 360, GFT) and carry out usability studies for websites.

  • You create new interaction concepts in the field of telematics (e.g. driver information systems) for a major carmaker (e.g. Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, VW, Audi, BMW).

  • As a member of the Usability Engineering Team, you develop a style guide and design the user interface for the Internet portal for a major bank (e.g. UBS).

  • You work in the User Interfaces department of an international corporation (e.g. Siemens) and provide consultant services and support for a variety of specialist departments in the realisation of interactive applications in a diverse range of fields of application (e.g. telematics, medical applications, control systems at power stations, production control systems).
  • You work at a university or industrial research unit such as Microsoft Research or Google Research researching into new interaction and navigation concepts for next generation of user interfaces.

Study structure:

Compulsory and elective advanced courses

Advanced courses from the Computer Science Department:

Current course information on compulsory and elective departmental advanced courses.

Final area of studies

It is highly recommended to attend the MA-seminar only if all (or nearly all) other necessary departmental advanced and other department courses have been successfully complete. Possible seminar topics could be:

The Master project allows you to practically solve a complex Human-Computer interaction problem. Two models exist:

  • The design-oriented project covers the conceptual design and the implementation of a novel interaction concept. The concepts e.g. scenarios, personas, sketches, story boards and their implementation are documented in the written project report.
  • The evaluation-oriented project consists in the conduction of a comprehensive evaluation study. The subject matter of the evaluation, the chosen evaluation setting, and the conduction (including a pilot study) are documented in the written project report.

Previous project topics have been:


  • The design-oriented Master Thesis focuses on the conduction of a usabililty test (with approx. 6-8 users) or a case study (with approx. 2-4 users) in which the implemented design concept is evaluated. The respective insights and implications form the second focus of the thesis. In particular the derived re-design proposal and their partial realization distinguishes the Master Thesis from the Bachelor Thesis.
  • Evaluation-oriented Master Thesis focuses on the presentation and the interpretation of the results of the evaluation. Respective implications have to be presented in detail (e.g. redesign proposals, new evaluation setting, new research question). Conclusions may thus lead to further evlaluations with a different methodic approach and/or further research questions.

Find detailed information on the structure of this study profile: here

Research group involved

Prof. Harald Reiterer, AG Human-Computer Interaction

Prof. Oliver Deussen, AG Computer Graphics and Media Design

Juniorprof. Bela Gipp, AG Information Science

Area of application:

Software is nowadays developed for many interactive devices ranging from smartphones, tablet-PCs, tabletops, ticket machines, navigation systems, driver information systems up to the classic computer workstation in the form of PCs. Along with the continually shrinking size of displays today large, high-resolution displays play an increasingly important role in the automotive industry, the financial world or entertainment industry. For both types of interfaces, efficient graphics programming and usability is becoming a significant factor of success.

HCI@Konstanz Youtube Channel

HCI projects:

Klick here to get detailed information about past and present research projects at the Human-Computer Interaction Group of the University of Konstanz, Germany.

Student's projects:

Klick here to get in touch with past student projects at the Human-Computer Interaction Group of the University of Konstanz

Contact and Mentor recommendation:

Prof. Harald Reiterer, AG Human-Computer Interaction

Prof. Oliver Deussen, AG Computer Graphics and Media Design

Juniorprof. Bela Gipp, AG Information Science