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Profile: Digital Transformation – Urban Futures

Interface Design (BA)

Interaktiver Tisch (blau beleuchtet) aus dem Studiengang Interfacedesign

This innovative degree combines User Experience (UX) with User Interface Design (UI) and a lot of creativity! Digital devices and systems are only accessible to us through the interface. In the interface, abstract processes become tangible. Interfaces provide us with information and enable us to control processes. What interfaces look like, how they are organised, how they are operated, what information is displayed, what scope for action is offered to the user – all this is decided by interface designers.

Bachelor of Arts
Full time
Course language:
Standard study period:
8 semesters, incl. one practical semester
Start of study:
Winter semester
Application deadline:
15/06 – 15/07 (free of admission)
Admission requirements:
General university entrance qualification/ entrance qualification for studies at universities of applied sciences/ equivalently recognised prior vocational training, passed aptitude test
240 ECTS credits
Module Manuals & Regulations

Interface design in 200 seconds

What is interface design? And what does an interface designer do? These questions are answered briefly and clearly in the following video. In just 200 seconds, we go from simple interface elements to complex global challenges!


The Interface Design programme offers a multifaceted education that is dedicated to current and relevant issues of digital transformation in close cooperation with research and practice. The degree programme focuses on subjects that cover both theoretical understanding and practical skills. The following topics are examples of the creative and critical engagement with the challenges and opportunities of digitization as part of the programme at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam.

Postkarten mit Visualisierungen zu lokalen Klimwandelthemen des Urban Complixity Labs der Fachhochschule Potsdam

Data visualization

When working with large volumes of data, visualization can help us understand these complex issues and make informed decisions. We find data visualizations in more and more areas of life, from data journalism, where interactive storytelling formats explain current developments, to smartwatches that give us insights into our health data through visualizations.

Screenshot einer VR-Anwendungen mit einem von Bäumen gesäumt Pfad und einem Lautsprechersymbol

Immersive environments

Augmented, virtual and mixed reality technologies open up an exciting spectrum of new types of experiences-from innovative gaming applications to the augmentation of the physical environment (AR) and complete immersion in digital worlds (VR). For example, immersive applications in the cultural and educational sector can provide playful access to historical, cultural or scientific topics, whether at school or in a museum.

Screenshot der KI-Anwendung "One Thing and another"

Artificial intelligence

The latest developments in machine learning enable new forms of interaction with computers. Algorithmic processes are increasingly influencing our behavior - such as in recommendation services - or in some cases even making decisions for us. These processes raise complex ethical questions regarding authenticity, discrimination, creativity and copyright. In interface design, artificial intelligence is both a tool and an object of design.

Foto von Personen, die am Climate Community Streetplay teilnehmen.

Change of perspective

Major social challenges such as global warming, biodiversity loss and pandemics also affect the actions and impact of designers. New approaches such as eco-social design address these challenges in order to identify possible paths to a collaborative and socio-ecological transformation. Designers are trying to open up new perspectives that also include other living beings and involve more people through participatory methods.

Studentin arbeitet an einem Physicial Computing Prototypen.

Bridging digital & analog

At the interface between analog and digital media, physical objects and environments can be enhanced by digital technologies. Interactive installations in museums, public places and educational institutions offer hybrid experiences that combine the materiality of the physical world with the flexibility of the digital world.

Zwei Personen arbeiten an einem dreidimensionalen Papierprototypen

User experience

When designing new applications and products, we as interface designers consider the entire system as holistically as possible. We involve various stakeholders in the design process in order to achieve results that are not only highly aesthetic, but also user-friendly and barrier-free. This integrated and inclusive approach results in innovative systems that also take fun and enjoyment into account.


Interface design is one of the most important design disciplines of our time. Digital technologies are present in all areas of our lives. This ubiquity makes it clear that good design is essential for a meaningful, positive and responsible use of digital technology.

When we listen to music or send messages on a smartphone, write texts or play games on a PC, book tickets on the web or view virtual exhibitions: digital technology can only be experienced concretely through the interface. Interfaces provide us with information and enable us to control processes. How interfaces look, how they are organised, how they are operated, what information is displayed, what scope for action is offered to the user – all this is decided by interface designers.

Within the framework of the creative, independent study programme, interface design teaches both design and methodological skills. The degree programme is highly qualifying for a profession, but also provides a lot of room for experiments and research approaches. Current technological developments such as AI (artificial intelligence) and machine learning, robotics as well as virtual and augmented reality are taught both pragmatically and experimentally. The lecturers of the degree programme support you in developing a curious, creative and critical approach to digital technologies.

Our study concept is based on the following overarching principles:

Infografik-Workshop im Studiengang Interfacdesign


At the centre of every design degree is the training and development of one's own creativity. Creativity here means both finding one's own language of form and developing problem-solving skills. In almost all design projects, both aspects must be considered equally. A beautiful interface does not solve a problem – a good structure that is poorly presented is incomprehensible. In studies and in the profession, creativity means finding innovative and sustainable solutions to problems and designing elegant interfaces.

Accordingly, creativity is also taught, trained and practised in the interface studies at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam. Even in the basic studies, creativity techniques are taught, aesthetic experiments are carried out and work is done on complex problems. In creative processes, there is no one right way. Rather, our goal is to teach you strategies with which you can independently work on complex problems both aesthetically and conceptually.


Design and methodological competence

By teaching design and methodological skills, you will be able to work through two seemingly simple questions: How do I design? And what do I design?

For the development of design skills, we offer courses in which topics such as screen design, typography, generative design, web design and data visualisation are taught in practical exercises. Here students learn how to design and how to justify their design decisions.

But interface design goes far beyond interfaces. In order to design elegant and comprehensible digital systems, one must also ask what is actually to be designed. As designers, we don't have to take structures and systems for granted – we can question all processes and contexts. To this end, we teach topics such as information architecture, user experience design (UX), usability, service design, digital business models and evaluation techniques.

Pinnwand aus dem Design-Studio

Personal responsibility

The design degree programme in Potsdam is characterised by a high degree of personal responsibility. We want to enable our students to set their own focal points and to deepen their knowledge in topics and specialist areas. It is not without reason that we encourage students to set their own focal points outside of interface design through our study regulations. However, personal responsibility also means taking responsibility in design processes, developing one's own power of judgement and taking up positions.

Selected theses

Frequently asked questions about the interface design degree programme

Do you have to know how to programme to study interface design?

Do you have to learn programming on the interface course?
No - but we offer a range of courses that give a design and creative approach to programming techniques.

Is interface design comparable to computer science?
Both computer science and interface design deal with digital technology – but from very different perspectives. Put simply, computer scientists are interested in how digital technology works. Interface designers are interested in what can be done, designed and achieved with it. Interface design is not about technology per se, but about the relationship between people and digital technology.

Is UX the same as interface design?
UX ("User Experience Design") is a term that is now often used when talking about the development and design of digital products and services. From our point of view, UX emphasises methodical aspects of interface design. UX is therefore about a structured and user-centred approach to the development and evaluation of interfaces. In UX, the needs of users are carefully ascertained, prototypes or products are tested, usage is analysed and conclusions are drawn for improvements. UX is an important design strategy that is taught in the interface design course. But it is not the only one. Research, creative approaches, experimental work and free speculation about interfaces are just as much a part of the training and professional practice as methodical analyses.

Do you design more than just apps in interface design?
Yes! Interface design is very versatile. From very methodical user experience design, which examines very precisely how technology is used, to the very artistic design of interactive exhibition formats, a lot is possible and is also offered in teaching. It's worth taking a look at the course catalogue, Incom and our showcase page.

If I get a place to study interface design, can I only take interface courses?
No. In the first semesters of the bachelor's programme, we offer a comprehensive and cross-curricular programme in elementary design – in other words, in the basic courses for design students. But in the further course of studies you can – and should – also take courses from communication design, product design and european media studies. In the design modules, you can take up to 50 % of the achievements in the other two design courses!

Is interface design an artistic degree?
Good question. Artistic study: yes. Art studies: no. One of the special features of the design programme in Potsdam is that students can choose their own focus. You can study very applied - but also very free and very artistic.

I can't draw or paint at all – but I'm very interested in interface design! Is that possible at all? If so – how do I get a portfolio?
Drawing is a good way to put ideas on paper – but not the only way. You don't have to be able to draw perfectly to study interface design. If you don't have a portfolio, take some time and set yourself creative tasks: Think of an app you would like yourself and sketch it. Use photography to document people, things and interactions. Experiment with graphics software. Play with computer code. Create personal maps. Discover programme sequences in everyday life and describe them. Create a cookbook without words. Translate a piece of music into a picture. Shoot a video.

I draw and paint a lot. But what should I put in my portfolio when I apply for the interface design course?
We are interested in the creative side of your personality. The portfolio is a way of presenting this side to us. In this respect, the portfolio can include drawings, sketches, photographs, paintings, renderings, models, web designs, but also films, animations, music pieces, sculptures, installations or other creative formats such as computer code, stories, websites, games, videos and music. Just show who you are, what interests them and how they communicate their ideas.

How should I work on the task for the entrance exam?
As creatively as possible. Avoid clichés, convince us of your concept! The formal elaboration is not unimportant – but we are mainly interested in your ideas.

What skills should you bring with you when applying for interface design?
Curiosity, solution-oriented thinking, a good general education, a desire to design, enjoyment of complex problems, interest in digital technology.

Can you earn any money at all with interface design?
Yes – and possibly quite a lot. The degree programme has very good industry contacts. Our graduates work in large companies, have founded very successful start-ups or work as independent experts.

Can you also work in research in the future?
Yes, the Interfacedesign programme is very involved in research. With the Interaction Design Lab and the Urban Complexity Lab, we have two outstanding research units with an international reputation. Furthermore, through a cooperation with the University of Potsdam, it is possible to do a doctorate with us on topics related to interface design.


More projects
Bildauswahl aus dem Archiv des Fotografen Frédéric Brenner

GraDiM: Granularities of Dispersion and Materiality – Visualising a Photo Archive on Diaspora

In collaboration with photographer Frédéric Brenner and his international project team, the GraDiM research project is developing theoretical and technical concepts for the visualisation of a photo archive with particular sensitivity for a collection documenting the Jewish diaspora.

Fünf Karten mit Visualisierungen zu Energie, Mobilität, Abfall, Landwirtschaft und Gebäude

CLIMATE MAPS: Visualising Local Climate Futures

Cooperation with the daily newspapers taz and UCLAB with the aim of conveying climate information via various channels using data visualisations. For this purpose, both physical and digital postcards with visualisations on different aspects of climate protection in Germany were designed and produced.

ein aufgeschlagener Laptop, auf dem Display eine Deutschlandkarte mit schwarzen Flecken

Vanished Villages

A story about open-cast mining in Germany and its victims

Keyvisual des Forschungsprojekts "Unfolding Spaces"

Unfolding Spaces

Development of an English-language online course between the Design Department and the College of Design at the partner university NTUT in Taiwan

Taiwan – DAAD ISAP-Programms

Partner universities

The Interfacedesign programme has particularly good relations with the University of Malmö (Sweden), the University of Edinburgh (UK), the Accademia di Belle Arti di Frosinone (Italy), the Shenkar College of Engineering and Design (Israel). Outside Europe, we maintain a very close exchange with the National Taipei University of Technology (Taiwan). Through a funding programme of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), up to three full scholarships are available per semester for a five-month stay abroad at the partner university in Taiwan.

International Office

Das Website-Schaufenster des Fachbereich Designs


Let yourself be inspired! The showcase of the design department offers a visual, interactive and playful insight into study programmes, workshops, people and projects! A fluid and dynamic interface gives you a quick and entertaining impression of the activities in the department.

The Showcase of the Design Department


The colleagues at the student counselling service provide information to prospective students, first-year students, parents, teachers and students on all general questions about studying. If you have specific questions or concerns about the bachelor's degree programme in interface design, please contact the subject counselling service.

Subject Counselling Service

Boris Müller

Prof. Boris Müller

Professor für Interaction Design

Other degree programmes in the design department

More courses
Degree programme Teaching language Start of study Application deadline
Communication Design (BA) German Winter semester
15/05 – 15/07 (restricted admission)
Design (MA) German Summer semester, Winter semester
15/06 – 15/08 and 15/01 – 15/02 (restricted admission)
Registration for the qualifying examination: by 15/06 for the winter semester / by 15/12 for the summer semester
European Media Studies (BA) German Winter semester
until 15/07 at the University of Potsdam (admission restricted)
European Media Studies (MA) German Winter semester
until 01/06 at the University of Potsdam
Interface Design (BA) German Winter semester
15/06 – 15/07 (free of admission)
Product Design (BA) German Winter semester
15/06 - 15/07 (free of admission)
Study Structure
Interviews mit den Professor*innen des Studiengangs Interfacedesign

Course of studies

The bachelor of arts degree programme in interface design is a full-time programme lasting eight semesters. At the centre of the study programme are:

  • Common, generalist basic training
  • Individual, interdisciplinary course selection
  • Integrated lectures and exercises
  • Technical and craft practice in the workshops and laboratories
  • Interdisciplinary project work and with practical partners
  • Supervised student projects and exercises

Find out more about the concept, design principles & theory of our design degree programmes here.

In the currently valid module handbooks, study and examination regulations and statutes of the design department, you will find the module overview, a detailed description of the modules and study contents, the study plan and the statutes for determining the course-related aptitude for the study course in interface design.

First stage of studies – basics and orientation

In the first stage of the degree programme, students learn the basics of design, sound craftsmanship and theoretical principles, gain initial project experience and receive a first professional orientation. The courses of all three degree programmes interface, communication and product design during the 1st study stage are generally taught across all study programmes, although the subject orientation and the workshop courses may be concentrated on specific degree programmes. The degree programme demands and promotes individual tailoring through a distinctive system of compulsory electives.

The first three semesters of the degree programme in interface design can therefore – depending on the subject focus – be structured either in the sense of a generalisation or a focus.

The module groups in the first study section:

All seminars in the area of design basics take place across degree programmes and semesters, i.e. together with students from Interface and product design who are in the first three semesters. We recommend that you complete the seminars in this module group at the beginning of your studies.

Modulgruppe I/1 Gestaltungsgrundlagen

The seminars in the area of »Elementary Design« are about teaching elementary, i.e. decidedly not (yet) applied, design fundamentals through the development of representational and craft skills (11EG-B, Basics = Basic Representational Techniques), through the development of an understanding of formal-aesthetic-content interactions (11EG-K, Context = Perception and Differentiation) as well as the creative and methodical ability to act for designing (11EG-P, Process = Design Processes and Methods).

Our professors for elementary design Prof. Klaus Keller, Prof. Alexandra Martini (focus on »3D«) and Prof. Myriel Milicevic (focus on »Form and Process«) teach here. In the elementary design modules, three certificates of achievement must be completed in the first part of the programme.

In the »atelier« area of the design basics, artistic representation techniques are trained and design explorations are undertaken. In the studio area, we draw, paint, collage on site - it's all about experiencing composition, proportion, situation, body, space, body, light, colour....

Our academic staff members Maria Kleinschmidt (drawing and colour) and N. N. teach here. In the studio area, two certificates of achievement must be completed in the first part of the course.

In the design basics, job-related knowledge and qualifications are thematised and the most important tools, processes and methods of interface design are taught.

Due to the open study structure, you already have the opportunity to follow your own interests here. You can already set content-related focal points or study in different subject areas.  

In this module group, you must complete 5 credits in the first part of the programme, at least 3 of which must be from the interface design programme. The other credits can then be completed in communication and product design. Not all interface modules necessarily have to be taken in the design fundamentals.

Modulplan Interface Entwurfsgrundlagen

For orientation purposes, the course offerings are briefly structured and described here: 

Entry (recommendation for the 1st and 2nd semesters):

Prof. Reto Wettach, "Service Design Basics" in module 12EId-MP Methods + Processes: Interface design is not "just" designing screens, but understanding user needs and cultural contexts and translating them into applications and processes. Fundamental methods for a holistic design process are therefore the focus of this course. 

Prof. Boris Müller, "Basics Interface Design" in Module 12EId-FI Form + Interaction: A central competence of designers is to design at the highest aesthetic level. This course therefore teaches the design of screen typography, graphic user interfaces and information graphics. 

Prof. Dr. Sebastian Meier, "Parametric Design" in the module 12EId-AD Algorithms + Data: We do not only design for the computer, but of course also with the computer. Therefore, the basics of designing with computer code are taught in this course. Based on JavaScript, digital designs are realised in 2D and 3D. 

Extension (recommended for the 2nd and 3rd semesters): 

Prof. Constanze Langer, "Visual Interface Design" in module 12EId-MK Human + Context: In this course, user interfaces are methodically analysed and deconstructed. Within the framework of this approach, topics such as visual systems, information architecture and interaction processes are dealt with in particular. 

Prof. Dr. Frank Heidmann, "Human-Computer Interaction Design" in module 12EId-MP Methods + Processes: The theoretical, methodological and design basics of human-computer interaction (HCI - Human-Computer Interaction) and the related topics "Human-Centered Design" and "UX Design" are the subject of this course. 

Prof. Dr. Marian Dörk, "Data Visualization" in Module 12EId-AD Algorithms + Data: The design of complex data structures has become an essential part of our discipline. This course offers a technical and design introduction to the field of data visualisation - i.e. the visual and interactive representation of abstract data.

In the module group »Theory«, the basic professional-scientific knowledge is taught and tested. The goal is a basic knowledge of analytical, historical, contextual as well as opelrational (strategic, economic, procedural, legal) methods, practices, facts and theories. The seminars are offered across all degree programmes.

Modulgruppe I/3 Theorie

The subject canon of the theory module group offers an analytical approach with the modules design media theory (13Th-DMT), a historical-sociopolitical approach with design/cultural history (13Th-DKG) and an operational approach with design management and design law (13Th-DMR).

In this module group, our colleagues Prof. Dr. Marion Godau (design, art and cultural history), Prof. Dr. Rainer Funke (design theory), Prof. Dr. Nico Heise (design law) and Prof. Dr. Enrico Sass (business start-up and management techniques) teach full-time.

In this module group, 2 certificates of achievement must be provided.

Our workshops – like the entire degree programme – are interdisciplinary per se, but there are, of course, workshops that are strongly associated with the respective degree programmes and teaching areas. Here, the technical and craft basics of the respective trades are taught. Each student can take an individual workshop portfolio that also extends beyond the boundaries of their own subject area.

Ausschnitt aus der Studien- und Prüfungsordnung: Modulgruppe „Werkstattpraxis“ im ersten Studienabschnitt Interfacedesign

From this module group, 12 ECTS credits are required in the first part of the study programme, which means the equivalent of 3 to 6 credits, depending on the course intensity. Some workshop courses are offered in combination with design subjects and are additionally credited.

Modulgruppe I/5 Social Skills

The module group »Perspectives and Social Skills« includes the module Project Weeks (15PSs-PW), which is the first course for students in the first semester as one of the few compulsory courses at the beginning of the winter semester. In addition, events are developed and carried out in interdisciplinary teams in the module project organisation (15PSs-PO). The flex module (15PSs-FM) enables students to participate in university-wide, interdisciplinary courses – i.e. also from other departments of the university of applied sciences.

The »Colloquium« is a cross-module examination in which the students critically reflect on the subjectively central results of the 1st study section, document them and present them to a commission. The subject of the assessment is not the quality of the work shown, but the quality of the presentation, reflection and documentation. The presentation leads to a personal discussion between the candidate and the commission with critical feedback as well as recommendations for the further course of studies.

Modulgruppe I/6 Kolloquium

The colloquium is developed independently – the department organises an information event in preparation. The examination is taken in front of a commission of three lecturers from the Department of Design and lasts about one hour.

Second stage of studies – focusing and deepening

The second study section is strongly characterised by design work in predominantly project-oriented assignments. Here you can set the focus yourself – you have the opportunity to specialise and intensively deepen certain topics or competences. Or you can opt for a broad-based course of study and take part in many different courses in different areas or other design courses. Our elective principle makes both paths possible for you.

An entire semester is reserved for the specialised internship. Here you will gain practical experience in agencies, moulds, companies or even in research.

The bachelor's thesis, which is written during the eighth semester, completes the second part of the programme.

The module groups in the second study section:

We understand »designing« as a cultural practice that allows different approaches through design: communication design as problem solving, as speculation, as design research and as artistic practice. All four design approaches move thematically in the domains of »Society and Public Sector«, »Mobility and Urbanism«, »Culture and Transformation«, »Consumption and Production«, »Science and Technology« or »Economy and Commerce«. This allows for additional alignment of one's own course portfolio with specific knowledge areas.

Ausschnitt aus der Studien- und Prüfungsordnung: Modulgruppe „Entwurf“ im zweiten Studienabschnitt Interfacedesign

The subject canon of the module group »Theory« offers an analytical approach with the modules design and media Theory (13Th-DMT), a historical-sociopolitical approach with design/cultural history (13Th-DKG) and an operational approach with design management and design law (13Th-DMR). The seminars are offered across all degree programmes.

Modulgruppe II/2 Theorie
Modulgruppe II/2 Theorie, Studien- und Prüfungsordnung 2019

In this module group, our colleagues Prof. Dr. Marion Godau (Design, Art and Cultural History), Prof. Dr. Rainer Funke (Design Theory), Prof. Dr. Nico Heise (Design Law) and Prof. Dr. Enrico Sass (Business Start-up and Management Techniques) teach full-time.

In this module group, 3 certificates of achievement must be provided.

A 6-month internship is integrated into our curriculum; however, the timing within the second degree programme as well as the internship location can be freely chosen. For quality assurance, the internships are supervised by the respective internship supervisors.

Modulgruppe II/3 Praxissemester
Modulgruppe II/3 Praxissemester, Studien- und Prüfungsordnung 2019

In this module group, 2 credits must be achieved; one for the internship itself (28 ECTS credits) and another for the internship report (2 ECTS credits). Both certificates are ungraded.

There are a variety of offers in this module group: Project weeks (24PSs-PW - one is even compulsory!), interdisciplinary and cross-departmental offers from the flex programme of the FHP (24PSs-FL), organisation of own (design) projects (24PSs-PO) as well as in-depth offers from the area of workshops (24PSs-HT) or in the studio formats (24PSs-AT). In addition, there is the possibility of offering initial small teaching formats (accompanied by a professor) with tutoring and having them credited (24PSs-T).

Modulgruppe II/4 Perspektiven & Social Skills
Modulgruppe II/4 Perspektiven & Social Skills, Studien- und Prüfungsordnung 2019

A total of 8 ECTS credits must be earned in this module group; three to four credits are necessary for this, because the credits can be measured differently depending on the short-individual scope of work.

The bachelor' s thesis, the individual final paper, is represented by a cluster of three modules: the conception and draft within the framework of the bachelor's thesis itself (25BA), the personal work overview within the framework of the bachelor's portfolio (25BP) and the presentation and argumentation within the framework of the Bachelor's oral defense (25BD).

Modulgruppe II/5 Bachelorthesis
Modulgruppe II/5 Bachelorthesis, Studien- und Prüfungsordnung 2019

The processing time is 3 months; the topics for the bachelor's thesis are chosen by the student and coordinated with the supervisors, who are also chosen by the student, in advance of the registration deadline.

Impressions from the study

Teachers in the course of study interface design

Prof. Dr. Marian Dörk
Research professor for Information Visualization & Management
Co-director of Urban Complexity Lab (UCLAB)
Prof. Dr. Frank Heidmann
Research Professor for Design of Software Interfaces
Programme Director for Design (M. A.)
Prof. Constanze Langer
Professor for Visual Interface Design
Prof. Dr. Sebastian Meier
Professor for Design of Knowledge Transfer
Boris Müller
Professor für Interaction Design
Prof. Reto Wettach
Professor for Design of Physical and Virtual Interfaces
Honorary Professor in the Interface Design Degree Programme
Professor of Elementary Design – Form and Process

Workshops & Laboratories

Interaktion mit einem Augmented-Reality-Headset

Interface Workshop

The interface workshop bundles different prototyping technologies. A current focus is on virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). Furthermore, spatial interaction concepts can be developed in the workshop and implemented with the help of current physical computing technologies such as Arduino, Fritzing or Raspberry Pi. Furthermore, interested parties can use various stationary and mobile multi-touch systems for their projects.

Interface Workshop

Ein Eye-Tracking-System zeichnet die Blickbewegungen eines Users auf
Labor „User Experience Lab“ im Werkstattgebäude des Fachbereich Design

UX – User Experience Lab

The UX – User Experience Lab of the design department provides students, staff and external companies and institutions with a wide range of technical options for the use of all common usability testing methods. Extensive user studies in the form of usability tests as well as acceptance and impact studies can be carried out with and without eye tracking. The modern equipment allows the testing of interactive products and services in all phases of the research and development process.

UX – User Experience Lab

Career Prospects

Career prospects

Interface designers have a clear job description: they are experts in the design of digital products. Topics such as user-friendliness play just as important a role as aesthetics and social and ecological responsibility. Interface designers work in a wide variety of industries. Even during their studies, students can benefit from the large network at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam and realise their first projects in cooperation with companies, institutions and partner universities.

Teilnehmende eines Workshops sitzen mit Laptops gemeinsam am Tisch.

Prospects in business and industry

Interface designers can fulfil various tasks and work in development processes as planners, developers or strategists - whether in permanent employment or on a self-employed basis. Experienced interface designers usually act in management positions and take on project planning and supervision as well as consulting. Typical employers in the field of interface design are:

  • Design agencies
  • Communication agencies
  • IT companies
  • Industry, e.g. games industry
Software für einen 3D-Bioprinter der Firma Cellbricks

Perspectives in science and research

In the field of research, the demand for interface designers is constantly increasing. The range of tasks includes the development of interfaces for new applications as well as actual research, such as brain-computing interfaces, where interfaces are controlled with thoughts. Graduates find jobs in, among others:

  • Institutes
  • Research laboratories
  • Universities
Box mit Stiften für einen Design-Workshop

Master's programme

Graduates of the bachelor's degree programme in Interface Design can expand their knowledge and acquire specialist skills in a further degree programme. The focus of the master's degree programme in design is on science and research. In this degree programme, you will deal in detail with specific research questions and work on research projects. You can then pursue the path to a doctorate.

Design (M. A.)

Voices of our graduates

Schaubild von der Sensorik eines Autos

Elisabeth Eichhorn – UX Architect at CARIAD SE

»The detailed examination of the various aspects of interaction and information was particularly important for me during my studies. In the process, I learned numerous methods that I still use in my professional practice today. I was also enthusiastic about the spirit of optimism that prevailed during my studies! In particular, the topics of 'physical computing' and design research have inspired and shaped me in the long term. Even back then, my studies encouraged me to realise that interface design means more than just designing screens.«


Besprechungsräume bei Zalando

Timm Kekeritz – Vice President of Product Design at Zalando

»What I really liked about my studies was that I had to present and discuss my own work almost every week. The question of 'why this way and not another' became an essential part of my creative process and helps me every day to link design with our economic goals. In addition, my professors supported me very well in finding a position for the internship semester with contacts and letters of recommendation. Without their commitment and encouragement, I would never have dared to take the step to the USA.«


Spekulatives Designprojekt Carbon Wizards

Katja Budinger – Senior Service Designer + Futurist at Accenture Song

»Besides the inspiring people I met here, I particularly liked the interdisciplinary and collaborative approach of the programme. In retrospect, I would have liked to try out more, use the workshops more often and get a taste of other subject areas. My experimental master's thesis opened many doors for me, as 2017 was just the right moment for 'foresight' and speculative design approaches. In the meantime, I incorporate 'futures thinking' and speculative design approaches into our daily work at Accenture Song and am constantly developing my methodological toolbox.«

Arctic Futures – Tales of the late Anthropocene

Philipp Steinacher in seinem Büro bei Microsoft

Philipp Steinacher – Principal Designer at Microsoft

»My interface design studies at the FHP were particularly shaped by a shared enthusiasm for the subject among my fellow students. As someone who first came into contact with interface or interaction design through software development, the course really did connect me first and foremost with the means of craftsmanship, giving me a framework to live out creativity and develop a basic intuition for design. This foundation and the many different specialisations of the students and lecturers created an incredibly collaborative environment. You could learn from each other, build on the common strengths and sharpen your sense of good interface design at the same time. I almost couldn't imagine a better education.«

Microsoft Design

Teamfoto von Wigwam

Julia Kontor – Infographic Designer at Wigwam

»What was particularly inspiring about the degree programme was the versatility, the critical teaching and the opportunity to realise very individual projects. Exciting topics and projects anchored in the ravages of time were always dealt with in the courses. Later, alongside my job at Wigwam, I used the freedom of the Masters to implement my own map-based research project. It was a wonderful time to research and learn again intensively and creatively in depth and breadth.«


Collage von Visualisierungen von Moritz Stefaner

Moritz Stefaner - Truth & Beauty Operator

»The project-oriented, practical, but also critically-reflective teaching in the Design Department at FHP is truly unique. The numerous research and industry projects allow students to work on relevant and ambitious projects at an early stage. For me, the years at the FHP were really formative: via interface design, I developed from a cognitive scientist to a sought-after expert for data visualisation in my Master's degree and work predominantly with colleagues who also studied interface design in Potsdam.« 

Truth and Beauty

Cooperation partners

The Interfacedesign degree programme has a large, international network of companies, institutions and partner universities with which joint projects and seminars are regularly carried out.

Since the founding of the degree programme, questions of research and development have played an essential role in teaching. Thus, seminars and projects are often carried out in cooperation with partners from industry, authorities and research institutions.

The course of study in interface design has cooperated with the following companies and institutions in recent years:

SAP, Deutsche Telekom AG, Cornelsen, IDEO, comdirect, N26, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam, German Archaeological Institute, Federal Environmental Agency, Microsoft Research, Berlin Senate Department, Brandenburg Police, Hasso Plattner Institute for Software Technology, Energy Agency Rhineland-Palatinate, Eidgenössische Forschungsanstalt für Wald, Snow and Landscape, United Nations, Goethe-Institut Moscow, Jewish Museum Berlin, Bode-Museum, Volkswagen, BMW, Porsche, Miele, Recaro, HERE, ZDF, Bayerischer Rundfunk, Filmmuseum Potsdam

Geovisualisierung DIGENTI
Interaktiver Prototyp aus dem Forschungsprojekt DIGENTI - Multi-modal Interaction for Disaster Management © Interaction Design Lab der FHP

Research in the degree programme interface design

The interface design degree programme conducts research in current topics of human-computer interaction and information visualisation. It participates in national and international research projects and conducts contract research for companies and institutions. Finally, it systematically integrates research-based learning into the courses offered in its bachelor's and master's degree programmes.

The project-oriented module structure of the degree programme enables students to participate in research projects at an early stage. Students benefit from the proximity to the latest developments in interface design, which have often not yet found their way into textbooks. Students are systematically introduced to the methodology of modern design research. In this way, they acquire a competence profile that qualifies them for highly qualified activities in interface, product and service development, as well as for more research-oriented activities in scientific institutions.

The research activities in interface design are bundled in the Interaction Design Lab (IDL) and the Urban Complexity Lab.

Current research projects in interface design

More projects
Bildauswahl aus dem Archiv des Fotografen Frédéric Brenner

GraDiM: Granularities of Dispersion and Materiality – Visualising a Photo Archive on Diaspora

In collaboration with photographer Frédéric Brenner and his international project team, the GraDiM research project is developing theoretical and technical concepts for the visualisation of a photo archive with particular sensitivity for a collection documenting the Jewish diaspora.

Fünf Karten mit Visualisierungen zu Energie, Mobilität, Abfall, Landwirtschaft und Gebäude

CLIMATE MAPS: Visualising Local Climate Futures

Cooperation with the daily newspapers taz and UCLAB with the aim of conveying climate information via various channels using data visualisations. For this purpose, both physical and digital postcards with visualisations on different aspects of climate protection in Germany were designed and produced.

Vernetzen-Verstehen-Vermitteln: Amazonien als Zukunftslabor

Amazonia as a Laboratory for the Future – Networking-Understanding-Communicating

Starting from collection objects, overcome borders and create spaces of networking, understanding and mediation.

Gemäldecollage aus der Sammlung-Modebild

Restaging Fashion – Digital Contextualisation of Vestimentary Sources

The interdisciplinary research and digitalisation project "Restaging Fashion. Visualisation of Vestimentary Sources" (ReFa) has developed explorative approaches to holdings from the Berlin Art Library with its collection Modebild – Lipperheide Costume Library and from the Fabrics collection of the Germanisches Nationalmuseum Nuremberg.

What is (interface) design research?

Modern design research is interdisciplinary and combines the design and methodological skills of designers with problem-solving strategies and research approaches from other disciplines. At the core of design research at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam is the conception and creative implementation of new problem solutions for an aesthetic, intuitive, meaningful and emotionally appealing interaction with digital technologies, products or services.

Research projects in interface design are often triggered by very specific questions: How can we protect ourselves from too much information and preserve our privacy? What does interaction with the Internet of Things look like? How can the visualisation and communication of climate scenarios change our behaviour with regard to global warming? How can novel and interactive approaches to cultural collections be developed? Can digital technologies be supportive in the treatment of mental illness? How can people with different skills best work together at a large, interactive table – e.g. after a natural disaster or when planning new transport routes in the city? What is the easiest way for them to interact with information displayed on maps or diagrams? What is the quickest way for them to mark objects on the map? And how does this information get onto their smartphones quickly so that they can use it later on the move - e.g. in the city?

These and many other questions are typical for our research projects.

The solutions are usually implemented in the form of prototypes and evaluated together with potential users. Prototypes make our ideas tangible for third parties. People can try them out, test them and get a good impression of whether they help to solve the respective problem better than before. A high aesthetic quality of our prototypes is a consistent feature of success and not an end in itself. On the contrary, numerous studies prove the positive correlation between beauty and other product characteristics such as usability.

Current research focus

Screenshot der Visualisierung "cf city flows"
Visualisierung von Fahrradrouten in verschiedenen Städten © Urban Complexity Lab der FHP

Data and information visualisation

Typical problems are questions about the aesthetic and user-friendly visualisation of large amounts of data. The data sources in our projects are very diverse. They can be public data from urban space, but also in health and environmental research, in logistics or in the field of IT security, more and more data is accumulating that has to be prepared in a meaningful and aesthetically high-quality way for different target groups. In UCLAB, we are primarily concerned with the development of new cartographic and cultural visualisations for data and information flows in the digital and social city.

Screenshot des Energieatlas Rheinland-Pfalz
© Interaction Design Lab der FHP

Sustainable Interaction Design

Can computers make people do the right thing? For some years now, the term »sustainable interaction design« has been used to describe research in design that hopes to trigger changes in attitudes and behaviour towards more sustainable lifestyles and work styles through digital products and services (e.g. as smartphone apps). Often, the aim is to make one's own behaviour visible, to put it in relation to other people and to propose and share goals for a more ecologically sensible life.

Relevant to research

PhD track

The programme offers master's graduates with an above-average interest in research questions and a high level of motivation for an academic career an established path to a doctorate.

Participation in research training groups and long-standing research cooperations with renowned universities in Germany and abroad offer numerous opportunities for the necessary cooperative supervision of our doctoral students at a university. The selection and connection to university disciplines depends on the topic.

The University of Applied Sciences Potsdam regularly advertises its own doctoral positions. The two research labs associated with the degree programme – the Interaction Design Lab (IDL) and the Urban Complexity Lab – also offer research assistant positions with the option of a doctorate.

If you are interested in a doctorate in the context of human-computer interaction or geo- and information visualisation, please contact the student advisory service.

Contract research

With the Interaction Design Lab (IDL), the degree programme has established a laboratory for applied research that supports clients from business and administration in the development of innovative human-computer interfaces and digital services.

In the IDL, user interfaces with a high level of user experience for enterprise, industrial, medical and e-government applications as well as for consumer products are conceived and designed with user participation, implemented as prototypes and examined for their effect and appropriateness using modern evaluation methods.
One focus in recent years has been the development of large, web-based knowledge portals (science communication), e.g. for the Helmholtz Centres, the German Archaeological Institute or the Federal Environment Agency. The aim here is to make complex scientific topics visible and tangible for a broader public.

Application & Contact

Dates & requirements for your application

The most important deadlines, dates and admission requirements for the bachelor's degree programme in Interface Design are compiled here. You can find out which steps you need to take for a successful application in the next section.


  • by 01 April: register for the qualifying examination
  • by 15 July: Apply for matriculation
  • by 15 July: application for a higher semester in order to continue a degree programme started at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam

Access requirements

  • General university entrance qualification according to the Brandenburg University Act: General university entrance qualification or entrance qualification for studies at universities of applied sciences or previous vocational training recognised as equivalent.
  • Passed aptitude test

This is how you apply!

In the following, we explain which aspects you should pay attention to from the registration for the qualifying examination to the matriculation (enrolment).

Online registration for the qualifying examination

After registration

  • You will receive the date of the examination and the topic of the homework assignment. You should work on the assignment independently and present it during the qualifying examination.
  • Fill out the enclosed application form and upload it digitally. You will receive the upload link by e-mail.
  • For the aptitude test, create a portfolio with a maximum of ten of your own creative works or recent work samples.
  • Work on the homework assignment. Be creative, avoid clichés and convince with your concept. Formalities are important, but your innovative ideas are of particular interest.

Note on the portfolio

In order to get to know your creative abilities and get a clear idea of your interests, your portfolio should present an authentic picture of you and show that you are able to communicate your ideas effectively. The following are accepted as work samples:

  • visual material up to DIN A0 format or digital: drawings, sketches, photographs, paintings
  • Three-dimensional visual objects: Models, sculptures, installations
  • Computer representations: Renderings, web designs, websites, computer codes, graphics software
  • Films, games, videos, animations, music pieces, stories

Insights & Tips

On the website of the campus ambulance you will find many helpful tips and answers to questions about the aptitude test in the field of design: What should be considered for the homework? What are the requirements for the portfolio? How does the examination proceed?

The campus ambulance team, consisting of students, offers you advice and is on site during the exams to ensure a pleasant atmosphere between all the new impressions.

The artistic-design aptitude test takes place online. You can find the dates for the aptitude test on the page about the organisation of studies at the design department. In the aptitude test, you will have an interview with the responsible examination board and present your homework as well as the portfolio with your work samples.

Assessment criteria

  • Creativity, intensity
  • Ability to reflect and abstract, problem orientation
  • Technique and craft
  • Motivation and identification
  • communicative skills
  • design-specific talent

After the aptitude test

After the aptitude test, the individual examination boards will confer and decide whether aptitude has been established. In the following weeks, you will receive a letter informing you of the result. If you have successfully passed the aptitude test, you can apply for enrolment.

For detailed information on determining the artistic aptitude for the bachelor's degree programmes in interface design, communication design and product design, please refer to the statutes for determining the aptitude for the degree programme, which you can find on the page of the module handbooks and study and examination regulations of the design department.

Do you have a university entrance qualification and have passed the aptitude test? Then you have the opportunity to submit an enrolment application for the winter semester from 15 June to 15 July in the MyCampus university portal of the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam.

Once you have submitted your online application for enrolment, please print out and sign the completed application and submit it in paper form together with all required documents by 15 July. The date of receipt at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam is decisive.

Documents to be submitted

  • Officially certified copy of the university entrance qualification or the university degree certificate
  • Proof of health insurance coverage for students or proof of exemption from compulsory health insurance coverage: Information on Health Insurance for Applicants
  • Proof of payment or order confirmation of semester fees
  • Photo for issuing the Campus.Card
  • Exmatriculation certificate from the last university attended, if applicable

Please refer to the enrolment application form to find out whether you need to submit any further documents.

Do you have questions about the enrolment process at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam? We have compiled frequently asked questions and answers regarding enrolment and admission.

Start your studies

After you have successfully completed the application process, we recommend that you take a look at the start of studies page of the design department. There you will find important information and dates regarding the start of your studies at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam.

Further information

The following links provide you, and especially international applicants, with further information on the topics of application and enrolment at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam.

Girlande mit internationalen Flaggen

International applicants

You would like to apply for studies from the first or a higher semester and have acquired your school-leaving qualification and/or university degree abroad? Then you can have degrees and achievements acquired abroad recognised and study with us.

Application information for internationals

Drei Studierende schauen sich Infomaterialien der FH Potsdam an

Application & Enrolment Procedure

The application and study service provides information and advice on general questions regarding the application process, admission and enrolment at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam, application for a higher semester, but also on topics such as compensation for disadvantages, part-time studies, waiting semesters and hardship applications.

Application & Enrolment University of Applied Sciences Potsdam

Contact & Services

The student counselling service provides information and advice on general questions about studying as well as on topics such as choosing a course of study, application, enrolment and study organisation.

For subject-specific questions on module contents, credit transfer, examinations or study focus in the degree programme in interface design, the subject counselling service is the right place to go.

Student Counselling Service

Boris Müller

Prof. Boris Müller

Professor für Interaction Design

Student Financing

Room 3.02a

Family Affairs Commissioner

Room 026

Office hours

Tue and Thu 9.30 am – 1.30 pm

Commissioner for University Employees with Impairment

Room 201

Office hours

by arrangement

Contact Persons Department of Student Affairs