Course syllabus for Empirical methods for user experience

The course syllabus contains changes
See changes

Course syllabus adopted 2023-02-02 by Head of Programme (or corresponding).


  • Swedish nameEmpiriska metoder för användarupplevelser
  • CodeDAT580
  • Credits7.5 Credits
  • OwnerMPIDE
  • Education cycleSecond-cycle
  • Main field of studyComputer Science and Engineering, Software Engineering
  • GradingTH - Pass with distinction (5), Pass with credit (4), Pass (3), Fail

Course round 1

  • Teaching language English
  • Application code 23131
  • Maximum participants80 (at least 10% of the seats are reserved for exchange students)
  • Block schedule
  • Open for exchange studentsYes

Credit distribution

0123 Project 4.5 c
Grading: TH
0 c0 c0 c4.5 c0 c0 c
0223 Take-home examination 3 c
Grading: TH
0 c0 c0 c3 c0 c0 c

In programmes


  • Pawe¿ W. Wo¿niak
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General entry requirements for Master's level (second cycle)
Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling the requirements above.

Specific entry requirements

English 6 (or by other approved means with the equivalent proficiency level)
Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling the requirements above.

Course specific prerequisites

Bachelor degree 180 hec and the courses DAT420 Human computer interaction, 7.5 hec and TDA498 Interaction design methodology, 7.5 hec or equivalent


The course is a practice-oriented learning experience in which students apply empirical methods to effectively design and evaluate interactive systems. The course teaches the practical and theoretical means to study requirements and evaluate interactive artefacts through conducting user research, gathering data, analysing studies and interpreting results. The course familiarises students both with methods widely implemented in the industry and tools for academic research.
The course prepares students for professional and research tasks related to evaluation in the interaction design profession. Through being familiar with a portfolio of methods, students will be comfortable planning their evaluation studies and interpreting study results. Knowledge on conducting studies will enable students to assess the quality of studies presented to them. The students will be empowered to make better design decisions based on study results.

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

Knowledge and Understanding
  • describe key qualities of correctly designed qualitative, quantitative and mixed-method studies.
  • explain the differences between different evaluation strategies and predict their impact on the interaction design process.
Skills and Abilities
  • apply standard evaluation methods to studies in the interaction design process
  • plan and organize user requirements gathering and subsequent analysis in an interaction design process
  • test hypotheses in quantitative and mixed-method studies of interactive artefacts
  • implement an effective and ethical evaluation strategy in a design process
  • report and interpret results of studies according to academic professional standards
Judgement Ability and Approach
  • select design alternatives based on interpreting study results
  • assess designs of interactive artefacts based on study results
  • explain the advantages and the limitations of different evaluation strategies in an interaction design process
  • design effective formative and summative evaluation studies
  • formulate ethical requirements for empirical studies.


The curriculum covers basic and advanced study designs for requirements gathering and evaluation. The course addresses qualitative data gathering and analysis, understanding and designing experiments, quantitative data processing and interpretations. The students develop the skills to rapidly integrate effective evaluation in the interaction design process.
Students are introduced to tools for qualitative and quantitative data analysis. These tools are later applied to specific design cases. Interpreting the results, using real design cases, is a key activity. The students learn how to design an effective evaluation strategy for an interactive system and how to curate an effective set of methods for a given design case. The course actively discusses how to conduct studies ethically and integrate evaluation seamlessly in the interaction design process.


The course features both practical and theoretical parts, as well as work in groups and individual work. Lectures, literature and seminars form a theoretical foundation. Focus is also on exchange of thoughts, feedback, designs and ideas. Hence, the course requires active participation. Students will spend a significant part of their study time reading literature and working in groups. The course consists of non-mandatory lectures and design workshops, mandatory seminars and assignments, group project, and individual home exam. It is strongly recommended that the students shall attend all the lectures because lectures can provide a basis for seminar discussion and home exam will consider the contents of lectures, seminars and projects.

Examination including compulsory elements

The course is examined through two modules:
  • Home Exam (3 hec, fail, 3,4,5).
  • Project (4,5 hec, fail, 3,4,5).
The course grade is a weighted average of the two scores.

The course examiner may assess individual students in other ways than what is stated above if there are special reasons for doing so, for example if a student has a decision from Chalmers on educational support due to disability.

The course syllabus contains changes

  • Changes to course rounds:
    • 2023-09-18: Block Block B added by Lisbet Björklund
      [Course round 1]