Grades & Assignments

You must complete all major assignments. If you do not submit all materials for each project, you will not pass the class. I am particularly twitchy about work you do that involves your fellow students. Please, take it seriously.
You should submit your work on time. Late work will only be accepted if you consult with me prior to the class period in which the work is due. Work is considered to be late after 11:00 pm (EST) on the due date.

GPA Percentage

A+ 98-100
A 93-97
A- 90-92
B+ 88-89
B 83-87
B- 80-82
C+ 78-79
C 73-77
C- 70-72
D+ 68-69
D 63-67
D- 60-62
F Below 60

Assignments

Note that these are just brief overviews—full‐length assignments and examples will be provided in class. Each project has several components—to successfully complete the project, you must successfully complete each component. Students may not pass the class without completing each major project

Making Things

Below is a list of the “making things” assignments for the course. Each of the assignments is a component of a larger, semester‐long project which will require you to research and develop a information & interactions (a User Experience or “UX”) that transform, for the better, a knowledge work problem for our client. You should work as part of a team. Individual projects will be considered in special circumstances.

The specific purpose and even the venue for your design can vary widely. You may choose to develop interactions appropriate to a hand‐held wireless device, a website, an information panel integrated into another product, etc. In fact, I encourage you to be creative and resist deciding on a particular format for your design until you have identified and begun to study the specific social practice(s) you wish to transform. Our aim in this course is true innovation, which requires thinking beyond the state‐of‐the‐art in any particular social setting.

To break it down, your final project will yield UX design documents, including a prototype, and a specification document. Your design may extend to include features of a hardware unit; in that case, you should plan to produce a mock‐up physical prototype as well. Teams usually have fun with this aspect of the project.

#1 Individual Assessment Memo: (individual) 100 points

This is a self‐assessment in which you will describe your skills and abilities in five key areas: tools and techniques, teaming, design process, presentation & persuasion, and deliverables. You’ll complete an initial assessment at the beginning of the course and a final assessment at the end. You should advance in each of these five areas over the course of the semester and, in the final assessment, point to evidence of this advancement.

#2 Journey Map & Project Pitch: (collaborative) 100 points

Each design phase ends with a presentation and document. You’ll deliver the presentation to a review panel and a draft of your document on the penultimate day of each phase, and then meet with me on the last day to discuss panel feedback and revisions to the document for that phase.

This presentation will consist of a presentation of interview data and conceptual maps for users. You will research users and develop a design concept to support user needs. You will will also need to map their experiences into story concepts. The presentation should also include a preliminary analysis which supports your design concept, solicits feedback, and forecast next steps.

#3 Wireframe & Walkthrough Presentation and Memo (collaborative) 100 points

In this memo and presentation, you will introduce the class to your initial design concept using object‐oriented modeling diagrams and low‐fi prototyping techniques. This stage should focus on how your experience design solution transforms the current activity scenario to meet the needs and expectations of users.

#4 Prototype Presentation and Specification: (collaborative) 100 points

This assignment will contain two parts:

  • Presentation: showcase your prototype views and persuade the group that your design choices are appropriate and buildable.
  • Specification: document your design in a way that communicates to potential developers and/or supporters that your design is viable.

Each design phase ends with a presentation and document. You’ll deliver the presentation to a review panel and a draft of your document on the penultimate day of each phase, and then meet with me on the last day to discuss panel feedback and revisions to the document for that phase.

#5 Final Reflection Memo: (individual) 100 points

This is a self‐assessment in which you will describe your skills and abilities in five key areas: tools and techniques, teaming, design process, presentation & persuasion, and deliverables, especially in terms to contributions to your design teams spec. You’ll complete an initial assessment at the beginning of the course and a final assessment at the end. You should advance in each of these five areas over the course of the semester and, in the final assessment, point to evidence of this advancement.

#6 Reputation Assessment: (individual) 100 points

Nobody works on UX projects alone. Unfortunately, education does little to teach people how to work in the highly collaborative environment of design and the importance of professional social bonds/capital, as a result, group work at Universities stinks. My best effort to simulate the reputation economy of professionalism is to have students evaluate each other’s contributions. Each team member will receive a grade based mostly on how well they work with and contribute to their design teams. Contributing to assisting your fellow team members is also part of this grade.

#7 Microtasks: (individual/collaborative) 100 points

Throughout the semester, I will ask you to do and make things that to some degree extend what we are working on or the ideas we are discussing for the class. Each of these tasks will be based on presence or absence. These will be small assignments that could contain anything from sketches to bringing in content for the class to discuss. Each microtask will ask you to do something and draw on sources from class to put the task in dialogue with other ideas. Microtasks will be very class and discussion centered and therefore can not be made up.

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