Experience Design Methods Courses

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a game design with stickers and a game board
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a pattern cut out of a sheet of wood

Experience Design Methods Studios: Addresses research methods, dissemination, and experience design tools and technologies to provide actionable skills. Learning these methods is approached through study tied to the design process of making to contextualize new knowledge.

Design Research Methods | ART 627

Introduces primary and secondary research methods that support the discovery of unarticulated needs and opportunities for design innovation. Learners will gain familiarity with design research methods by operating several research projects individually and collaboratively. Special attention paid to operating design research in varied contexts while respecting the wishes and needs of research participants. Includes qualitative and quantitative methods that render data like observations, surveys, interviews, focus groups, and design outcome analysis. The culminating project in this course will involve designing relevant and insightful outcomes informed by research findings.

Learners will be able to:

  • Describe design research terminology and processes.
  • Select appropriate research methods that render useful data.
  • Operate research that produces detailed, high-fidelity data.
  • Analyze collected data to produce cogent insights.
  • Connect research findings to valid directions for design.
  • Create relevant design outcomes based on research findings.

Studio courses emphasize learning through work on problem-based projects. This work involves iterative design processes where the creation of outcomes and ensuing critique from students and instructors facilitate learning. Examples of work that takes place in this course are in the table below.

Details about what work will happen in this class.
Concept Activity Tools & Media Processes Outcomes
Observations to reveal design needs Observe and document design phenomena photographs, video documentation, Adobe InDesign primary research, mapping, data coding presentation board, design need proposal document
Learn rigorous research terminology and concepts Create presentations that visualize research concepts Adobe Illustrator, Adobe After Effects, Presentation Software, icons, typographic grids sketches, iteration, comps, critique video presentation, process book

Experience Design Methods | ART 622

Explores methods for facilitating and producing experience-centered design outcomes. Methods such as personas, sprint facilitation, co-creation, charrettes, and experience mapping are covered. Learners will complete projects where they will produce design outcomes including services, interaction design, and design for experience.

Learners will be able to:

  • Facilitate co-creative processes that achieve project goals.
  • Develop custom tools that achieve project goals when used with stakeholders in the co-creative process.
  • Apply experience design methods to visualize real and perceived impacts of design on human behavior.
  • Select appropriate methods that achieve project goals when working with diverse stakeholders.
  • Identify how design outcomes impact human decision making by conducting primary research.

Studio courses emphasize learning through work on problem-based projects. This work involves iterative design processes where the creation of outcomes and ensuing critique from students and instructors facilitate learning. Examples of work that takes place in this course are in the table below.

Details about what work will happen in this class.
Concept Activity Tools & Media Processes Outcomes
Tools for facilitating design discoveries with participants Create tangible posting boards and tools that stakeholders can use to communicate needs photographs, Post-It Stickies, icons, toys and objects as conversation probes sketches, comps, iteration, storyboards, prototyping, usability testing physical prototype, product demonstration video, process book
Experience mapping (Customer journey maps) Create a visualization of a person’s experience with a service Adobe Illustrator, typographic hierarchy, semiotics/color for communication, icons sketches, iteration, comps, iteration, critique presentation board, experience map, video documentation of prototypes

Writing for Design Audiences | ART 623

Develops skills in different writing styles for design research, education, and practice. Includes grant and proposal writing, UX writing, writing for publication, and refining writing for design work. Integrates visual methods like whiteboard diagrams, concept mapping, and matrix diagrams into the writing process to improve conceptual development, content identification, and strong argumentation. Special attention paid to developing tone, form, and data visualization for communicating complex ideas so writing meets audience expectations.

Learners will be able to:

  • Support written assertions with clear evidence and rationales.
  • Evaluate writing for its form and efficacy.
  • Write a range of persuasive essay types consistent with publishing standards in design education, practice, and research.
  • Select and write in a tone appropriate for diverse audience needs.
  • Employ a range of visual processes for developing written content.
  • Create visualizations of data and concepts to effectively support and clarify written content.

Studio courses emphasize learning through work on problem-based projects. This work involves iterative design processes where the creation of outcomes and ensuing critique from students and instructors facilitate learning. Examples of work that takes place in this course are in the table below.

Details about what work will happen in this class.
Concept Activity Tools & Media Processes Outcomes
A visual approach for exploring how ideas in a paper connect Create concept maps, whiteboards, matrix diagrams to visualize and discover related content Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, Google Drawings, whiteboard drawings (physical and digital) sketches, iteration, critique, sketchnoting paper, photo documentation, concept map
Diagrams and other visualizations in written text clarify content Create concept and data visualizations to support writing Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, illustrations sketches, iteration, critique, ideation, sketchnoting data visualization, process book, illustrations, sketchnotes

Designing for Access | ART 624

Approaches goal formulation and problem definition for experience-centered design with usability and access as primary drivers. Projects develop sensitivity to different needs, cultural and lifestyle diversity, socioeconomic status, literacy, globalization, sustainability, and other aspects of design when it impacts people of diverse needs. Particularly focuses on developing innovative interventions that enable access for marginalized people groups who have not been equitably served by design.

Learners will be able to:

  • Identify marginalized people groups in many scales and sizes.
  • Develop relevant outcomes that consider cultural uniqueness and preference.
  • Evaluate existing design outcomes to assess the level they enable or inhibit access.

Studio courses emphasize learning through work on problem-based projects. This work involves iterative design processes where the creation of outcomes and ensuing critique from students and instructors facilitate learning. Examples of work that takes place in this course are in the table below.

Details about what work will happen in this class.
Concept Activity Tools & Media Processes Outcomes
Interfaces for accessibility Create a screen-based interface with emphasis on accessibility Adobe XD, Illustrator, typographic hierarchy and size, color contrast, icon selection for cultural relevance, content able to be translated sketching, paper prototyping, product testing, cohort critiques, iteration, theme boards, image research, icon design, selection, and refinement smartphone app design, screen display design, product demonstration video, process book
Cultural Services Develop a service that’s relevant to an assigned culture (a regional culture or business culture) Illustrator, After Effects, video documentation, publication design, brand development, iconography sketching, experience map, iteration, critique, video presentation of design, usability testing experience map, iconography, designed report PDF/book, video presentation

Methods of Dissemination | ART 626

Explores methods for reporting design research outcomes and project processes to a wide range of audiences and channels. Includes writing for publication and promotion, presenting to share information and facilitate consensus, and development of digital and tangible materials. Integrates digital, physical, and spoken methods including social media and publication processes in order to enable access and discussion for audiences across academia, education, design practice, news outlets, and the public.

Learners will be able to:

  • Select dissemination methods and media that effectively match content being shared.
  • Produce writing, imagery, and presentations whose tone is relevant for intended audiences.
  • Plan dissemination across media that enables open access to research outcomes and design processes.
  • Develop visually designed presentations that effectively communicate complex concepts.

Studio courses emphasize learning through work on problem-based projects. This work involves iterative design processes where the creation of outcomes and ensuing critique from students and instructors facilitate learning. Examples of work that takes place in this course are in the table below.

Details about what work will happen in this class.
Concept Activity Tools & Media Processes Outcomes
Effective project promotion Create a suite of materials that effectively communicate a non-profit project to an intended audience social media, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, Audio/Video Editing Software, illustrations, icons, photographs ideation, plan outline, whiteboard drawings (physical and digital), image research, color studies, theme boards/mood boards physical and digital ephemera, Kickstarter-type video, publicity/communication plan, process book, guerilla campaign, leadership team and personnel organization chart
Presentation development Create, plan, and deliver engaging presentations Presentation Software, Videoconferencing, photographs, illustrations, icons, typography, visual grid systems ideation, storyboards, outlines, theme boards/mood boards process book, presentation to stakeholders, video presentation, designed report PDF/book

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