Interaction Design Studio

Rob Comber
PhD, ERCIM Research Fellow
+46 72 453 25 71
rob.comber [at]

Mattias Jacobsson
PhD, Senior Researcher

mattias.jacobsson [at]

Elsa Kosmack Vaara
Interaction/UX Designer
+46 73 657 66 40
elsa.vaara [at]

Anna Ståhl
PhD, Senior Researcher
+46 70 653 07 20
anna.stahl [at]


Completed projects

Studio Strategy

The digitalization of society and the internet of things make our everyday lives more and more connected. Mobile phones, thermostats, kitchen utensils, exercise tools and just about every other other thing generate a steady stream of data, which becomes available wherever people are. This development permeates our way of learning, working, being, knowing and consuming media, in short, our entire existence.

This development offers design opportunities that are both exciting and provocative. By exploring these, we can actively participate in and shape society's view of digitalization and human existence in a connected world.

By taking a holistic approach, we explore the role of technology in creating new values, behaviors and experiences.

At the moment, much effort is being made to connect products and provide them with sensors that generate data. A common example is connected refrigerators that keep track of their content and warn when products are out. In order for data to create added value and meaningful experiences, beyond trivial examples, we need to see it all in a broader perspective. For example, how connected things can contribute to changing working methods in control rooms, new insights about people's own bodies, or ways to express oneself that contributes to a richer human communication and living.

In addition to creating an overview, it is essential to look into the details of everyday interactions where people use different, more or less automated things. It is only in the very details of everyday use that the real value is manifested. With such a focus on interactional detail, the development of connected things benefits from having a meaningful function in people's lives.

Research Offer

Design, Experience Design

We base our work on design research and design thinking and have many years of experience designing interactive systems. In recent years our focus has shifted towards more experience-centered design principles.

Prototyping and Demonstrators

We realize many of the designs through tinkering, building and making systems that people can experience first hand. In our studio we have all the tools, knowledge and skills necessary to craft unique experiences and novel interactions.

User Evaluations

Designs and prototypes are frequently tested in real situations and contexts with actual end-users. Aften each evaluation the designs are revised until the interactional sweet-spot is reached.

Method Development

In many cases the unique take and framing of a project requires methods that are tailored specifically for that project. Based on our broad expertice and long experience we then look at developing entierly new methods for approaching a complex design problem.

Ethnographic studies

An essential activity to understand an area or design context is to study what people actually do. This is often about finding out the actual issues or problems, but also to understand the finer details that can guide the design process or reveal cultural aspects that are obscured bu societal norms to name a few.


Last but not least we frequently hold courses for academia and industry. Examples are interaction design, physical interaction design, creative programming, research training, etc.

Perspective on Innovation

The IxD Group explores possible future visions based on a user and design perspective. Looking from the current perspective, development of such novel concepts can be in stark contrast to what tomorrow may look like. Therefore, it is important to at the same time develop examples and suggestions that can illustrate the future. As a concrete example, digital integrity from one perspective can represent something negative and threatening, while another version of the vision can show how data and usage interact and instead become a significant resource.

This is exemplified through creating research prototypes and user scenarios. The repertoire includes studying users, creating and building representations, developing prototypes and alternative scenarios, methods and concepts, as well as articulation of questions and knowledge.

This way of working can aid in highlighting changing values, problems, opportunities and experiences that can be created in conjunction with emerging technology. This leads to an experience-centered design research that is firmly grounded about products and services.

Design Thinking

The IxD Group is working on a qualitative approach where they use a wide repertoire of methods. It enables working in a rigorous way while maintaining flexibility. The specific combination of methods used is determined by the situation. Users are included as a central part of the work where issues are deepened and a mix of methods is used to deliver results.

While users and their needs often form a natural base, there are alternatives. In some cases, the starting point is an existing technology to explore its possibilities, and in other cases, it may be an idea or an ideal related to a usage situation or a particular desired user experience that we start from. The figure below illustrates the relationship between these factors. All design processes move within this triangle but may have a focus on any of the corners.

The design process in itself is a reflective conversation where the properties and aesthetic values ​​of the materials guide the work. In a step-by-step process where combinations of materials are explored, their in-depth qualities can be summed up and combined into a functional and aesthetic whole. In this regard, all materials are equally worthwhile. Design of aesthetic experiences of heat, light, vibrations, etc., is given the same space as technological materials such as programming codes, electronics, sensors, actuators and circuit boards, as well as traditional materials such as plastic, wood, steel and fabric. This approach harmonizes well with agile development, aesthetics and user experiences.