Every interactive device with a screen has some variation of a graphical user interface (GUI), ranging from highly complex desktop applications on personal computers to simple interactive lists on a smartphone. But the interaction with digital information has no implicit shape. The representation on displays is completely disconnected from how these machines actually work.

In order to create a great user experience, it is essential for the interaction designer to know, understand and interpret the motivation and mental model of the potential users, to have a solid foundation in visual communication and information visualisation but also to know the possibilities as well as the limitations and conventions of technology platforms and operating systems.

In this 2-week course, students created concepts for a fully-fledged mobile application that queries meaningful everyday data from the web, sensors, or the user. The gathered data is entered, retrieved and visualised using the mobile application.

We covered the big picture by researching for user needs and motivations, envisioning, naming, branding and styling the app, analysing the technological constraints and platform standards, diving into data visualisation – and designing and tweaking on the typographic and
pixel detail level.