The Internet of Me

The Personalized Web

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Glossary

About

We can visit the same website but see different things. Through personalization, individualization and customization your web-experience becomes as unique as your fingerprint. Websites constantly change their shape depending on the user: The layout transforms responsively when you open it on the phone, personal preferences are manifested in the light or dark mode, location-tracking and as user profiling tailors our feeds as well as the ads in it.

Filter bubbles, opaque feed algorithms and privacy concerns are one aspect of personalization on the Internet. Furthermore, what does personalization mean from a design and development point of view? What challenges does the responsive nature of the web pose for its design? How can the user’s influence on a website be made visible? Customization or personalization—what agency do we give the user?

We want to explore how we can design and develop websites that adapt to the user. What data can you collect from users to make a website more personal—and should you? Interactive user experiences allow for personal styles, conditional availabilities and different levels of authorship. The user can rewrite the narration depending on the links they click. Design variables can be made dependent on the user’s data, whether it is the mouse position or the time of day. We can even delegated our design decisions through customization options.

The course will consist of an introduction to the basics of HTML, CSS and JS, various inputs, coding sessions and consultations. Individually or in groups you will design and code small web experiments concerning different aspects of personalization. In the end we will published these experiments in form of a digital glossary. No coding skills are required. Students without prior programming experience are especially encouraged to attend and there will be different entry points for different experience levels.

Assignment

Create at least one entry for the Personalized Web glossary.

A glossary entry consists of a term and its definition in the format of a website. Choose a term from the glossary list or pick your own word. There can be more than one entry for each term. Each entry is its own website, which will be linked from the glossary page.

An entry defines a term, by means of a text or an interaction concept. You can also question a term’s definition. Thus, each entry can be a reflection on the term but also your attitude towards it.

You decide how usable or unusable your website is. There’s room for errors, bugs and unfinished code.

Create at least one entry, but as many as you like. You can use one of the starter kits for different suggested words. Or you can start with a blank HTML boilerplate. Look for something in this assignment that is useful to you.

Research


1. INDIVIDUAL PATHS
Navigation Website navigation is the act of clicking and looking through resources on the internet, such as the various pages that make up a website. Users navigate websites using a web browser and clicking on links that transport them to other pages when clicked. [https://indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/website-navigation]
Hypertext Fiction Hypertext fiction is a genre of digital literature which is made up of non sequential and interlinking lexia. It operates within the postmodern context through its adherence to several key aspects of the literary genre. There is a shared authorship between reader and writer, made possible by the multiple pathways of the hypertext links. The multiple pathways render linear notions of narrative impossible. [https://litinawiredworld.fandom.com/wiki/Hypertext_Fiction]
Authorship Interacting with hypertexts provides a greater sense of agency—defined as the ability to take meaningful actions and to see the results of those actions. The user feels a greater sense of control over what they read and how they read, and they can see instantaneous results from the choices they make as readers. Hypertext gives permission to readers to insert themselves into the meaning construction process and “write” a text in a way that is often different from what the author foresaw. Hypertext makes us conscious of the blurring of the reader/author role, which Roland Barthes had already begun to deconstruct. [Nancy G. Patterson: Hypertext and the Changing Roles of Reader (2000)]
User Flows There are many different pathways a user can take when interacting with a product. A user flow is a visual representation, either written out or made digitally, of the many avenues that can be taken when using an app or website. The flowchart begins with the consumer’s entry point on the product, like an onboarding screen or homepage, and ends with the final action or outcome, like purchasing a product or signing up for an account. Depicting this process allows designers to evaluate and optimize the user experience and therefore increase client conversion rates. [https://careerfoundry.com/en/blog/ux-design/what-are-user-flows]
Individual Paths A user path is a series of events performed or experienced by the user. This could be pages they visit, tasks they perform, notifications they receive, and so on. [https://www.moengage.com/blog/issues-user-path-analysis-can-uncover]

2. THEMES & CUSTOM STYLING
Memorability The degree to which users can remember how to use an interface and recognizes the different elements. [https://www.usability.gov/what-and-why/glossary/m]
Color Accsessibility People with visual impairments interpret color and contrast differently. That makes it difficult or impossible for them to access information communicated only by color.
For example, to a user with red/green color blindness, a green image on a red background will not provide enough distinction to make the image visible. This type of color treatment also makes it difficult for some users to read text or identify links that are a different color but don’t have underlines.
Making colors accessible means color combinations with enough contrast so the content is clearly distinguishable from the surrounding page. [https://it.ucsf.edu/how-to/accessible-color-best-practices]
[https://uxplanet.org]
Themes A theme (or skin) is a combination of colors, styles, images or sounds that allow you personalize the interface. Themes are used to customize the look and feel of a piece of computer software, of an operating system or a website.
The dark mode / light mode toggle has become increasingly popular in webdesign in recent years. This option allows changing the color theme from light-on-dark to dark-on-light to accomadate user preferences as well as enhancing accessibility. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theme_(computing)]
[https://levelup.gitconnected.com]
Choice There’s a difference between choice and decision for. Choice is an option. Decision is a burden. [https://techpinions.com]
[https://linear.app/blog/settings-are-not-a-design-failure]
Universal Design Is there such a thing as one design that fits everyone? Rather than offering a list of specifications; universal design is an approach to design that considers the varied abilities and preferences of users. [https://universaldesign.ie]

3. RESPONSIVE DESIGN
Browser / Device Compatibility The ability of an Internet browser to properly interpret the code that makes up web pages since there is slight variation between each.
[https://www.usability.gov/what-and-why/glossary/b/index.html]
Interactivity Cues Cues indicate available interactivity such as hover states, clickability or scroll cues.
Hover states are initiated by the user pausing over an interactive element using a cursor. They can be applied to all interactive components, and should be deemphasized to avoid distracting from content. An overlay signifies a hover state.
[https://material.io/design/interaction/states.html#hover] A clickability cue is a visual indication that a given word or item on a web page is clickable. Cues that can be used to indicate the clickability of an item include color, underlining, bullets, and arrows. [https://www.usability.gov/what-and-why/glossary/c/] An arrow or a text can serve as scroll cues, indicating that there is more content below-the-fold that can be scrolled into view.
Gestures Mobile devices and tablets allow users to interact with content in a unique way. The ability to pinch, zoom, slide images across the screen, and force-touch elements empowers the user to engage with the content in a new way. A long repeating row of the content may look great on a desktop computer, but for a mobile device, it may make more sense to allow the user to slide through the carousel one by one.  It’s also important to think about the size of a person’s finger and how that translates to mobile interactions. UI elements should be a comfortable tappable size. If a user is struggling to select or tap an element it is likely to lead to a frustrating experience.
[https://xd.adobe.com/ideas/process/ui-design]
Responsive Design A web design approach aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience across platforms and devices.
[https://www.usability.gov/what-and-why/glossary/r]
Mobile First “Mobile first”, as the name suggests, means that we start the product design from the mobile end which has more restrictions, then expand its features to create a tablet or desktop version. [https://medium.com/@Vincentxia77]
[https://www.uxpin.com/studio/blog/a-hands-on-guide-to-mobile-first-design]

4. INDIVIDUALIZATION & INTERACTION
Individual Differences People vary in a number of ways that can have an impact on the design of a user interface, and rather than trying to design for “the average user”, it is often better to understand how people vary to design acceptably for a broad audience. Sometimes this may even mean designing separate user interfaces for different user populations, such as when extremely simplified drawing programs are made for young children versus sophisticated versions designed for graphic design professionals.
Some of the main categories of variations that are of interest to designers are:
  • user experience level – how well users know their subject domain, computing skills, internet skills, …
  • user preferences – users will choose settings according to their own tastes and work practices
  • market segment – such as age, gender, education, occupation, hobby, and income level
  • variation in ability – users often have relevant physical or cognitive limitations; for instance, near-sightedness and color blindness are extremely common, and these can usually be easily addressed when a designer is aware of the issues
[https://www.usabilityfirst.com/glossary/individual-differences]
Individualization The ability to individualize a website for the user. Meaning that users can adapt the product or design to their own needs. For example, a beginner has different expectations of a product than an expert. [https://www.usability.de/en/usability-user-experience]
Toggle Toggle switches are everywhere. Whether it is turning on the coffee maker or the light, humans use toggle switches daily.
A digital toggle switch allows users to choose between two opposing states, such as on or off. If there are multiple options, it’s best to use something else. A toggle switch allows users to choose between two opposing states, such as on or off. If there are multiple options, it’s best to use something else.
One usability issue to look out for is an unclear state indicator. Some users get confused about whether the label indicates the state the toggle is in or the result of clicking on it.
[https://www.sliderrevolution.com/resources/css-toggle-switch/]
Interactivity Cues Cues indicate available interactivity such as hover states, clickability or scroll cues.
Hover states are initiated by the user pausing over an interactive element using a cursor. They can be applied to all interactive components, and should be deemphasized to avoid distracting from content. An overlay signifies a hover state.
[https://material.io/design/interaction/states.html#hover] A clickability cue is a visual indication that a given word or item on a web page is clickable. Cues that can be used to indicate the clickability of an item include color, underlining, bullets, and arrows. [https://www.usability.gov/what-and-why/glossary/c/] An arrow or a text can serve as scroll cues, indicating that there is more content below-the-fold that can be scrolled into view.

5. CUSTOMIZATION & AGENCY
Convenience The degree to which accessing and using an interface is comfortable, and possible without excessive effort, mental or physical. The lack of deterrents to use, including organizational and social deterrents, schedule constraints, system availability, learning threshold, system delays, and prerequisites for use.
[https://www.usabilityfirst.com/glossary/convenience] Can a technology stop to serve its users by working too well? Or, conversely, can the value of a technology lie in the fact that it is not perfectly efficient? When it comes to convenience, whose convenience are we talking about? [workshop description by Silvio Lorusso; see his essay on (mis)convenience https://theusercondition.computer]
Customization Customization is done by the user. A system may enable users to customize or make changes to the experience to meet their specific needs by configuring layout, content, or system functionality. Customization may involve moving items around an interface to reflect the users’ priorities, selecting topics of interest, or altering colors or other factors related to the visual design of an interface, for example.
The upside of customization is that each user can get exactly what they want, because they are in control. The downside is that many users don’t know what they actually need and that most users are not interested in doing the work required to tweak the user interface to match their preferences.
[https://www.nngroup.com/articles/customization-personalization]
Cookies HTTP cookies are essential to the modern Internet but a vulnerability to your privacy. As a necessary part of web browsing, HTTP cookies help web developers give you more personal, convenient website visits. Cookies let websites remember you, your website logins, shopping carts and more. But they can also be a treasure trove of private info for criminals to spy on.
[https://www.kaspersky.com/resource-center/definitions/cookies] There are multiple types of cookies that run in modern web browsers: HTTP, session, persistent, first-party, zombie, flash secure cookies. Different types of cookies have specific use cases to enable certain capabilities.
[https://www.techtarget.com/searchsoftwarequality/definition/cookie]
Cognitive Overload It’s a bit of a paradox: Users want a lot of options, but too many options will overload their brain.
Hick’s Law (or decision paralysis) tells of the phenomenon: The more options a user has, the more time they will take to make a decision. While William Hick and Ray Hyman first tested their theory in the 1950s, in the last decade their findings have been redefined for digital design.
To understand Hick’s Law as a designer, think of each option as a bright flashing light. Too many bright flashing lights will overstimulate the user. It’s the difference between giving users what they want and giving them what they think they want
[https://www.smashingmagazine.com]
Agency Agency is meant to measure someone’s or something’s “capacity, condition, or state of acting or of exerting power”.
An action is basically a choice, and agency measures the capacity of making choices. No choice, on the contrary, is behavior. The addict has little agency because their choice to interrupt their toxic behavior exists, but is tremendously difficult. In short, I propose to define agency as the capacity for action, which is in turn the ability to interrupt behavior.
[https://theusercondition.computer]

6. PERSONALIZATION & USER DATA
Personalization Personalization is done by the system being used. Developers set up the system to identify users and deliver to them the content, experience, or functionality that matches their role. Personalization can be done down at the individual level (e.g., Amazon.com’s suggestions based on past browsing and purchase history), or at group or audience level (e.g., an intranet displaying information specific to those in a certain location or a certain role, such as a job function).
The upside of personalization is an improved user experience that doesn’t require any extra effort from the users because the computer does all the work (convenience). The downside is that we’re at the mercy of the computer’s ability to guess what each user needs. Also, some users may feel that it’s unnerving if the computer is too good at guessing certain things about them. [https://www.nngroup.com/articles/customization-personalization] Personalization is by no means a new concept. Waiters will often greet repeat customers and refer to them by name, even knowing what their “usual order” is. Shopkeepers can use visual cues to provide personalized experiences—an exhausted looking couple with three children probably wants to get what they came for and be on their way, while a single person slowly browsing the aisles might be interested in some chit-chat. The point is, in the offline world, personalization is so common, it can go unnoticed. https://www.optimizely.com/optimization-glossary
Creepiness Ditch This term, coined by John Brendt, is an important twist in the personalization story. The creepiness ditch is the increasing discomfort people feel when a digital experience gets too personalized, but in a way that is disorienting or uncomfortable. [https://thedecisionlab.com]
A/B Testing Google famously tested 41 different shades of blue to decide which color to use for advertisement links in Gmail. The company showed each shade of blue to 1% of users. A slightly purple shade of blue maximized the likelihood of users clicking on the advertised links, giving Google a tangible $200m boost in ad revenue. [https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/origin-ab-testing-nicolai-kramer-jakobsen] Does A/B testing make the designer obsolete?
Graphic design is no longer subjective. At least online, every small decision can be tested: Chose the blue or the red button to optimise your conversion rate. A/B testing, formerly a tool used by a handful of tech giants to sell more products, has now become a product in itself. With the help of a number of platforms, you can also make your design decisions based on metrics—and you don’t even have to understand how it works!
41 Shades of Blue is a mostly-true documentary that explores the origins, the implications and the future of this new, evidence driven design practice. Between the Uncanny Silicon Valley and the Black Rock Desert of the Real it digs through layers of branding and looks at a world in which data has made design obsolete. [https://vimeo.com/302874591]
Filter Bubble Online services like Google and Facebook use computer programming algorithms to determine what information to deliver to you. Your “filter bubble” (a term coined by internet activist Eli Pariser) refers to the idea that this automated personalization, though helpful in some ways, can isolate you from other information. Sometimes referred to as an "echo chamber," the filter bubble created by your online activity can limit your exposure to different points of view and weaken your ability to avoid fake news and bias.
In his TED Talk, Pariser discusses the effects of algorithms and warns us about the dangers of online filter bubbles. [TED: Eli Pariser—Beware Online Filter Bubbles]
[https://libraryguides.mdc.edu/FakeNews/FilterBubbles]
Privacy Policy Have you ever read one of the privacy policies you’ve accepted?
Recommendations A recommender system, or a recommendation system (sometimes replacing 'system' with a synonym such as platform or engine), is a subclass of information filtering system that provide suggestions for items that are most pertinent to a particular user. Typically, the suggestions refer to various decision-making processes, such as what product to purchase, what music to listen to, or what online news to read. Recommender systems are particularly useful when an individual needs to choose an item from a potentially overwhelming number of items that a service may offer.
[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recommender_system]
Availability As personalization determines what content is visible for you and what remains hidden, it limits the content’s effective availability. Some posts only get recommended for certain target groups or under certain circumstances. Personalized content can thus become location dependant, time-sensitive or gendered.
For example, ads approved by Google in 2015 targeted only men for truck driving job advertisement and only women for secretary jobs. [Amit Datta et al.: Discrimination in Online Personalization (2018)]
Tracking Nutzerverfolgung (von engl. User-Tracking) ist ein Instrument der Webanalytik, welches Daten über das Verhalten von Benutzern – meist ohne deren Wissen und Einwilligung – sammelt. Quellen für Informationen sind IP-Adressen, Metainformationen innerhalb der HTTP-Protokolle oder die Browserhistorie der Webbrowser. Die gesammelten Daten dienen meist zur Kundenprofilbildung. Unternehmen haben aufgrund der umfangreichen Verwendungsmöglichkeiten großes Interesse an diesen Daten, sammeln selbst Informationen mittels Webseiten-Plug-Ins oder kaufen Kundendaten bei spezialisierten Firmen ein.
[https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nutzerverfolgung]
Fingerprint Initially developed for security purposes, browser fingerprinting (also known as device fingerprinting) is a tracking technique capable of identifying individual users based on their browser and device settings. In order for websites to display correctly, your browser makes certain information available about your device, including your screen resolution, operating system, location, and language settings. These details essentially make up the ridges of your digital fingerprint. [https://thedisconnect.co/two/your-digital-fingerprint]


A

A/B Testing Google famously tested 41 different shades of blue to decide which color to use for advertisement links in Gmail. The company showed each shade of blue to 1% of users. A slightly purple shade of blue maximized the likelihood of users clicking on the advertised links, giving Google a tangible $200m boost in ad revenue.
[https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/origin-ab-testing-nicolai-kramer-jakobsen] Does A/B testing make the designer obsolete?
Graphic design is no longer subjective. At least online, every small decision can be tested: Chose the blue or the red button to optimise your conversion rate. A/B testing, formerly a tool used by a handful of tech giants to sell more products, has now become a product in itself. With the help of a number of platforms, you can also make your design decisions based on metrics—and you don’t even have to understand how it works!
41 Shades of Blue is a mostly-true documentary that explores the origins, the implications and the future of this new, evidence driven design practice. Between the Uncanny Silicon Valley and the Black Rock Desert of the Real it digs through layers of branding and looks at a world in which data has made design obsolete.
[https://vimeo.com/302874591]
Agency Agency is meant to measure someone’s or something’s “capacity, condition, or state of acting or of exerting power”.
An action is basically a choice, and agency measures the capacity of making choices. No choice, on the contrary, is behavior. The addict has little agency because their choice to interrupt their toxic behavior exists, but is tremendously difficult. In short, I propose to define agency as the capacity for action, which is in turn the ability to interrupt behavior.
[https://theusercondition.computer]
Authorship Interacting with hypertexts provides a greater sense of agency—defined as the ability to take meaningful actions and to see the results of those actions. The user feels a greater sense of control over what they read and how they read, and they can see instantaneous results from the choices they make as readers. Hypertext gives permission to readers to insert themselves into the meaning construction process and “write” a text in a way that is often different from what the author foresaw. Hypertext makes us conscious of the blurring of the reader/author role, which Roland Barthes had already begun to deconstruct.
[Nancy G. Patterson: Hypertext and the Changing Roles of Reader (2000)]
Availability As personalization determines what content is visible for you and what remains hidden, it limits the content’s effective availability. Some posts only get recommended for certain target groups or under certain circumstances. Personalized content can thus become location dependant, time-sensitive or gendered.
For example, ads approved by Google in 2015 targeted only men for truck driving job advertisement and only women for secretary jobs.
[Amit Datta et al.: Discrimination in Online Personalization (2018)]

B

Browser / Device Compatibility The ability of an Internet browser to properly interpret the code that makes up web pages since there is slight variation between each.
[https://www.usability.gov/what-and-why/glossary/b/index.html]

C

Choice There’s a difference between choice and decision for. Choice is an option. Decision is a burden.
[https://techpinions.com]
[https://linear.app/blog/settings-are-not-a-design-failure]
Cognitive Overload It’s a bit of a paradox: Users want a lot of options, but too many options will overload their brain.
Hick’s Law (or decision paralysis) tells of the phenomenon: The more options a user has, the more time they will take to make a decision. While William Hick and Ray Hyman first tested their theory in the 1950s, in the last decade their findings have been redefined for digital design.
To understand Hick’s Law as a designer, think of each option as a bright flashing light. Too many bright flashing lights will overstimulate the user. It’s the difference between giving users what they want and giving them what they think they want
[https://www.smashingmagazine.com]
Color Accsessibility People with visual impairments interpret color and contrast differently. That makes it difficult or impossible for them to access information communicated only by color.
For example, to a user with red/green color blindness, a green image on a red background will not provide enough distinction to make the image visible. This type of color treatment also makes it difficult for some users to read text or identify links that are a different color but don’t have underlines.
Making colors accessible means color combinations with enough contrast so the content is clearly distinguishable from the surrounding page. [https://it.ucsf.edu/how-to/accessible-color-best-practices]
[https://uxplanet.org]
Convenience The degree to which accessing and using an interface is comfortable, and possible without excessive effort, mental or physical. The lack of deterrents to use, including organizational and social deterrents, schedule constraints, system availability, learning threshold, system delays, and prerequisites for use.
[https://www.usabilityfirst.com/glossary/convenience] Can a technology stop to serve its users by working too well? Or, conversely, can the value of a technology lie in the fact that it is not perfectly efficient? When it comes to convenience, whose convenience are we talking about? [workshop description by Silvio Lorusso; see his essay on (mis)convenience https://theusercondition.computer]
Cookies HTTP cookies are essential to the modern Internet but a vulnerability to your privacy. As a necessary part of web browsing, HTTP cookies help web developers give you more personal, convenient website visits. Cookies let websites remember you, your website logins, shopping carts and more. But they can also be a treasure trove of private info for criminals to spy on.
[https://www.kaspersky.com/resource-center/definitions/cookies] There are multiple types of cookies that run in modern web browsers: HTTP, session, persistent, first-party, zombie, flash secure cookies. Different types of cookies have specific use cases to enable certain capabilities.
[https://www.techtarget.com/searchsoftwarequality/definition/cookie]
Creepiness Ditch This term, coined by John Brendt, is an important twist in the personalization story. The creepiness ditch is the increasing discomfort people feel when a digital experience gets too personalized, but in a way that is disorienting or uncomfortable.
[https://thedecisionlab.com]
Customization Customization is done by the user. A system may enable users to customize or make changes to the experience to meet their specific needs by configuring layout, content, or system functionality. Customization may involve moving items around an interface to reflect the users’ priorities, selecting topics of interest, or altering colors or other factors related to the visual design of an interface, for example.
The upside of customization is that each user can get exactly what they want, because they are in control. The downside is that many users don’t know what they actually need and that most users are not interested in doing the work required to tweak the user interface to match their preferences.
[https://www.nngroup.com/articles/customization-personalization]

D

E

F

Filter Bubble Online services like Google and Facebook use computer programming algorithms to determine what information to deliver to you. Your “filter bubble” (a term coined by internet activist Eli Pariser) refers to the idea that this automated personalization, though helpful in some ways, can isolate you from other information. Sometimes referred to as an "echo chamber," the filter bubble created by your online activity can limit your exposure to different points of view and weaken your ability to avoid fake news and bias.
In his TED Talk, Pariser discusses the effects of algorithms and warns us about the dangers of online filter bubbles.
[TED: Eli Pariser—Beware Online Filter Bubbles]
[https://libraryguides.mdc.edu/FakeNews/FilterBubbles]
Fingerprint Initially developed for security purposes, browser fingerprinting (also known as device fingerprinting) is a tracking technique capable of identifying individual users based on their browser and device settings. In order for websites to display correctly, your browser makes certain information available about your device, including your screen resolution, operating system, location, and language settings. These details essentially make up the ridges of your digital fingerprint.
[https://thedisconnect.co/two/your-digital-fingerprint]

G

Gestures Mobile devices and tablets allow users to interact with content in a unique way. The ability to pinch, zoom, slide images across the screen, and force-touch elements empowers the user to engage with the content in a new way. A long repeating row of the content may look great on a desktop computer, but for a mobile device, it may make more sense to allow the user to slide through the carousel one by one.  It’s also important to think about the size of a person’s finger and how that translates to mobile interactions. UI elements should be a comfortable tappable size. If a user is struggling to select or tap an element it is likely to lead to a frustrating experience.
[https://xd.adobe.com/ideas/process/ui-design]

H

Hypertext Fiction Hypertext fiction is a genre of digital literature which is made up of non sequential and interlinking lexia. It operates within the postmodern context through its adherence to several key aspects of the literary genre. There is a shared authorship between reader and writer, made possible by the multiple pathways of the hypertext links. The multiple pathways render linear notions of narrative impossible.
[https://litinawiredworld.fandom.com/wiki/Hypertext_Fiction]

I

Individual Differences People vary in a number of ways that can have an impact on the design of a user interface, and rather than trying to design for “the average user”, it is often better to understand how people vary to design acceptably for a broad audience. Sometimes this may even mean designing separate user interfaces for different user populations, such as when extremely simplified drawing programs are made for young children versus sophisticated versions designed for graphic design professionals.
Some of the main categories of variations that are of interest to designers are:
  • user experience level – how well users know their subject domain, computing skills, internet skills, …
  • user preferences – users will choose settings according to their own tastes and work practices
  • market segment – such as age, gender, education, occupation, hobby, and income level
  • variation in ability – users often have relevant physical or cognitive limitations; for instance, near-sightedness and color blindness are extremely common, and these can usually be easily addressed when a designer is aware of the issues
[https://www.usabilityfirst.com/glossary/individual-differences]
Individual Paths A user path is a series of events performed or experienced by the user. This could be pages they visit, tasks they perform, notifications they receive, and so on.
[https://www.moengage.com/blog/issues-user-path-analysis-can-uncover]
Individualization The ability to individualize a website for the user. Meaning that users can adapt the product or design to their own needs. For example, a beginner has different expectations of a product than an expert.
[https://www.usability.de/en/usability-user-experience]
Interactivity Cues Cues indicate available interactivity such as hover states, clickability or scroll cues.
Hover states are initiated by the user pausing over an interactive element using a cursor. They can be applied to all interactive components, and should be deemphasized to avoid distracting from content. An overlay signifies a hover state.
[https://material.io/design/interaction/states.html#hover] A clickability cue is a visual indication that a given word or item on a web page is clickable. Cues that can be used to indicate the clickability of an item include color, underlining, bullets, and arrows. [https://www.usability.gov/what-and-why/glossary/c/] An arrow or a text can serve as scroll cues, indicating that there is more content below-the-fold that can be scrolled into view.

J

K

L

M

Memorability The degree to which users can remember how to use an interface and recognizes the different elements.
[https://www.usability.gov/what-and-why/glossary/m]
Mobile First “Mobile first”, as the name suggests, means that we start the product design from the mobile end which has more restrictions, then expand its features to create a tablet or desktop version.
[https://medium.com/@Vincentxia77]
[https://www.uxpin.com/studio/blog/a-hands-on-guide-to-mobile-first-design]

N

Navigation Website navigation is the act of clicking and looking through resources on the internet, such as the various pages that make up a website. Users navigate websites using a web browser and clicking on links that transport them to other pages when clicked.
[https://indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/website-navigation]

O

P

Personalization Personalization is done by the system being used. Developers set up the system to identify users and deliver to them the content, experience, or functionality that matches their role. Personalization can be done down at the individual level (e.g., Amazon.com’s suggestions based on past browsing and purchase history), or at group or audience level (e.g., an intranet displaying information specific to those in a certain location or a certain role, such as a job function).
The upside of personalization is an improved user experience that doesn’t require any extra effort from the users because the computer does all the work (convenience). The downside is that we’re at the mercy of the computer’s ability to guess what each user needs. Also, some users may feel that it’s unnerving if the computer is too good at guessing certain things about them.
[https://www.nngroup.com/articles/customization-personalization] Personalization is by no means a new concept. Waiters will often greet repeat customers and refer to them by name, even knowing what their “usual order” is. Shopkeepers can use visual cues to provide personalized experiences—an exhausted looking couple with three children probably wants to get what they came for and be on their way, while a single person slowly browsing the aisles might be interested in some chit-chat. The point is, in the offline world, personalization is so common, it can go unnoticed.
https://www.optimizely.com/optimization-glossary
Privacy Policy Have you ever read one of the privacy policies you’ve accepted?

Q

R

Recommendations A recommender system, or a recommendation system (sometimes replacing 'system' with a synonym such as platform or engine), is a subclass of information filtering system that provide suggestions for items that are most pertinent to a particular user. Typically, the suggestions refer to various decision-making processes, such as what product to purchase, what music to listen to, or what online news to read. Recommender systems are particularly useful when an individual needs to choose an item from a potentially overwhelming number of items that a service may offer.
[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recommender_system]
Responsive Design A web design approach aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience across platforms and devices.
[https://www.usability.gov/what-and-why/glossary/r]

S

T

Themes A theme (or skin) is a combination of colors, styles, images or sounds that allow you personalize the interface. Themes are used to customize the look and feel of a piece of computer software, of an operating system or a website.
The dark mode / light mode toggle has become increasingly popular in webdesign in recent years. This option allows changing the color theme from light-on-dark to dark-on-light to accomadate user preferences as well as enhancing accessibility.
[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theme_(computing)]
[https://levelup.gitconnected.com]
Toggle Toggle switches are everywhere. Whether it is turning on the coffee maker or the light, humans use toggle switches daily.
A digital toggle switch allows users to choose between two opposing states, such as on or off. If there are multiple options, it’s best to use something else. A toggle switch allows users to choose between two opposing states, such as on or off. If there are multiple options, it’s best to use something else.
One usability issue to look out for is an unclear state indicator. Some users get confused about whether the label indicates the state the toggle is in or the result of clicking on it.
[https://www.sliderrevolution.com/resources/css-toggle-switch/]
Tracking Nutzerverfolgung (von engl. User-Tracking) ist ein Instrument der Webanalytik, welches Daten über das Verhalten von Benutzern – meist ohne deren Wissen und Einwilligung – sammelt. Quellen für Informationen sind IP-Adressen, Metainformationen innerhalb der HTTP-Protokolle oder die Browserhistorie der Webbrowser. Die gesammelten Daten dienen meist zur Kundenprofilbildung. Unternehmen haben aufgrund der umfangreichen Verwendungsmöglichkeiten großes Interesse an diesen Daten, sammeln selbst Informationen mittels Webseiten-Plug-Ins oder kaufen Kundendaten bei spezialisierten Firmen ein.
[https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nutzerverfolgung]

U

Universal Design Is there such a thing as one design that fits everyone? Rather than offering a list of specifications; universal design is an approach to design that considers the varied abilities and preferences of users.
[https://universaldesign.ie]
User Flows There are many different pathways a user can take when interacting with a product. A user flow is a visual representation, either written out or made digitally, of the many avenues that can be taken when using an app or website. The flowchart begins with the consumer’s entry point on the product, like an onboarding screen or homepage, and ends with the final action or outcome, like purchasing a product or signing up for an account. Depicting this process allows designers to evaluate and optimize the user experience and therefore increase client conversion rates.
[https://careerfoundry.com/en/blog/ux-design/what-are-user-flows]

V

W

X

Y

Z

123

Input

Course Schedule

Fridays, from 10:00–15:00, as well as optional coding consultations from 15:30–17:30. The course takes place in presence, if possible.

14.10. 21.10. 28.10. 04.11. 11.11. 18.11. 25.11. 02.12. 16.12.
10:00–
12:00
Introduction Themes & Custom Styling
→ CSS
Responsive Design
→ CSS
Personal Process Individualization & Interaction
→ JS
kein Kurs kein Kurs Collective
Coding
13:00–
15:00
Individual Paths
→ HTML
Collective
Coding
Collective
Coding
Glossary Design kein Kurs kein Kurs Customization & Agency
→ JS
Conclusion / Presentation
15:30–
17:30
Coding Consultations [optional] Coding Consultations [optional] Coding Consultations [optional] Coding Consultations [optional] Coding Consultations [optional] Coding Consultations [optional]

Where to Start

  1. HTML Boilerplate
    if you want to start an entry from scratch, start with this empty HTML / CSS / JS files
    [Burg-Box: HTML Boilerplate]
    [Github: HTML Boilerplate]
    [Codesandbox: HTML Boilerplate]
  2. Starter Kits
    if you want to start from modifying existing code, choose one of the coding starter kits
    [Burg-Box: All Starter Kits]
    [Github: All Starter Kits]
    [Codesandbox: 01. Individual Paths / HTML]
    [Codesandbox: 02. Themes & Custom Styling / CSS]
    [Codesandbox: 03. Responsive Design / CSS]
    [Codesandbox: 04. Clickability Cue / JS]
    [Codesandbox: 05. Agency / JS]
    [Codesandbox: 06. Personalization / JS]


1. Individual Paths

Course Introduction

Welcome! Check out the course schedule, the about text and the assignment to get started.

Personalization History
Input: Individual Paths → Setup, HTML
TOPIC INTRO
Words
Navigation Website navigation is the act of clicking and looking through resources on the internet, such as the various pages that make up a website. Users navigate websites using a web browser and clicking on links that transport them to other pages when clicked. [https://indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/website-navigation]
Hypertext Fiction Hypertext fiction is a genre of digital literature which is made up of non sequential and interlinking lexia. It operates within the postmodern context through its adherence to several key aspects of the literary genre. There is a shared authorship between reader and writer, made possible by the multiple pathways of the hypertext links. The multiple pathways render linear notions of narrative impossible. [https://litinawiredworld.fandom.com/wiki/Hypertext_Fiction]
Authorship Interacting with hypertexts provides a greater sense of agency—defined as the ability to take meaningful actions and to see the results of those actions. The user feels a greater sense of control over what they read and how they read, and they can see instantaneous results from the choices they make as readers. Hypertext gives permission to readers to insert themselves into the meaning construction process and “write” a text in a way that is often different from what the author foresaw. Hypertext makes us conscious of the blurring of the reader/author role, which Roland Barthes had already begun to deconstruct. [Nancy G. Patterson: Hypertext and the Changing Roles of Reader (2000)]
User Flows There are many different pathways a user can take when interacting with a product. A user flow is a visual representation, either written out or made digitally, of the many avenues that can be taken when using an app or website. The flowchart begins with the consumer’s entry point on the product, like an onboarding screen or homepage, and ends with the final action or outcome, like purchasing a product or signing up for an account. Depicting this process allows designers to evaluate and optimize the user experience and therefore increase client conversion rates. [https://careerfoundry.com/en/blog/ux-design/what-are-user-flows]
Individual Paths A user path is a series of events performed or experienced by the user. This could be pages they visit, tasks they perform, notifications they receive, and so on. [https://www.moengage.com/blog/issues-user-path-analysis-can-uncover]
Showcases
Hypertext Fiction: The Temple of No
Sebastian Ly Serena
Mitchell Barton
When all of my friends are on at once
Reading List
Podcast: HTML energy
A Handmade Web – J.R. Carpenter
Laurel Schwulst’s Decade in Internet – RHIZOME
SETUP
Visual Studio Code
Live Server
Live Share
EXERCISES
Research HTML Tags
  1. Go to [W3school: HTML element references].
  2. Pick one or more HTML tags, look at the documentation and try them out.
  3. Explain your favorite tag to your neighbour.
BASIC HTML [CodeAcademy: Learn HTML tutorial]
[Video: Basics of HTML by Laurel Schwulst]
[Web Essentials: HTML / CSS Einführung]
[References: HTML elements]
[Debugging: HTML validator]
  • file setup
    • structure: html, body, main, nav, ...
    • head (meta, title, css), js
    • HTML boilerplate
  • syntax
    <tag> content </tag>
  • hypertext
    <a href="http://link.com" target="_blank"> This is the hyperspace. </a>
  • tags
    • meta
    • div
      <div> The most used tag. </div>
    • content / semantics





    • inline text semantics






    • lists



    • media



      <img src="img_girl.jpg" alt="Girl in a jacket">
    • forms
      input, button, textarea, progress, select








      <input id="cheese" name="cheese" type="checkbox">
      <label for="cheese">Do you like cheese?</label>

      <button>Click here</button>
      <textarea placeholder="<Type here>></textarea>
      <progress></progress>

      <label for="pet-select">Choose a pet:</label>
      <select id="pet-select">
        <option value="cat">cat</option>
        <option value="dog">dog</option>
      </select>
    • properties
      e.g. class, id, src, alt, href, target, type, checked, placeholder, contenteditable
      <tag class="className1 className2" id="idName"> content </tag>
TIPS
Common Mistakes
  • unclosed elements
  • badly nested elements
  • unclosed attributes
  • you can check your HTML-code for errors here
  • did you save? is your live-server working?
  • try inspecting, googling or ask a friend
Inspecting
  • Open the inspector, by right-clicking on an element, selecting “inspect” / “Untersuchen“ or ALT + CMD + I.
  • Inspect the elements, change content, delete tags, try out styles. Changes will not be saved, therefore it’s great for trying out and debugging.

2. Themes & Custom Styling

Input: Themes & Custom Styling → CSS
TOPIC INTRO
Words
Memorability The degree to which users can remember how to use an interface and recognizes the different elements. [https://www.usability.gov/what-and-why/glossary/m]
Color Accsessibility People with visual impairments interpret color and contrast differently. That makes it difficult or impossible for them to access information communicated only by color.
For example, to a user with red/green color blindness, a green image on a red background will not provide enough distinction to make the image visible. This type of color treatment also makes it difficult for some users to read text or identify links that are a different color but don’t have underlines.
Making colors accessible means color combinations with enough contrast so the content is clearly distinguishable from the surrounding page. [https://it.ucsf.edu/how-to/accessible-color-best-practices]
[https://uxplanet.org]
Themes A theme (or skin) is a combination of colors, styles, images or sounds that allow you personalize the interface. Themes are used to customize the look and feel of a piece of computer software, of an operating system or a website.
The dark mode / light mode toggle has become increasingly popular in webdesign in recent years. This option allows changing the color theme from light-on-dark to dark-on-light to accomadate user preferences as well as enhancing accessibility. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theme_(computing)]
[https://levelup.gitconnected.com]
Choice There’s a difference between choice and decision for. Choice is an option. Decision is a burden. [https://techpinions.com]
[https://linear.app/blog/settings-are-not-a-design-failure]
Universal Design Is there such a thing as one design that fits everyone? Rather than offering a list of specifications; universal design is an approach to design that considers the varied abilities and preferences of users. [https://universaldesign.ie]
Showcases
Rafaël Rozendaal: Almost Calm
Sally Thurer
MARCD
On Practices / One
Reading List

“There’s a difference between choice and decision for. Choice is an option. Decision is a burden.”

Difference Between Choice and Decision – Techpinions

“The upside of customization is that each user can get exactly what they want, because they are in control. The downside is that many users don’t know what they actually need and that most users are not interested in doing the work required to tweak the user interface to match their preferences.”

Customization vs. Personalization in the User Experience
– NN Group

Dark Mode vs. Light Mode: Which Is Better? – NN Group
Settings are not a design failure – Linear
EXERCISES
Inspecting
  1. Open any website, e.g. the last website in your browser history.
  2. Open the inspector (right-click “inspect” / “Untersuchen”) and view the elements.
  3. Change something and show it to your neighbour (e.g. delete the advertisement, change the title or some styling attributes).
Research CSS Properties
  1. Go to [CSS-TRICKS: CSS Properties].
  2. Pick one or more CSS properties, look at the documentation and try them out.
  3. Explain your favorite property to your neighbour.
BASIC CSS [CodeAcademy: Learn CSS tutorial]
[Video: Basics of CSS by Laurel Schwulst]
[References: CSS properties]
[References: CSS selector tester]
[Debugging: CSS validator]
  • HTML Recap
  • syntax
    div {
      color: red;
    }
  • where?
    • inline
    • inside style tag
    • external css file
  • .classes & #ids
    <div id="subtitle" class="text"> Some content inside. </div>
  • properties
    • color & size




      .container {
        width: 100px;
        width: 100%;
        width: 100vw;
      }
      .highlighted {
        background-color: red;
        background-color: rgb(100, 250, 0);
        background-color: rgba(100, 250, 0, 0.5);
        background-color: #0000FF;
      }
    • margin & padding


      body {
        margin: 0;
        padding: 10px 0;
        padding-left: 5px;
      }
    • border & shadows




      #left-container {
        border: 1px solid black;
      }
    • simple positioning




      #top {
        position: fixed;
        bottom: 0;
        right: 5px;
      }
    • text







      p {
        font-family: "Neue Haas Grotesk", Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;
        font-size: 2em;
        text-align: justify;
        hyphens: auto;
        text-decoration: underline;
      }
    • :pseudo-classes

      div:hover {
        color: rgb(113, 255, 121);
        pointer: cursor;
      }
TIPS
Common Mistakes
  • forgot colon : after css property, semicolon ; at end of line or closing curly bracket }
  • spelling mistake in property / attribute
    (e.g. colour instead of color )
  • wrong selector (e.g. .container instead of #container)
  • you can check your CSS-code for errors here
  • did you save? is your live-server working?
  • try inspecting, googling or ask a friend
Borders / Background-color
  1. Can you tell what size your elements take up? Guess.
  2. Give all items borders.
    * {
      borders: 1px solid black;
    }
  3. Give your elements different background-colors to differentiate them.
    div {
      background-color: red;
    }
  4. How good was your guess?
Design first, style later Designing right in the code editor with CSS-styles can be fun and inspiring. But you’re likely going to try out 10 different things without making a design decision. If that frustrates you, it can help to separate design (the look) from styling (the code):
  1. Design in Figma / Sketch / Adobe XD / on paper first.
  2. Then build your HTML structure, without any styling.
  3. Once the functionality is finished, you can can style your elements / implement your design much easier and more straightforward.

3. Responsive Design

Input: Responsive Design → CSS
TOPIC INTRO
Words
Browser / Device Compatibility The ability of an Internet browser to properly interpret the code that makes up web pages since there is slight variation between each.
[https://www.usability.gov/what-and-why/glossary/b/index.html]
Gestures Mobile devices and tablets allow users to interact with content in a unique way. The ability to pinch, zoom, slide images across the screen, and force-touch elements empowers the user to engage with the content in a new way. A long repeating row of the content may look great on a desktop computer, but for a mobile device, it may make more sense to allow the user to slide through the carousel one by one.  It’s also important to think about the size of a person’s finger and how that translates to mobile interactions. UI elements should be a comfortable tappable size. If a user is struggling to select or tap an element it is likely to lead to a frustrating experience.
[https://xd.adobe.com/ideas/process/ui-design]
Responsive Design A web design approach aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience across platforms and devices.
[https://www.usability.gov/what-and-why/glossary/r]
Mobile First “Mobile first”, as the name suggests, means that we start the product design from the mobile end which has more restrictions, then expand its features to create a tablet or desktop version. [https://medium.com/@Vincentxia77]
[https://www.uxpin.com/studio/blog/a-hands-on-guide-to-mobile-first-design]
Showcases
“Pixel” – Responsive Illustrations
Ralph Tharayils Website by ungroup
Little Fragments
Reading List
Painting with Pure CSS – on browser (un-)compatibility

“In 2019, 53% of the total web traffic came from mobile users.”

Mobile vs. Desktop Usage – Research.com

infographic depicting different mobile hand gestures Considerations for cross-platform design – Xd Ideas
INTERMEDIATE CSS [References: A guide to flexbox]
[Game: Flexbox froggy]
[CodeAcademy: Learn indermediate CSS]
  • HTML / CSS Recap
  • media queries
    when the browser is smaller than 800px (mobile / tablet):
    @media screen and (max-width: 800px) {
      .element {
        font-size: 18px;
      }
    }
    when the browser is between 600px and 1200px wide (desktop):
    @media screen and (min-width: 600px) and (max-width: 1200px){
      .element {
        font-size: 25px;
      }
    }
    when the browser doesn’t support hove (mobile):
    @media (hover: none){
      .element:hover {
        color: inherit;
      }
    }
  • advanced positioning
  • css-variables
    :root {
      --gapS: 5px;
      --gapM: 10px;
      --gapL: 20px;

      --highlightColor: #0000FF;
    }

    .element{
      color: var(--highlightColor);
      margin: var(--gapS);
    }
  • display
    .element {
      display: block;
    }

    .hidden {
      display: none;
    }
    see also [Reference: Display & Visibility]
  • transformation





    .element {
      transform: translate(50%, 50%);
    }
    .element {
      transform: translate(50%, 50%) rotateX(-12deg);
    }
  • transition & animation
    .element {
      width: 200px;
      transition: width 0.3s ease;
    }

    .element:hover {
      width: 500px;
    }
    .element {
      width: 200px;
      color: red;
      transition: width 0.3s, color 0.5s;
    }

    .element:hover {
      width: 500px;
      color: blue;
    }
    see also [Reference: CSS animations]
TIPS
Different devices How does your website look on mobile?
Centering a div Centering a div can be hard.
Here is a video explaining 4 ways you can do it.
Collective Coding
EXERCISE
One sentence concept
  1. Pick a glossary term.
  2. Think of an interaction concept for the term.
  3. You can sketch wireframes on paper.
  4. Now write the concept down in one sentence.

4. Personal Process

Input: Process
TOPIC INTRO
Words
use your own
Showcases
Example
Flurina Badel process
WIREFRAMING EXERCISES
Digital text is...

  1. Digital text is text in the digital space.
    It is responsive and reacts to display format and screen size.

  2. Digital text is interactive.
    It is also tangible. What happens when you click, touch or scroll it?
    The text is not static. It can change, have different versions or be composed from different links.

  3. Digital text can be personalized to the user or the user can customize it. The user can influence it. Reading flow, sequence and combinatorics can change the content and interpretation.
    Digital text can be participatory. You can comment on it, annotate it or rewrite it.

Collective Coding
EXERCISE
Frustration Management
  1. Write down three things that help you deal with frustration on post-its.
  2. Hang it on the wall.
  3. Next time you feel frustrated, look at the wall and follow one of the tips.

5. Individualization & Interaction

Input: Individualization & Interaction → JS
TOPIC INTRO
Words
Individual Differences People vary in a number of ways that can have an impact on the design of a user interface, and rather than trying to design for “the average user”, it is often better to understand how people vary to design acceptably for a broad audience. Sometimes this may even mean designing separate user interfaces for different user populations, such as when extremely simplified drawing programs are made for young children versus sophisticated versions designed for graphic design professionals.
Some of the main categories of variations that are of interest to designers are:
  • user experience level – how well users know their subject domain, computing skills, internet skills, …
  • user preferences – users will choose settings according to their own tastes and work practices
  • market segment – such as age, gender, education, occupation, hobby, and income level
  • variation in ability – users often have relevant physical or cognitive limitations; for instance, near-sightedness and color blindness are extremely common, and these can usually be easily addressed when a designer is aware of the issues
[https://www.usabilityfirst.com/glossary/individual-differences]
Individualization The ability to individualize a website for the user. Meaning that users can adapt the product or design to their own needs. For example, a beginner has different expectations of a product than an expert. [https://www.usability.de/en/usability-user-experience]
Toggle Toggle switches are everywhere. Whether it is turning on the coffee maker or the light, humans use toggle switches daily.
A digital toggle switch allows users to choose between two opposing states, such as on or off. If there are multiple options, it’s best to use something else. A toggle switch allows users to choose between two opposing states, such as on or off. If there are multiple options, it’s best to use something else.
One usability issue to look out for is an unclear state indicator. Some users get confused about whether the label indicates the state the toggle is in or the result of clicking on it.
[https://www.sliderrevolution.com/resources/css-toggle-switch/]
Interactivity Cues Cues indicate available interactivity such as hover states, clickability or scroll cues.
Hover states are initiated by the user pausing over an interactive element using a cursor. They can be applied to all interactive components, and should be deemphasized to avoid distracting from content. An overlay signifies a hover state.
[https://material.io/design/interaction/states.html#hover] A clickability cue is a visual indication that a given word or item on a web page is clickable. Cues that can be used to indicate the clickability of an item include color, underlining, bullets, and arrows. [https://www.usability.gov/what-and-why/glossary/c/] An arrow or a text can serve as scroll cues, indicating that there is more content below-the-fold that can be scrolled into view.
Showcases
Individualization
The Overview Effect – aCCeSsions No.2
Hallo Festspiele 2017
Times New Arial
Re-Flect Studiengangwahl-Tester mit individuell generiertem Avatar
Interaction
Pedagogy and Computation – Parsons Symposium
Nam Huynh
Talia Cotton
Reading List
Exclusive Design – Vasilis van Gemert
The Promise of Empathy – Design, Disability, and Knowing the “Other”
Interaction States – Material Design
EXERCISES
A user survey
  1. How much can we ask of the user? And what do they ask of us?
  2. What is the role of the user? Are they only passive-readers or can they influence the text / elements? Do they even create or decide something?
  3. Can a technology stop to serve its users by working *too well*? Or, conversely, can the value of a technology lie in the fact that it is *not* perfectly efficient? [see The User Condition by Silvio Lorusso]
  4. What is your user-experience? What are your experiences as users?
  5. What’s the relationship between designer / coder and user?
  6. Who is your website for? Who uses your website? Who couldn’t or wouldn’t want to use your website?
  7. Is there the user? Or are there only people in front of screens?
BASIC JS [References: JS intro]
[CodeAcademy: Introduction to Javascript]
  • where?
    • inline
    • inside script tag
    • external js file
  • logging
    console.log('hi');
  • variables modern JS: const / let
    const message = 'hello';
    console.log(message);
    let counter = 1;
    console.log(counter);

    counter = counter + 1;
    console.log(counter);
    old JS: var
    var message = 'hello';
    console.log(message);

    var counter = 1;
    console.log(counter);

    counter = counter + 1;
    console.log(counter);
  • data types
    const number = 1;
    const string = '1';
    const boolean = false;
    other data types in JS are e.g. undefined, null or objects
  • get elements by Id / className / ...
    const logo = document.getElementById('logo');
    const text = document.getElementsByClassName('text')[0];
  • change style / class with JS change style in JS:
    const logo = document.getElementById('logo');

    logo.style.backgroundColor = 'blue';
    add / remove / toggle classes in JS:
    const logo = document.getElementById('logo');

    logo.classList.add('hidden');
    change css-variable:
    let root = document.documentElement;

    root.style.setProperty('--highlightColor', 'red');
  • timeout function
    setTimeout(function(){
      console.log('Finally here!');
    }, 500);
  • innerHTML
    const heading = document.getElementById('heading');

    heading.innerHTML = 'New Heading';
  • eventListener: CLICK
    in JS:
    const logo = document.getElementById('logo');

    logo.addEventListener('click', function(){
      console.log('the user clicked on the logo');
    })
    in HTML / JS:
    <button onclick="myFunction()"> Click me! </button>
  • eventListener: MOUSEMOVE / TOUCHMOVE
    mousemove (desktop):
    const circle = document.getElementById('circle');

    document.body.addEventListener('mousemove', function(e){
      const mouseX = e.clientX;
      const mouseY = e.clientY;
      console.log(mouseX, mouseY);

      circle.style.top = mouseX + 'px';
      circle.style.left = mouseY + 'px';
    })
    touchmove (mobile):
    const circle = document.getElementById('circle');

    document.body.addEventListener('touchmove', function(e){
      const touch = e.touches[0];
      const touchX = touch.clientX;
      const touchY = touch.clientY;
      console.log(touchX, touchY);

      circle.style.top = touchX + 'px';
      circle.style.left = touchY + 'px';
    })
    link mouse position to css-variable
    const root = document.documentElement;

    document.body.addEventListener("mousemove", e => {
      root.style.setProperty('--mouse-x', e.clientX + 'px');
      root.style.setProperty('--mouse-y', e.clientY + 'px');
    });
TIPS
Debugging friends
  • Is your syntax correct? Check your browser’s console.
  • Error messages are your friends. Read them carefully, because usually they tell you where the problem is.
  • The console.log() is your friend. Log everything to make sure you have the right element / value / etc.
  • Try to run your code step by step (optimally logging all of them), to make sure things you think are working are actually working and to isolate the bug.
  • Did you save? Is your live-server working?
  • Try inspecting, googling or ask a friend.
Collective Coding
EXERCISE
Frustration Management
  1. Write down three things that help you deal with frustration on post-its.
  2. Hang it on the wall.
  3. Next time you feel frustrated, look at the wall and follow one of the tips.

6. Customization & Agency

Input: Customization & Agency → JS
TOPIC INTRO
Words
Convenience The degree to which accessing and using an interface is comfortable, and possible without excessive effort, mental or physical. The lack of deterrents to use, including organizational and social deterrents, schedule constraints, system availability, learning threshold, system delays, and prerequisites for use.
[https://www.usabilityfirst.com/glossary/convenience] Can a technology stop to serve its users by working too well? Or, conversely, can the value of a technology lie in the fact that it is not perfectly efficient? When it comes to convenience, whose convenience are we talking about? [workshop description by Silvio Lorusso; see his essay on (mis)convenience https://theusercondition.computer]
Customization Customization is done by the user. A system may enable users to customize or make changes to the experience to meet their specific needs by configuring layout, content, or system functionality. Customization may involve moving items around an interface to reflect the users’ priorities, selecting topics of interest, or altering colors or other factors related to the visual design of an interface, for example.
The upside of customization is that each user can get exactly what they want, because they are in control. The downside is that many users don’t know what they actually need and that most users are not interested in doing the work required to tweak the user interface to match their preferences.
[https://www.nngroup.com/articles/customization-personalization]
Cookies HTTP cookies are essential to the modern Internet but a vulnerability to your privacy. As a necessary part of web browsing, HTTP cookies help web developers give you more personal, convenient website visits. Cookies let websites remember you, your website logins, shopping carts and more. But they can also be a treasure trove of private info for criminals to spy on.
[https://www.kaspersky.com/resource-center/definitions/cookies] There are multiple types of cookies that run in modern web browsers: HTTP, session, persistent, first-party, zombie, flash secure cookies. Different types of cookies have specific use cases to enable certain capabilities.
[https://www.techtarget.com/searchsoftwarequality/definition/cookie]
Cognitive Overload It’s a bit of a paradox: Users want a lot of options, but too many options will overload their brain.
Hick’s Law (or decision paralysis) tells of the phenomenon: The more options a user has, the more time they will take to make a decision. While William Hick and Ray Hyman first tested their theory in the 1950s, in the last decade their findings have been redefined for digital design.
To understand Hick’s Law as a designer, think of each option as a bright flashing light. Too many bright flashing lights will overstimulate the user. It’s the difference between giving users what they want and giving them what they think they want
[https://www.smashingmagazine.com]
Agency Agency is meant to measure someone’s or something’s “capacity, condition, or state of acting or of exerting power”.
An action is basically a choice, and agency measures the capacity of making choices. No choice, on the contrary, is behavior. The addict has little agency because their choice to interrupt their toxic behavior exists, but is tremendously difficult. In short, I propose to define agency as the capacity for action, which is in turn the ability to interrupt behavior.
[https://theusercondition.computer]
Showcases
The User Condition – Silvio Lorusso
Office
On Practices / Two
Kunsthalle Osnabrück
Reading List
The User Condition – Silvio Lorusso
Reducing Cognitive Overload – Smashing Magazine

“The upside of customization is that each user can get exactly what they want, because they are in control. The downside is that many users don’t know what they actually need and that most users are not interested in doing the work required to tweak the user interface to match their preferences.”

Customization vs. Personalization in the User Experience
– NN Group
INTERMEDIATE JS [References: JS Guide]
[CodeAcademy: Learn intermediate javascript]
  • functions
    function logHello() {
      console.log('Hello World!');
    }

    logHello();
    function with parameters:
    function logSomething(params) {
      console.log(params);
    }

    logSomething('Ciao World!');
  • if / else
    const number = 5;

    if(number < 5){
      console.log('smaller than five');
    } if else (number === 5) {
      console.log('equals five');
    } else {
      console.log('higher than five or undefined');
    }
    [Reference: Comparison & Logical Operators]
  • arrays
    const fruits = ['banana', 'apple', 'pear'];
    console.log(fruits[0]);
    const textElements = document.getElementsByClassName('text');
    console.log(textElements[0]);
  • for loops
    • for loop
      for (i = 0; i < 10; i++) {
        // do something
      }
      const fruits = ['banana', 'apple', 'pear'];

      for (i = 0; i < fruits.length; i++) {
        const fruit = fruits[i];
        console.log(i);
        console.log(fruit);
      }
    • for...of loop
      const fruits = ['banana', 'apple', 'pear'];

      for (const fruit of fruits) {
        console.log(fruit);
      }
    See also forEach and for...in:
    [Reference: for...of vs. for-loop]
    [Reference: forEach vs. for...in vs. for-loop]
  • objects
    const person = {
      firstName: "Jane",
      lastName: "Doe",
      age: 25,
      eyeColor: "brown"
    }; console.log(person.firstName);
  • JS libraries
TIPS
Debugging friends
  • Is your syntax correct? Check your browser’s console.
  • Error messages are your friends. Read them carefully, because usually they tell you where the problem is.
  • The console.log() is your friend. Log everything to make sure you have the right element / value / etc.
  • Try to run your code step by step (optimally logging all of them), to make sure things you think are working are actually working and to isolate the bug.
  • Did you save? Is your live-server working?
  • Try inspecting, googling or ask a friend.
Workflow What is your workflow? Do you work in a group or alone? Do you separate steps or do everything at once?
Here’s an example of my workflow:
  1. concept
  2. sketch / wireframe
  3. functional prototype
  4. design
  5. style
  6. test
→ iterations possible after each level
Collective Coding
EXERCISE
Coding without coding
  1. What are you trying to code?
  2. Can you break down the functionality you want to code in smaller parts? Try to dissect your functionality into all the small steps you’ll need to do – as if you were writing your javascript code in plain language.
  3. Write each step down (on paper / in your editor) before you start coding.

7. Personalization & User Data

Input: Customization & Agency → JS
TOPIC INTRO
Words
Personalization Personalization is done by the system being used. Developers set up the system to identify users and deliver to them the content, experience, or functionality that matches their role. Personalization can be done down at the individual level (e.g., Amazon.com’s suggestions based on past browsing and purchase history), or at group or audience level (e.g., an intranet displaying information specific to those in a certain location or a certain role, such as a job function).
The upside of personalization is an improved user experience that doesn’t require any extra effort from the users because the computer does all the work (convenience). The downside is that we’re at the mercy of the computer’s ability to guess what each user needs. Also, some users may feel that it’s unnerving if the computer is too good at guessing certain things about them. [https://www.nngroup.com/articles/customization-personalization] Personalization is by no means a new concept. Waiters will often greet repeat customers and refer to them by name, even knowing what their “usual order” is. Shopkeepers can use visual cues to provide personalized experiences—an exhausted looking couple with three children probably wants to get what they came for and be on their way, while a single person slowly browsing the aisles might be interested in some chit-chat. The point is, in the offline world, personalization is so common, it can go unnoticed. https://www.optimizely.com/optimization-glossary
Creepiness Ditch This term, coined by John Brendt, is an important twist in the personalization story. The creepiness ditch is the increasing discomfort people feel when a digital experience gets too personalized, but in a way that is disorienting or uncomfortable. [https://thedecisionlab.com]
A/B Testing Google famously tested 41 different shades of blue to decide which color to use for advertisement links in Gmail. The company showed each shade of blue to 1% of users. A slightly purple shade of blue maximized the likelihood of users clicking on the advertised links, giving Google a tangible $200m boost in ad revenue. [https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/origin-ab-testing-nicolai-kramer-jakobsen] Does A/B testing make the designer obsolete?
Graphic design is no longer subjective. At least online, every small decision can be tested: Chose the blue or the red button to optimise your conversion rate. A/B testing, formerly a tool used by a handful of tech giants to sell more products, has now become a product in itself. With the help of a number of platforms, you can also make your design decisions based on metrics—and you don’t even have to understand how it works!
41 Shades of Blue is a mostly-true documentary that explores the origins, the implications and the future of this new, evidence driven design practice. Between the Uncanny Silicon Valley and the Black Rock Desert of the Real it digs through layers of branding and looks at a world in which data has made design obsolete. [https://vimeo.com/302874591]
Filter Bubble Online services like Google and Facebook use computer programming algorithms to determine what information to deliver to you. Your “filter bubble” (a term coined by internet activist Eli Pariser) refers to the idea that this automated personalization, though helpful in some ways, can isolate you from other information. Sometimes referred to as an "echo chamber," the filter bubble created by your online activity can limit your exposure to different points of view and weaken your ability to avoid fake news and bias.
In his TED Talk, Pariser discusses the effects of algorithms and warns us about the dangers of online filter bubbles. [TED: Eli Pariser—Beware Online Filter Bubbles]
[https://libraryguides.mdc.edu/FakeNews/FilterBubbles]
Privacy Policy Have you ever read one of the privacy policies you’ve accepted?
Recommendations A recommender system, or a recommendation system (sometimes replacing 'system' with a synonym such as platform or engine), is a subclass of information filtering system that provide suggestions for items that are most pertinent to a particular user. Typically, the suggestions refer to various decision-making processes, such as what product to purchase, what music to listen to, or what online news to read. Recommender systems are particularly useful when an individual needs to choose an item from a potentially overwhelming number of items that a service may offer.
[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recommender_system]
Availability As personalization determines what content is visible for you and what remains hidden, it limits the content’s effective availability. Some posts only get recommended for certain target groups or under certain circumstances. Personalized content can thus become location dependant, time-sensitive or gendered.
For example, ads approved by Google in 2015 targeted only men for truck driving job advertisement and only women for secretary jobs. [Amit Datta et al.: Discrimination in Online Personalization (2018)]
Tracking Nutzerverfolgung (von engl. User-Tracking) ist ein Instrument der Webanalytik, welches Daten über das Verhalten von Benutzern – meist ohne deren Wissen und Einwilligung – sammelt. Quellen für Informationen sind IP-Adressen, Metainformationen innerhalb der HTTP-Protokolle oder die Browserhistorie der Webbrowser. Die gesammelten Daten dienen meist zur Kundenprofilbildung. Unternehmen haben aufgrund der umfangreichen Verwendungsmöglichkeiten großes Interesse an diesen Daten, sammeln selbst Informationen mittels Webseiten-Plug-Ins oder kaufen Kundendaten bei spezialisierten Firmen ein.
[https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nutzerverfolgung]
Fingerprint Initially developed for security purposes, browser fingerprinting (also known as device fingerprinting) is a tracking technique capable of identifying individual users based on their browser and device settings. In order for websites to display correctly, your browser makes certain information available about your device, including your screen resolution, operating system, location, and language settings. These details essentially make up the ridges of your digital fingerprint. [https://thedisconnect.co/two/your-digital-fingerprint]
Showcases
Click click click
Your Digital Fingerprint – The Disconnect
The School for Temporary Liveness
Reading List
TED: Beware online “filter bubbles”—Eli Pariser
Web-Serie: Do Not Track
The Disconnect: Your Digital Fingerprint
EXERCISE
Privacy Settings
Private Search
DuckDuckGo

Anti-Tracking Add-On
EFF Privacy Badger
DuckDuckGo Extension & Mobile App

Firefox Browser
Download
Settings

More Tips
Privacy Guides: Tools
Digital Information World: Internet Tracking How & Why
NY Times: 10 Tips for Internet Privacy
Privacy International: Protect Yourself Online
ADVANCED JS [References: JS Guide]
[CodeAcademy: Learn intermediate javascript]
  • DISPLAY & UPDATE OUTPUTS
    display output
    • HTML:
      <div id="date">XX.XX.XXXX</div>
    • JS:
      function displayOutput(type, data) {
       const output = document.getElementById(type);
       output.innerHTML = data;
      }

      displayOutput('date', '02.12.2022');
    update outputs
    function updateOutput(type, dataFunction, rate) {
     displayOutput(type, dataFunction());

     setInterval(function () {
      displayOutput(type, dataFunction());
     }, rate);
    }

    updateOutput('time', getTime, 1000);
  • GET USER DATA FROM BROWSER
    date
    const timeOfPageLoad = new Date();

    const year = timeOfPageLoad.getFullYear();
    const month = timeOfPageLoad.getMonth() + 1;
    const day = timeOfPageLoad.getDate();

    const date = year + '/' + month + '/' + day;

    displayOutput('date', date);
    time
    function getTime() {
     const now = new Date();
     let seconds = now.getSeconds();
     let minutes = now.getMinutes();
     let hours = now.getHours();

     if (seconds < 10) {
      seconds = '0' + seconds;
     }
     if (minutes < 10) {
       minutes = '0' + minutes;
     }
     if (hours < 10) {
      hours = '0' + hours;
     }

     const time = hours + ':' + minutes + ':' + seconds;
     return time;
    }

    updateOutput('time', getTime, 1000);
    time-passed
    function getTimePassed() {
     const now = new Date();
     const elapsedTime = new Date(now - timeOfPageLoad);
     let seconds = elapsedTime.getSeconds();
     let minutes = elapsedTime.getMinutes();
     let hours = elapsedTime.getHours() - 1;

     if (seconds < 10) {
      seconds = '0' + seconds;
     }
     if (minutes < 10) {
      minutes = '0' + minutes;
     }
     if (hours < 10) {
      hours = '0' + hours;
     }

     const timePassed = hours + ':' + minutes + ':' + seconds;
     return timePassed;
    }

    updateOutput('time-passed', getTimePassed, 1000);
    clicks
    let clicks = 0;

    function displayClicks() {
     clicks += 1;
     displayOutput('clicks', clicks);
    }

    document.addEventListener('click', displayClicks);
    mouse
    let mouseX = 0;
    let mouseY = 0;

    function displayMousePosition(e) {
     mouseX = e.clientX;
     mouseY = e.clientY;

     displayOutput('mouse', mouseX + '|' + mouseY);
    }

    document.addEventListener('mousemove', displayMousePosition);
    touch
    let touchX = 0;
    let touchY = 0;

    function displayTouchPosition(e) {
     touchX = e.touches[0].clientX;
     touchY = e.touches[0].clientY;

     displayOutput('touch', touchX + '|' + touchY);
    }

    document.addEventListener('touchmove', displayTouchPosition);
    document.addEventListener('touchstart', displayTouchPosition);
    viewport
    function displayViewportSize() {
     const vw = Math.max(document.documentElement.clientWidth || 0, window.innerWidth || 0);
     const vh = Math.max(document.documentElement.clientHeight || 0, window.innerHeight || 0);

     displayOutput('viewport', vw + '|' + vh);
    }

    displayViewportSize();
    window.addEventListener('resize', displayViewportSize);
    user-agent
    const userAgent = window.navigator.userAgent;
    displayOutput('user-agent', userAgent);
    scroll-distance
    let scrollDistance = 0;

    function displayScrollDistance(e) {
     scrollDistance += e.deltaY;
     displayOutput('scroll-distance', scrollDistance);
    }

    document.addEventListener('wheel', displayScrollDistance);
  • FETCH USER DATA VIA API
    ip information (ip / country / provider)
    function fetchIpInformation() {
     let apiKey = 'XXXXXXXXXXXXXX';

     // make the request
     fetch('https://api.ipgeolocation.io/ipgeo?apiKey=' + apiKey)
      // extract JSON body content from HTTP response
      .then(function (response) {
       return response.json();
      })
      // output data
      .then(function (data) {
       const ipAddress = data.ip;
       const country = data.country_code2;
       const internetProvider = data.organization;

       displayOutput('ip-address', ipAddress);
       displayOutput('country', country);
       displayOutput('internet-provider', internetProvider);
      });
    }

    fetchIpInformation();
    [via https://ipgeolocation.io]
    location & weather
    • HTML:
      <button id="getLocation"> GET LOCATION </button>

      <div id="city"> XX </div>
      <div id="weather"> XX </div>
    • JS:
      function getLocation() {
       displayOutput('city', 'loading...');
       displayOutput('weather', 'loading...');

       if (navigator.geolocation) {
        window.navigator.geolocation.getCurrentPosition(getLocationAndFetchWeather);
       } else {
        x.innerHTML = 'Geolocation is not supported by this browser.';
       }
      }

      function getLocationAndFetchWeather(position) {
       // get location data
       const latitude = position.coords.latitude;
       const longitude = position.coords.longitude;

       // fetch weather and city with location data
       fetchWeatherAndCity(latitude, longitude);
      }

      // fetch weather
      const apiKey = 'XXXXXXXXXXXXX';
      function fetchWeatherAndCity(latitude, longitude) {
       fetch(
        `https://api.weatherapi.com/v1/current.json?key=${apiKey}&q=${latitude},${longitude}`,
        {
         headers: {
          'Content-Type': 'application/json',
         },
        }
       )
       .catch(function (error) {
        console.log(error);
       })
       .then(function (response) {
        return response.json();
       })
       .then(function (data) {
        const city = data.location.name;
        const weatherCondition = data.current.condition.text;
        const weatherTemperature = data.current.temp_c;
        const weatherPrecipitation = data.current.precip_mm;
        const weatherOutput = weatherTemperature + '°C' + '|' + weatherCondition;

         displayOutput('city', city);
         displayOutput('weather', weatherOutput);
        });
      }

      // add click listener to allow location button
      const getLocationButton = document.getElementById('getLocation');
      getLocationButton.addEventListener('click', getLocation);
      [via https://www.weatherapi.com]
TIPS
Debugging friends
  • Is your syntax correct? Check your browser’s console.
  • Error messages are your friends. Read them carefully, because usually they tell you where the problem is.
  • The console.log() is your friend. Log everything to make sure you have the right element / value / etc.
  • Try to run your code step by step (optimally logging all of them), to make sure things you think are working are actually working and to isolate the bug.
  • Did you save? Is your live-server working?
  • Try inspecting, googling or ask a friend.
Workflow What is your workflow? Do you work in a group or alone? Do you separate steps or do everything at once?
Here’s an example of my workflow:
  1. concept
  2. sketch / wireframe
  3. functional prototype
  4. design
  5. style
  6. test
→ iterations possible after each level
Collective Coding
EXERCISE
Testing Here are some ways to test the usability of your website:
  • Let your neighbour use your website and watch how they use it / how much they understand – without you explaining.
  • Test your website on different devices (Mac, Windows, Android, iPhone), different widths and browsers (Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Edge) and document the bugs.
  • Ask 5 people (with different digital literacy / abilites / devices / browsers) to test your website and write down the bug report in a GoogleDoc.
TIPP
How to document bugs If you ask someone to go bughunting, ask them to document bugs with – so you can recreate it on your own device or on Browserstack.
  • description
  • screenshot
  • name / contact
  • browser / device

8. Accessibility

Input: Web Accessibility
TOPIC INTRO
Words
Accessibility Accessibility tries to eliminate barriers in information technology, to make available new opportunities for people with disabilities. [https://www.usability.gov/what-and-why/glossary] The attributes and characteristics of a system that allow people with limited vision, hearing, dexterity, cognition or physical mobility to interact effectively with the system. Standards and guidelines are available, and standards may be legally enforced in some markets. Accessibility aids, such as screen readers, may be added to a system to allow people with disabilities to use those systems. [https://www.usabilitybok.org/glossary]
Assistant / Wizard A special type of dialog box that takes a user through a step-by-step procedure. Intended to simplify what might otherwise be a more complex procedure if performed, for instance, through direct manipulation.
“Assistant” is the term used in the Mac OS. “Wizard” is the term used in Windows. Assistants were also used in software interfaces, such as Microsoft Office’s “Clippy”. [https://www.usabilityfirst.com/glossary/assistant-wizard/]
Internationalization A system whose primary design has been developed to work in multiple languages and in the cultural contexts of different locales. [https://www.usability.gov/what-and-why/glossary/i]
Seizure Disorder In some types of epilepsy, a seizure can result from the presentation of a rapidly-varying stimulus, such as flashing lights and repetitive sounds. Thus, interfaces should avoid strobe effects, blinking effects, and repetitive noises.
In most interfaces, these are likely to annoy almost any user, but in the instances when such effects may be appropriate or useful to the target users, a warning should be provided, along with a way to disable the feature. The exact conditions that trigger seizure may vary, so it’s even better to provide ways to disable all repeating audio or animation or to control the speed of the animations. [https://www.usabilityfirst.com/glossary/seizure-disorder]
Usability Evaluation Assessing the usability of a product with the purpose of identifying usability problems and/or obtaining usability measures. The purpose of evaluation can be to improve the usability of the product as part of design/development (formative evaluation), or to assess the extent to which usability objectives have been achieved (summative evaluation). [https://www.usabilitybok.org/usability-evaluation-methods]
Showcases
Kunsthalle Osnabrück: Barrierefreiheit
Handsfree.js
DriftDraw
Kolumne: Leichte Sprache
Resource List
Readings
Exclusive Design – Vasilis van Gemert
All Technology is Assistive Wired
Online Courses on Web Accesibility
Introduction to Web Accessibility
what is web accesibility and why is it important
Web Accessibility
how to code accessible sites
Browser Tools to Analyse Accesibility
Accessibility Inspector – Firefox
Lighthouse – Chrome
Guidelines
A First Review of Web Accessibility – W3C / WAI
WCAG Guidelines
BITV-Test
EXERCISE
Make your website more accessible, one step at a time
  1. Anaylse your website for accessibility (e.g. with Firefox’s Accessibility Inspector or Chrome’s Lighthouse.
  2. Read through the accessibility analysis.
  3. Make one aspect more accessible.
Collective Coding

9. A Glossary

Collective Coding
TIPP
Relative / Absolute Paths If you upload your website to a subfolder, make sure you use relative file paths in your HTML.
<link rel="stylesheet" href="css/style.css" </>
<link rel="stylesheet" href="./css/style.css" </>
from where the document is, go into the css folder
<link rel="stylesheet" href="../css/style.css" </>
from where the document is, go one folder back and go into the css folder
<link rel="stylesheet" href="/css/style.css" </>
from the root folder, go into the css folder
[https://www.w3schools.com/html/html_filepaths.asp]
[Absolute / Relative Paths]
EXERCISE
Uploading Let’s upload our glossary entries!
  1. Upload.
  2. Test.
  3. Fix bugs.
  4. Reupload.
Presentations / Conclusion The plan for this session:
  1. Uploading
  2. Presenting the entries
  3. Usability Conclusions
  4. Course Feedback
  5. (Präsentation der Wahlpflichtkurse)

Chat