nl en

The Psychology of Digital Design (PDD)


Entry requirements

Only open to Master students specialisation Applied Cognitive Psychology.


The course on Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) from a Psychological perspective delves into the intricate relationship between humans and technology, emphasising the understanding of human cognition, behavior, and emotions in the design and development of interactive systems. By exploring the intersection of psychology and technology, this course equips students with the essential knowledge and skills to create intuitive, engaging, and user-centered digital experiences.

In addition, students are familiarised with the role of (cognitive) psychologists in the user centered design process and the practical field of user experience (UX) consultancy. The course features guest speakers sharing their expertise, and field trips to state of the art usability labs. In practical assignments students act as user experience consultants and evaluate the usability of commercial and nonprofit websites and apps, in collaboration with major ICT companies.

Course objectives

At the end of the course, the student can:

  • describe core psychological concepts, principles, and theories that underpin human-computer interaction and their importance in modern technology design.

  • analyse and conceptualise problems in usability and/or UX using theories and existing research on cognitive processes involved in human computer interaction

  • apply UX research methods in order to identify user behaviour patterns, motivations, and expectations in human computer interaction

  • evaluate and report on the effectiveness, efficiency and subjective qualities of existing interactive systems in light of the needs of users with diverse abilities and needs

  • communicate results of UX evaluations, and suggestions for improvement of existing interactive systems to a wider audience

  • create a UX innovation substantiated by recent academic research in the field of HCI

  • demonstrate the value of this innovation for stakeholders, in an engaging, creative and convincing way


For the timetable of this course please refer to MyTimetable



Students must register themselves for all course components (lectures, tutorials and practicals) they wish to follow. You can register up to 5 days prior to the start of the course.


You must register for each exam in My Studymap at least 10 days before the exam date. You cannot take an exam without a valid registration in My Studymap. Carefully read all information about the procedures and deadlines for registering for courses and exams.

Exchange students and external guest students will be informed by the education administration about the current registration procedure.

Mode of instruction

  • 8 seminars (mandatory)

  • Lab sessions

  • Fieldtrips

  • Knowledge clips

  • Practical exercises

  • Individual assignments, team assignments

Assessment method

Active participation, assignments, project reports and products, presentations.

The Institute of Psychology follows the policy of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences to systematically check student papers for plagiarism with the help of software. All students are required to take and pass the Scientific Integrity Test with a score of 100% in order to learn about the practice of integrity in scientific writing. Students are given access to the quiz via a module on Brightspace. Disciplinary measures will be taken when fraud is detected. Students are expected to be familiar with and understand the implications of this fraud policy.

Reading list

Course lecture sheets, papers

Contact information

Dr. Pascal Haazebroek