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Online Communication Design


Picco Schwendener A.

Course director

Nobile T. H.



Course Objectives

Ideally, please list them by means of bullet points:

  • Gain an in-depth understanding of the full design process and the involved communication issues
  • Apply the theory and develop communication skills through a group project
  • Familiarize with different strategies of user requirements’ elicitation (e.g. URL with Lego)

Course Description

The course analyzes the very concept and practices of design of hypermedia. It covers the full project lifecycle, from the very initial stages of user requirements elicitation and engineering, up to the definition of information architecture, design, and prototype production. Different strategies of user requirements’ elicitation will be presented, ranging from more formal ones – interviews, focus groups, etc. – up to more creative ones, entailing co- or participatory-design. In particular, a model called URL: User Requirements with Lego will be presented and discussed. The role of communication will be particularly emphasized, stressing how inadequate communication exchanges might be at the very origin of project failures.

Learning Methods

Lessons (50% in-person and 50% online), readings, tutoring, project presentations, testimonials, collaboration in group project, lego serious play method, assignments & quizzes.


Class attendance is highly recommended, especially for the more practical lessons (tutoring, testimonials, working on group projects). To pass the course, students have to actively participate in the collaborative group project and deliver all requested assignments.

Examination Information

  • collaborative group project to be presented the last day of the course (30%)
  • online quiz exam with closed- and open-ended questions (70%), (if possible, in presence in the computer labs of USI)

Required Material

  • Cantoni, L., Faré, M., Frick, E. (2011). URL: User Requirements with Lego. Ver. 1.0. May 2011. (You can download it from this course).
  • Hartson, R. &Pyla, P. (2012).The UX Book: Process and Guidelines for Ensuring a Quality User Experience. Morgan Kaufmann(parts covered in the classes)
  • Tardini, S., & Cantoni, L. (2015). Chapter 6 Hypermedia, internet and the web. In Cantoni, L., & Danowski, J. A. (Eds.). (2015). Communication and Technology, 5th volume of the Handbook of Communication Science,Berlin, De Gruyter.(You can download it from this course).
  • Cantoni L., Botturi L., Faré M.,BolchiniD. (2009) Playful Holistic Support to HCI Requirements using LEGO Bricks. In M.Kurosu(ed.), Human Centered Design, HCII 2009, LNCS 5619, Springer-Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg, 844-853
  • De Ascaniis S., Cantoni L., Sutinen E., Talling R. (2017) ALifeLikeExperience to Train User Requirements Elicitation Skills. SpringerInternational Publishing. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Design, User Experience, and Usability: Understanding Users andContexts. Vancouver (Canada). 12-14.07.2017, 219-237
  • Lizzi, G., Prosino, S., & Cantoni, L. (2013). Online Motor Magazines: an Opportunity for eTourism?. In Information and communication technologies in tourism 2013 (pp. 363-374). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.
  • Nobile T.H., Kalbaska N. (2020). An Exploration of Personalization in Digital Communication. Insights in Fashion. In: Nah FH., Siau K. (eds) HCI in Business, Government and Organizations. HCII 2020. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 12204. Springer, Cham
  • Schieder, T. K., Adukaite, A., & Cantoni, L. (2014). Mobile Apps Devoted to UNESCO World Heritage Sites: A Map. In Z. Xiang & I. Tussyadiah (Eds.) Proceeding of the International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies in Tourism 2014. Dublin, Ireland, 21-24 January, (pp. 17-30).