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HCI: Toward an inclusive digital society

3rd circle – Ph.D. level hands-on course

Do you sometimes feel that this world is not built for you?

Our world is designed under the assumption that there is an average user, customer, patient, and student. Most of us struggle with average buildings, services, and products that fit no one. This “average” does not need to be transferred in the digital environment. Through our past mistakes, we can learn how we can design a digital society to be more accessible and more aware of its inaccessibility which recognize and address gradually.


Diversity is not just about disability! It includes gender, language, culture, and our physical and mental abilities that can vary from person to person or even from day to day in the same person.

Targeted Audience and General description:

This is a three-day, two-credit intensive course, designed for 25-30 people. The course can be given as a four or five-day course with more time for group work and increase the amount of credits accordingly. Additional material and notes are given after the course but you can find the literature needed to prepare for the course at the end of the page.


The course targets people who work with Health/well-being digital technology. Ph.D. or ambitious master’s students are welcome to register as well as people from the industry who want to discuss how to design and develop a more inclusive digital society. 


After the end of the course, the learners will be able to

  • Understand and apply the basics of the design process (Basics of Human-computer interaction) and its connection to Person-centric care

  • Understand and reflect on basic concepts of inclusion, its practical implications, and ethical considerations in relation to HCI (i.e., ways people are diverse, preconceptions, discrimination, exclusion, and consequences of exclusion in design in the physical and digitalized world – e.g., discrimination by AI)

  • Recognize inclusive designs and the difference from universal design.

  • Get familiar with, reflect on, and experience methods that increase empathy in design toward people different from the designer

How do I get the Credits?

For taking the credits your presence is required in the course and submission of a reflection essay. The reflection essay should reference the literature provided to you and be divided into two parts. 

Reflection on the design process and user participation (700 words)

  1. What do you think is/are the most challenging part(s) of the design process? Please include reflections from the process you experienced on the 1st day – you can use the literature to support your opinion.

  2. What do you think is the main difference between participatory and user-centered design? What do you think are the pros and cons in a real-world environment (e.g., when you are working in a company, and you need to deliver a product)? You should reference the literature to support your opinion

Reflection on diversity and the design of society (700 words)

  1. How do your design process and tools differ between day 1 and day 2? What did you change why and what did you learn from the discussion in the class and the literature you read after the course?

  2. Did the course challenge any notion you had in mind in relation to technology and inclusion? What is that and what was the literature/ resource that changed it and why? You should reference the literature to express what you find interesting or mind-changing.

Related Literature

Day 1: Basics of Human-Computer Interaction and wellness/health

  1. Introduction to Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Interaction Design (IxD) (20:20 min)

  2. Discovering requirements:  (8.05 min)

  3. Interfaces that exist: (10.00min)

  4. Input-output device for blind, low vision, or dyslectic people:  (1.44 min)

  5. Persona examples:  (5 min)

  6. How to personas: Siricharoen, W. V. (2021). Using empathy mapping in design thinking process for personas discovering. In International Conference on Context-Aware Systems and Applications, International Conference on Nature of Computation and Communication (pp. 182-191). Springer, Cham. (8 pages 10min)

  7. User scenarios:  (10min)

  8. Sanders, E. B. N., & Stappers, P. J. (2008). Co-creation and the new landscapes of design. Co-design, 4(1), 5-18.

  9. Sanders, E. B. N. (2002). From user-centered to participatory design approaches. In Design and the social sciences (pp. 18-25). CRC Press.

  10. World Health Organisation on People-centric care:  (3 min)

  11. Morgan, S., & Yoder, L. H. (2012). A concept analysis of person-centered care. Journal of holistic nursing, 30(1), 6-15. (about 20min read)

Processes of design

  1. Double diamond process (video):

  2. Double Diamond:

  3. Design Thinking:

  4. Google Design Sprint (video):

  5. Google Design Sprint:

HCI – critique

  1. Kabir, K. S., Alsaleem, A., & Wiese, J. (2021, June). The Impact of Spinal Cord Injury on Participation in Human-Centered Research. In Designing Interactive Systems Conference 2021 (pp. 1902-1914).

  2. Mylonopoulou, V., Weilenmann, A., Torgersson, O., & Jungselius, B. (2020, October). Searching for empathy: a swedish study on designing for seniors. In Proceedings of the 11th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction: Shaping Experiences, Shaping Society (pp. 1-10).

  3. John Vines, Gary Pritchard, Peter Wright, Patrick Olivier, and Katie Brittain. 2015. An age-old problem: Examining the discourses of ageing in HCI and strategies for future research. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction 22, 1: 2.

Day 2 Inclusion and Diversity Concepts and Perspectives

  1. Disability definitions:

  2. Ashley Shew. 2020. Ableism, Technoableism, and Future AI. IEEE Technology and Society Magazine 39, 1: 40-50+85. (9 pages 15min)

  3. Kouprie, M., & Visser, F. S. (2009). A framework for empathy in design: stepping into and out of the user's life. Journal of Engineering Design, 20(5), 437-448.

Examples of bias in Design and mentalities influencing design

  1. Designs that kill women:  (5.02 min)

  2. Watch from 4.27 – 6.02  (2min)

  3. The deaf space (9.40 min)

  4. Autism:  (30 min)

  5. Blind sport of designers  (3min to read - 12:27min video)

  6. A real person living in a world designed for unicorns (3 min)

  7. Mylonopoulou, V. 2020. Our little boxes: preconceptions and empathy on design for older adults. Guest Editors, 20.

Day 3: The role of technology and HCI in creating an inclusive digital society

  1. Persson, H., Åhman, H., Yngling, A. A., & Gulliksen, J. (2015). Universal design, inclusive design, accessible design, design for all: different concepts—one goal? On the concept of accessibility—historical, methodological and philosophical aspects. Universal Access in the Information Society, 14(4), 505-526.

  2. Sloane, M. (2019). Inequality is the name of the game: thoughts on the emerging field of technology, ethics and social justice. In Weizenbaum Conference (p. 9). DEU.

  3. Bhargava, R. (2018). The Algorithms Aren't Biased, We Are. Medium.  (5min)

  4. Parikh, R. B., Teeple, S., & Navathe, A. S. (2019). Addressing bias in artificial intelligence in health care. Jama, 322(24), 2377-2378. (2-pages 5min)

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