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FDH3374 User Experience - Theoretical Foundations 4.0 credits

Course offering missing for current semester as well as for previous and coming semesters
Headings with content from the Course syllabus FDH3374 (Spring 2013–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

There are those who think that user experience is something we can define, measure, delimit and decide for the user. And then there are those who think that experience are unique, individual, culturally-bound, depending on who you are and what you have experienced before. By reading Dewey’s position on art as experience from 1934, followed by McCarthy and Wright’s position on technology as experience, we get some of the theoretical underpinnings for the latter position. This will be contrasted by the position taken in the UX-community of HCI.

Intended learning outcomes

The course is a reading course on some of the theoretical foundations for understanding what we mean by experience. Through studying Dewey’s position of art as experience, we can move on to read McCarthy and Wright’s position on technology or interactions as experience.

We will debate questions such as:

  • What are unique experiences and what are everyday experiences?
  • What does it mean to actively design for experiences – be it in design of digital systems or in art?
  • Can we judge designs or art pieces, claiming that some are better?

Course disposition

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Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

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Recommended prerequisites

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The course involves reading the following literature:

·         Book:Dewey, J. (2005). Art as experience. Perigee.

·         Book: Wright, P., & McCarthy, J. (2004). Technology as experience. MIT Press.

·         White paper: Roto et al, User Experience White Paper,

·         2 – 4 papers that in different ways refer to Dewey’s position on experiences

Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

P, F


    Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

    The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

    Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

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    Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

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    Profile picture Kristina Höök

    Profile picture Ylva Fernaeus

    Ethical approach

    • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
    • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
    • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

    Further information

    Course web

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    Offered by

    EECS/Media Technology and Interaction Design

    Main field of study

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    Education cycle

    Third cycle

    Add-on studies

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    Kristina Höök, e-post:

    Postgraduate course

    Postgraduate courses at EECS/Media Technology and Interaction Design