Seminar: From analog to digital: Moving from paper-based artifacts to digital counterparts


Pascal Lessel and Frederic Kerber.

The language of the seminar is English.

Time and room

We will meet Thursdays (2-4pm) on an irregular basis in room Turing (DFKI, Building D3.2, new Building, +2.30).

For more details consider the preliminary schedule at the bottom.




In this seminar we want to explore ways to transfer paper-based everyday artifacts (e.g. a notebook, books in general, a manual for a machine etc.) towards digital counterparts to overcome drawbacks the paper-based artifact has and/or to improve certain aspects of the system.

The seminar is structured into three phases:

Phase I - Team finding & related work
Early in the semester

We will have teams of 3 people working together throughout the seminar. Every team will cover exactly one paper-based artifact. As the team is allowed to propose the artifact they want to examine, it makes sense that the team finding is guided by the paper-based artifact that should be explored and the programming language which should be used in Phase III.  
Before the team decides on an artifact they should also check that there is related work already available.
This phase is concluded by a 35 minute talk, in which the team presents the major work in this area (2-3 paper per person + related apps).  The team should have acquired an overview about the current state, the remaining issues (if any) and how other people have analyzed the artifact and evaluated their digital counterpart.

Phase II - Analysis of the paper-based artifact
During the semester
The goal of this phase is to receive knowledge what does indeed work in the paper-based artifact and what are potential drawbacks which should be targeted in a digital counterpart.
For that, the already found related work and your notion might help. Nevertheless, in this phase you should also consider the typical users and plan and conduct a user study to validate your notion and to learn more about the pros and cons of the artifact and how a digital counterpart should be created. Typical user studies might be (but are not restricted to) a diary-based study, (structured/semi-structured) interviews with relevant groups, an online-questionnaire or observations.
The phase is framed by a talk that summarizes the method, the expected results and potential risks (15 minutes). The phase ends with the realization of the user study.

Phase III - Prototypical digital counterpart
Late in the semester/lecture free period
This phase starts with a talk in which you summarize the results of your study and you will present the concept of the digital counterpart you want to create.  It is important to base this concept on the findings of the literature review and your study results (30 minutes talk) with the goal in mind to use this prototype for evaluations later on (which are not covered in this seminar anymore).
In addition, you will hand in a written report summarizing the method and results of the study (1-2 pages in conference format). Concerning the prototype, certain aspects of it could be already implemented in phase II but the final concept is informed by the results of the evaluation.  You are free in the programming language you use (as well as the device(s) you want to use), but it should be discussed with us (especially with respect to the available hardware). The seminar is concluded by a presentation of the prototype (25 minutes).

Each team will meet irregularly with us during the different phases to discuss the approach and to review the progress. This will always happen in the seminar's time slot.

Prerequisites and registration


  1. Passed the User Interface Design lecture
  2. Programming skills
  3. Presentation skills – this seminar won’t teach you that


Please note: The registration is over.

We will work with 4 groups (12 students).  You can register here. Please note that you have to integrate a motivational statement, why you want take part in this seminar.  In addition, if you already have a group you want to do this seminar with, please include the names of your team members in the corresponding field.

In general, you will be informed whether you can participate in the kickoff-meeting (attending here is obligatory, if you want to participate in the seminar).


Every part of the seminar is important. We grade the oral presentations (30%), the quality of the conducted user study, the written summary (30%) and the created prototype in terms of visual attractiveness, functionality and how it fulfills the tasks of the paper-based artifact (40%).

Schedule (tentative)

What? When? Note
Kickoff-meeting 17.10.2013

Selection of paper-based artifacts in respect to literature (3 preferences per team)

Artifact selection 31.10.2013 No meeting
Agreement on the artifact the team will cover

Literature review

Hand-in of final slides for the literature presentation 27.11.2013 No meeting
Literature presentation I 28.11.2013 2x 35 minutes talk + max 10 minutes discussion
Literature presentation II 05.12.2013 2x 35 minutes talk + max 10 minutes discussion

Preparation of user study

Hand-in of final slides for the planned user study presentation 18.12.2013 No meeting
Presentation of planned user study 19.12.2013 4x 15 minutes talk + max 7 minutes discussion

Conducting the user study

Hand-in of final slides for the results and prototype concept presentation 29.01.2014 No meeting
Presentation of results and prototype concepts I 30.01.2014 2x 30 minutes talk + max 10 minutes discussion
Presentation of results and prototype concepts II 06.02.2014 2x 30 minutes talk + max 10 minutes discussion

Implementation phase

Hand-in of final slides for the prototype presentation, hand-in of prototype code, hand-in of written summary 26.03.2014 No meeting
Presentation of prototype 27.03.2014 4x 25 minutes talk + max 10 minutes discussion
Meeting with supervisor Throughout the whole seminar