Official course description:

Full info last published 3/07-19
Course info
ECTS points:
Course code:
Offered to guest students:
Offered to exchange students:
Offered as a single subject:
BSc in Digital Design and Interactive Technologies
Course manager
Associate Professor, Head of study programme
Associate Professor
Associate Professor
Course semester
Efterår 2019
26 August 2019
31 January 2020
Exam type
ekstern censur
Grade Scale
Exam Language

The course gives the students basic skills and knowledge from three core areas of the programme: Digital Design, Digital Cultures and Academic Work that are integrated to form a foundation for their remaining studies. The main vehicle for learning is a design project carried out in groups, where skills and knowledge from the three areas are applied in a live case in collaboration with an external organization.


The course lays the theoretical and methodological foundation for the remaining studies in the Digital Design and Interactive Technologies programme. It addresses basics of how to design interactive technologies with a balance between human desirability, technological feasibility and business viability; how to study and observe user practice; and how to search, select and integrate academic knowledge in design work.

The students will gain a solid theoretical and methodological foundation for their studies in the Digital Design and Interactive Technologies programme. They will acquire a methodological foundation in digital design from carrying out a digital design project with a live brief, where field studies are combined with design methods and applied scientific knowledge to solve a design problem. They will further acquire a theoretical foundation through lectures, readings and reflective work, taking them beyond the practical aspects of the design problem, to provide a theoretical understanding of digital design and digital cultures.

The course covers three main subjects: fundamentals of digital design; fundamentals of digital cultures; and fundamentals of academic work

Formal prerequisites

Admission to the Bachelor programme in Digital Design and Interactive Technologies 

Intended learning outcomes

After the course, the student should be able to:

  • Contrast a research problem to a practical problem
  • Integrate academic knowledge into design work
  • Analyse and describe the quality of academic sources
  • Describe the characteristics of an ill-structured (wicked) design problem
  • Describe basic elements of design processes
  • Compare and apply basic design methods
  • Describe basic methods for studying user practice
  • Describe and apply basic methods for observing user practice
Learning activities

The main vehicle for learning is a design project carried out in groups. Along the project students receive lectures and exercises in the three main subject areas of the course – digital design, digital culture and academic work – as support for their design work. 

It is a live project, meaning that it is done in collaboration with a company, providing a realistic problem for the students to work on. It starts with a broad preliminary brief (cold brief) formulated in dialogue with the company. 

Based on design research and field studies, each student group then frames a relevant design problem to work on, and develop a detailed brief (warm brief) for the problem, under supervision. The task for the students is then to apply relevant research-based knowledge to solve the design problem, based on course contents and result from their field work, design research and literature studies. The remaining part of the project is divided into three broad phases: (1) Design research, with literature study and field work; (2) Concept development, with idea generation and video storyboarding of promising ideas; and (3) Iteration and evaluation, with elaboration and detailing of the chosen design based on evaluation results, in a number of iterations. The final design is presented at an open exhibition. 

The student group then writes a reflective report, covering initial research, design process, and reflections, as final delivery and base for examination.

Course literature

Buxton, Bill: Sketching User Experiences. Morgan Kaufmann; 1 edition (April 11, 2007). ISBN-10: 0123740371. ISBN-13: 978-0123740373. 

 Saffer, Dan: Designing for Interaction: Creating Innovative Applications and Devices (Voices That Matter) 2nd Edition. ISBN-10: 0321643399. ISBN-13: 978-0321643391. 

 Tomitsch, Martin: Design. Think. Make. Break. Repeat.: A Handbook of Methods. BIS Publishers (January 18, 2018). ISBN-10: 9063694792 ISBN-13: 978-9063694791

Ordinary exam
Exam type:
D: Submission of written work with following oral, external (7-trinsskala)
Exam variation:
D2G: Submission of written work for groups with following oral exam supplemented by the work submitted. The group has a shared responsibility for the content of the report.
Exam description:

D2G exam. Oral group exam type: Mixed exam 1.

The students work in groups of 3-5 students with a design project, and write a reflective report from the project that is handed in for examination. The report size is 20 pages + 4 additional pages per group member (also counting the first member). The examination time is 20 mins per student. The re-exam follows the same type of assessment.

Time and date