Developing Experience Designers
Categorized: People : Learning : Thinking
June 18, 2016

Integrating Experience-Focused Design Education: Beyond DIV Tags, Dropdowns, and Devices

  • Conference Presentation
  • Publishing
a computer screen on a desk

Interaction design can contextualize the visual and introduce concepts that challenge design learners to value human uniqueness. The concepts, processes, tools, and outcomes of interaction design can make it seem separate from visual design curricula; however, when woven together, learners benefit from both practices. In this presentation I will share tested, implementable approaches for integrating experience-focused design like interaction and service design with visual design teaching and how this approach can grow learners’ skills, thinking, and empathy

Between 2013 and 2015 I taught courses over a period of five semesters whose content included graphic, interaction, and service design as well as design for social good. Over that period I developed and iteratively tested undergraduate and graduate-level learning experiences that integrated this content. Learners’ experiences with this approach were recorded including surveys, interviews, and observations. The qualitative data and student work outcomes were analyzed. Results of this analysis revealed that synthesizing experience-focused design skills, visual design skills, and human needs awareness helped learners to see how they work together.

In this presentation, I will detail three projects that are examples of this integrated approach. These projects were designed to build experience-focused design skills in different ways. Skills addressed will include front-end coding, app prototyping, hand-comps, usability, design history, empathy building, ethnographic methods, professional practices, and human-centered design approaches. Each project will be downloadable so attendees may review and adapt them as they wish. Assessment measures for each of these experience-focused design projects will also be addressed.

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