Interactive Systems

Today, software is developed for many interactive devices ranging from smartphones, tablet-PCs, tabletops, ticket machines, navigation systems, driver information systems to the classic computer workstation (PC). Along with the continually shrinking size of displays, large, high-resolution displays play an increasingly important role in the automotive industry, the world of finance and the entertainment industry. For both types of interfaces, efficient graphics programming and usability are becoming significant factors of success. The courses offered as part of this specialization encompass methods for the design and programming of such systems as well as user-centered analysis and evaluation.

Module overview

We provide a list of selected courses which fit to the specialization "Interactive Systems" here. Please check ZEuS for the offers of the current and upcoming semester.

Basic modules

The following modules should be completed as a basis for advanced modules, if they (or equivalent modules) have not been completed in a previous bachelor’s programme:

  • Interactive systems
  • Computer graphics

Additional basic modules

Additionally, other basic modules fit to this specialization and we recommended to complete some of them, if they (or equivalent modules) have not been completed in a previous bachelor’s programme. The recommended basic modules include:

  • Virtual and augmented reality
  • Immersive analytics
  • Agile UX design
  • Research methods in Human-Computer Interaction
  • Data visualization: Basic concepts
  • Applications for Powerwall and virtual reality environments
  • Illustrative computer graphics

Please see ZEuS for more details and the courses that are offered in the current or upcoming semester.

Advanced modules (purely master's level)

As the exam regulations specify, you need to complete at least three advanced modules in one area to be able to have a specification stated on your examination certificate. For the specialization in “Interactive Systems”, a range of advanced modules are offered. These include:

  • Interaction in mixed reality spaces
  • Future challenges and trends in Human-Computer Interaction
  • Experiments in Human-Computer Interaction
  • Global Illumination Methods
  • Data visualization: Advanced topics
  • Multimedia retrieval: Advanced topics
  • Exhibition design. Interactive media for museums (Mediale Ausstellungsgestaltung – Grundlagen, taught in German)
  • Conception of an exhibition  (Konzeption einer Ausstellung, taught in German)
  • Exhibition development and implementation (Realisierung einer Ausstellung, taught in German)

Please see ZEuS for more details and the offers of the current or upcoming semester.

Courses from other departments and key qualifications

Courses from other departments:

The specialization "Interactive systems" has many overlaps with research areas in psychology, so a range of courses from the Psychology department, but also from other departments, fit to this specialization:

  • Perception and cognition (Wahrnehmung und Kognition, taught in German)
  • Learning and memory (Lernen und Gedächtnis, taught in German)
  • Motivation and emotion (Motivation und Emotion, taught in German)
  • Empirical research: Quantitative methods (Empirie: Quantitative Methoden, taught in German)
  • Empirical research methods
  • Introduction to linguistics (Einführung in die Linguistik, taught in German)
  • Structure and history of linguistics
  • Argumentation and computers
  • Objects and changing concepts in exhibitions (Ausstellen: Objekte und Museumskonzepte im Wandel, taught in German)
  • Digital transformations. Breakthroughs in the history of human-computer interaction (Digitale Transformationen. Zäsuren in der Geschichte der Mensch-Computer-Interaktion, taught in German)
  • Introduction into archaeological field methods (Einführung in die Techniken der archäologischen Feldarbeit, taught in German)

Key qualifications:

  • Project management (Projektmanagement, taught in German)
  • Communication and self-presentation (Kommunikation und Selbstpräsentation, taught in German)
  • Conduct of negotiations (Verhandlungsführung, taught in German)
  • Presentation and personality: Performance and Impact (Präsentation und Persönlichkeit: Auftritt und Wirkung, taught in German)
  • Design thinking and agile working methods (Design Thinking und agile Arbeitsmethoden, taught in German)
  • Start-Up - job of my dreams? Training for prospective founders (Wege zum erfolgreichen Start-Up: von der Idee bis zur Analyse deiner Fähigkeiten, taught in German)

For further suitable courses from other departments and key qualifications, see the general list provided by the department or contact your mentor.

Career prospects

You will acquire the following skills…

  • You know typical methods and techniques of the user-centered analysis and modelling of the contexts of use (requirements engineering) and can apply them independently.
  • You have learned the basics of interactive computer graphics in the form of hardware-centered programming and related techniques.
  • You are qualified to integrate the methods and techniques associated with the user-centered design of information systems (usability engineering) in software development (software engineering).
  • You know the basic principles, methods, and tools required to design interactive, networked and mobile systems and are able to apply these independently in projects.
  • You are able to design and implement efficient display techniques including Level-of-Detail methods and information abstraction.
  • You know multimodal and tangible interaction techniques and are able to realize them independently (e.g. for tabletops like the MS Surface or smartphones like the Apple iPhone).
  • You are able to conceptually design and realize your own interaction techniques for the visualization and exploration of large information spaces (e.g. WWW, digital libraries, product databases).
  • You know typical methods for the user-centered evaluation of information systems and usability situations 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.

We have contacts to the following companies...

For contacts to companies with which you could possibly do an internship with, please contact the research groups below.

You could work …

  • in the user experience group of a major manufacturer of mobile phones (e.g. Apple, Samsung) or provider of telecommunications services (e.g. T-Mobile, Vodafone) and develop user interfaces that meet international requirements.
  • as a usability engineer or computer graphics expert at a major software firm (e.g. SAP) and be responsible for the development of cross-platform interaction concepts (from mobile phones, PDAs to the computer).
  • as an interaction designer at a company that specializes in usability engineering (e.g. UI Design) and provide consultant services in this position for other companies developing interactive applications.
  • as a computer-game developer in a computer game company (e.g. Crytec, Electronic Arts).
  • as a usability specialist at an internet agency (e.g. argonauten 360, GFT) and carry out usability studies for websites.
  • for a major car manufacturer (e.g. Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, VW, Audi, BMW) and create new interaction concepts in the field of telematics (e.g. driver information systems).
  • as a member of a usability engineering team, developing a style guide and designing the user interface for the internet portal of a major bank (e.g. UBS).
  • in the user interfaces department of an international corporation (e.g. Siemens) and provide consultant services and support to a variety of specialist departments, helping them realize interactive applications for a diverse range of fields of application (e.g. telematics, medical applications, control systems at power stations, production control systems).
  • at a university or industrial research unit such as Microsoft Research or Google Research researching into new interaction and navigation concepts for the next generation of user interfaces.

Mentor recommendations

Additional Information

HCI@Konstanz Youtube Channel

Click here for examples of past and present research and student projects carried out by the human-computer interaction group of the University of Konstanz.