Interaction Design: Physical Prototyping


Admission requirements

General entry requirements + English B.


Syllabus for students spring 2019, spring 2018

Course Code:
KD404B revision 1
Level of specialisation
Main fields of study:
Interaction Design
Date of ratification:
28 November 2016
Decision-making body:
Faculty of Culture and Society
Enforcement date:
15 January 2018

Entry requirements

General entry requirements + English B.

Specialisation and progression relative to the degree regulations

The course can normally be included as part of a general degree at undergraduate level.


Prototyping with basic materials such as paper, cardboard and video is long established in the field of interaction design. It’s also important for designers to clearly understand how prototypes ‘work’ and their own motivations for prototyping. In this regard, design literature and critical reflections help to contextualize prototyping practice.


The course introduces students to theoretical notions of prototyping, drawing on design theory and relating it to interaction design. Techniques for prototyping with physical materials are introduced which will be of use throughout the programme. Students integrate the separate skills and perspectives in a short group project.

Learning outcomes

After completing the course, students will be able to:
1. Articulate different motivations for prototyping and relate this to particular physical prototyping techniques
2. Evidence individual physical prototyping activities with the materials of the course
3. Work collaboratively to plan, execute and communicate a small-scale physical prototyping project
4. Plan and engage with users in relation to a physical prototype, and analyse and reflect on the outcomes

Learning activities

The course is based on lectures and hands-on engagement in prototyping individually and as a group.


Reflective journal (4 credits, Learning ooutcomes 1, 2)
In the first phase of the course, students learn practical techniques for prototyping using several materials. A task is set for exploring each material. Students document their work and reflections in a journal, and conclude with an essay drawing upon theoretical notions and practical experience. The journal is assessed as a single unit covering all practical tasks of the first phase.

Prototyping project (3.5 credits, Learning outcomes 3, 4)
Working as a group and in relation to a provided brief, students plan and execute a small-scale physical prototyping project, including engagement with users. The process and outcomes of the project are communicated in a report and short presentation

Grading system

Fail (U) or Pass (G).

Course literature and other teaching materials

Students may be required to pay for additional materials to support their activities.

The following is a required text, used for this course and the following Digital Prototyping:
• Valentine, L. (2013) Prototype: Design and craft in the 21st century. Bloomsbury Academic, London
Additional literature will be made available during the course, including:
• Houde, S., & Hill, C. (1997). What do Prototypes Prototype? In Handbook of Human Computer Interaction (2nd ed., pp. 367–381). Elsvier Science.

Course evaluation

The University provides students who participate in or who have completed a course with the opportunity to make known their experiences and viewpoints with regards to the course by completing a course evaluation administered by the University. The University will compile and summarize the results of course evaluations as well as informing participants of the results and any decisions relating to measures initiated in response to the course evaluations. The results will be made available to the students (HF 1:14).


The education is provided by the Faculty of Culture and Society at the department School of Arts and Communication.

Further information

Studentservice, K3 - Malmö universitet,


21 January 2019 - 31 March 2019 Day-time 50% Malmö This course is offered as part of a program