Prof. Taylor J. Scott
tjscott (at)
Winter 2019   
T/Th 12:30-1:50 pm
Location: Mandeville B210
Studio Sections: Fridays 10a-11a, 11a-12p, 12p-1p (all sections in HSS 1346)

This studio course introduces students to the basic practices of interaction design through a focus on visual, physical, and digital prototyping. We follow a human-centered design process that includes research, concept generation, prototyping, testing, and refinement. Students must work effectively as individuals and in small teams to create visual designs, information systems, physical devices, and other interactive experiences. Assignments approach design on three levels: specific user interactions, contexts of use, and larger systems. Students will become familiar with design methodologies such as sketching, storyboarding, wire framing, user-testing etc. No coding is required. This course serves as a requirement for the cross-department Design Minor.

In the land of design consultancies, designers never have enough time or resources to do their work. If you feel a bit overwhelmed by the pace of the class and the amount of worked assigned, then you are right where you should be. A big part of this class is to gain a visceral feeling for what designers experience everyday. We want you to work fast and to bring an attitude of play and playfulness to the classroom.

Learning Objectives

Students who have successfully completed this course will be able to do the following:
  • Give and receive feedback in a constructive way during critiques
  • use visual hierarchy to prioritize information and optimize interactions
  • sketch as a means of visual exploration and ideation
  • give form to design ideas through prototyping
  • realize designs through making with physical materials
  • effectively test, assess, and iterate on designs
  • interpret content in order to meet the needs of multiple stakeholders
  • make decisions that build on existing design patterns
  • select appropriate methodologies for engaging in a human-centered design process
  • understand how designers think in order to collaborate on interdisciplinary teams
  • communicate design ideas to a variety of stakeholders

Critique Guidelines

Critiques are an essential part of the design process, and will be a part of nearly every class period. Verbalizing what you see helps you to learn. You are expected to be an active participant in all critiques. You should not expect to get personal feedback on your work every time. We will do our best to distribute feedback evenly across the quarter, and you can meet with us by appointment if you have specific questions.  Critiques are not beauty contests. When giving criticism, always describe what you are seeing and experiencing, rather than your opinion as it relates to your personal taste. For example, rather than saying, “I don’t like this,” it is more constructive to say, “I’m not sure what you want me to look at first,” or, “I was drawn to this first, but then I got confused about where to go next,”, or, “this was hard for me to read – I had to squint my eyes.”

Do not take what is said about your work personally, no matter how difficult this seems. These assignments require you to take risks and try new things. Your effort and willingness to approach problems with originality is a greater reflection of your potential as a designer than whether your solution is aesthetically perfect. During a critique there may be conflicting thoughts and opinions expressed about your work. It is up to you to determine the best way to use the feedback you've received.


Taylor Jackson Scott is an Assistant Teaching Professor of Cognitive Science at UC San Diego where he teaches courses on human-computer interaction, human centered design, cognitive ethnography, and theories of human cognition. Before UCSD, Taylor earned his PhD in Human Centered Design and Engineering at the University of Washington in Seattle where his research explored the role of distributed affect in collaborative work and computer-mediated communication. He was also an award-winning Predoctoral Teaching Associate in the HCDE Department, where he taught courses on information visualization and technical communication. Taylor also holds a B.S. in Cognitive Science from UCSD, with a specialization in HCI.
Office Hours: Wed 10-11a in CSB 247 
email: tjscott (at)


Grace Grothaus is a transdisciplinary artist focused on creating moments of reflection about human agency and balance with the built and natural environment. Her artworks take the form of indoor and outdoor installations, often interactive or responsive in nature. Grothaus earned a BFA as a double major in Interdisciplinary Arts and Art History at the Kansas City Art Institute. She recently delivered a talk and exhibited at the International Symposium of Electronic Art in South Africa this year. Previously her artworks were among those representing the United States in the 2012 World Creativity Biennale and has been exhibited and/or collected nationwide and abroad on five continents. She was a National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts Merit Award winner and has received an Art365 Fellowship. She is currently pursuing an MFA from UCSD and resides in La Jolla, California with her dog and many plants.
Studio Section: 10-11am
Office Hours: By appointment, please email to arrange
email: sgrothau (at) 

Sam Wohl Sam Wohl is a filmmaker, comics artist, sculptor and MFA candidate at UCSD.  He has worked on the films such as Beasts of the Southern Wild (2011), Mediterranea (2014), and Swiss Army Man (2015), as a prop and practical effects maker, designer, concept artist and storyboard artist. Wohl’s illustration work has been featured on book covers published by Rare Bird Lit and independent comics. Wohl has directed four short films Mindglow (2011), Fruit of the Dogs (2015), Tragic Fantasy (2016) and Oct. 8th (2016) for which he was awarded Best Editing and Visual Effects at Art Power New Media Festival 2017. He is a 2015 Russell Grant recipient, 2017 CRES Award Winner, and holds a Bachelors Degree in Painting from the Pratt Institute of Brooklyn (2007). Wohl’s art practice engages the forms of comics, film and documentary in sublimating memory, personal history, and fantasy and engages cross-disciplinary research fields including speculative invasive species management, psychoanalysis (cultural, familial, personal) of US survivalists, and gendered labor Latin America’s Southern Cone. These projects move in cycles and times bleed into each other formally, conceptually and pyscho-automatically.
Studio Section: 11am-12pm
Office Hours: By appointment, please email to arrange
email: swohl (at) 

Tone Xu is a doctoral student in cognitive science at UC San Diego. She combines psychology and behavioral studies to understand cognition and creativity.  She wants to leverage this understanding in the design of digital tools that inspire crowd ideation. Her ongoing project focuses on instructing activities that helps non-professionals develop broader and deeper ideas in creative problem solving.
Studio Section: 12-1pm
Office Hours: By appointment, please email to arrange
email: xix138 (at)


Sumedha Gupta is a fourth year Cognitive Science student specializing in Human-Computer Interaction. Sumedha hopes to continue learning and understanding problems in the world to design solutions that are simple and intuitive to us. When Sumedha isn't designing, she enjoys running, singing and painting.
Studio Section: 12-1pm
Office Hours: By appointment, please email to arrange
email: sbgupta (at) 

Hunter Lai is a fourth year Cognitive Science student specializing in Human-Computer Interaction. He chose this field because he is fascinated by people and wants to discover unique and innovative solutions through user-centered design.  In his free time he enjoys discovering new music, seeing movies, and watching basketball.
Studio Section: 10-11am
Office Hours: By appointment, please email to arrange
email: hal219 (at) 

Kaila Lee is a fourth year student majoring in Cognitive Science, Human-Computer Interaction with minors in Design and Marketing. She specifically enjoys UX content strategy and product writing, where she can blend her love for design and writing to create delightful, intuitive experiences. In her free time, she writes, listens to music, plays piano and loves to keep up with her favorite NBA team, the Golden State Warriors.
Studio Section: 10-11am
Office Hours: By appointment, please email to arrange
email: ktl002 (at) 

Vanessa Wong is a fourth year Visual Arts - Speculative Design student specializing in Design Systems and Media. Vanessa hopes to apply her understanding in design research, brand identity, and visual design to enhance the culture of wellness for communities through creative solutions. Aside from design thinking, Vanessa enjoys thinking about which local community events to attend next or which food place to try out next.
Studio Section: 11am-12pm
Office Hours: By appointment, please email to arrange
email: v7wong (at)