An interface is the link between a user and a product that communicates how a product will be used, creating an experience for the people who will use it. It provides the framework, elements, and resources for a “conversation” to take place between users and products.
This is a studio/seminar class with time devoted to lecture, discussion, practice activities, design worksessions, and critique of student work.
Goals for the Course
In this course, we will explore the fundamentals of interfaces and the interaction design process. Students will be introduced to and have opportunity to practice the fundamental concepts, methods, and practices of interaction design. They will explore the ideas of “form follows function” and “be the user.” They will explore how products create experiences, and understand the role that interaction with products fulfills in human existence. Finally, students will improve their ability to present their design ideas.
This is a studio/seminar class with time devoted to lecture, discussion, practice activities, design worksessions, and critique of student work. This course will be divided into four projects, as follows:
Design a new control that greatly improves the interaction of a selected product. Design issues: Problem selection, user intent, context of use, feedforward, feedback. Deliverables: Mounted poster and upload design deliverables to the class website (i.e., thumbnail, project description, and poster pdf file).
A2 MOBILE LIFE
Design an information service for use on a context sensitive mobile phone. Design issues: Small screen, navigation, jumping highlight, user research, personas, scenarios, sensors. Deliverables: Presentation of design process, Flash LE executable that runs on phone, process documents, and upload design deliverables to the class website.
A3 WEB EXPERIENCE
Design a personal information service people interact with via the web. Design issues: Problem framing, presentation, user research, design language. Deliverables: Presentation of design process, html demo, and upload design deliverables to the class website.
A4 ACTIVATING PUBLIC SPACES
Identify a product opportunity and develop an interactive experience in a public environment. Design issues: Opportunity framing. Deliverables: Presentation of design process, video sketch, and upload design deliverables to the class website.
Work and performance in the course will be evaluated after each project. Students will receive a grade at mid-term and again at the end of the semester. Assignments, timely attendance, and in-class and team participation are a critical part of the grade. Bringing examples from outside of the class is considered to be an assignment and is also important.
In addition, the process of exploration is as important as the final product, so it is important that students manage time well and devote time to working on the projects during the course of a week. If class time is given as a worksession and is not put to good use, students’ grades will be penalized. For projects done in teams, students will be graded on individual contributions as well as synthesis with the team. Work that is late will be decremented in grade.
Criteria for grading include the following:
participation in projects and assignments
good use of classtime: attendance, critiques, (NO multitasking please)
rigorous design explorations
quality of craftsmanship and level of completion
quality of the team’s reflection and communication about a design solution