Bringing Human Computer Interaction into a Department of Product and Systems Design

Jenny Darzentas * , Thomas T. Hewett + , Thomas Spyrou * , John Darzentas *

* Department of Product and Systems Design, University of the Aegean, Ermoupolis, Syros, Greece

+ Department of Psychology, Drexel University Philadelphia, PA 19104 USA,,,


This paper describes setting up a curriculum for a new university department of Product and Systems Design. As a result of the activities undertaken, it was noted that there was a surprising lack of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) oriented courses on offer in Design departments. This lack is despite the fact that the HCI literature shows an ever-increasing concern with design of artefacts. Also, design educators frequently refer to the need for more training in user-centred design in order for both students and practising designers to be able to create products and systems for the information age. In the new world of digital as well as tangible objects, of virtual products and services, the theme of usability and accessibility that are central to HCI offer a rich pool of knowledge. This paper explores some of the HCI topics that can be of use to design students and describes how they are to be incorporated into the curriculum of the Department of Product and Systems Design.