Term September 2021 – December 2021

Project title: Designing a Human-centered Interactive Computational Technology

The purpose of the Design Project is to apply the research and design methods we are learning about in this course in a concrete way.  You will work through major phases of Design Thinking through six, iterative milestones.  The goals of each milestone are as follows:

  • Empathize:
    • Better understand the user community and existing technologies in the problem space
    • Clarify a problem that might benefit from interactive technology
  • Define:
    • Develop a deeper appreciation of and justification for the proposed interactive design
    • Establish a firmer design direction
    • Determine the best methods to gather information from a representative user group
    • Focus on asking the “right” questions to understand potential users and their contexts
  • Ideate:
    • Identify tasks and perform a task analysis to further refine the design direction
    • Create and prioritize requirements
    • Explore conceptual design alternatives through storyboarding
  • Prototype:
    • Develop a low fidelity prototype.
  • Evaluate:
    • Conduct a cognitive walkthrough of your prototype with team members/classmates
    • Perform a user test of your prototype with a representative sample of people
  • Refine:
    • Apply what you learned from the cognitive walkthrough and user test to refine your prototype
    • Construct a medium-fidelity prototype
    • Document and justify your design decisions

It is essential to keep in mind that these phases are not always linear and there are many different methods and techniques that can be used depending on the design problem, population, environment and so on. Given the time constraints of a class project, we will work through them in order.

You are expected to conduct your projects with the utmost attention to ethical conduct in research.  Due to ongoing developments with COVID-19, careful consideration must be given to what population you will sample from and how you will recruit them for the milestones that require working with participants.  We will need to also consider how to work together as a team in a safe and effective way.


Details provided in individual milestone descriptions.