Assignments

These summaries are subject to change and will be updated prior to each assignment release.

A1: Type and Grid Warmup (1 week)
Each student will create a typographic arrangement under tight constraints.

Design issues:
• Information hierarchy
• Use of a grid
• Basic typography
• Sketching

A2: Poster Design (1.5 weeks)
In this project, each student will create a typographic announcement for an upcoming lecture.

Design issues:
• Information hierarchy
• Use of a grid
• Basic typography
• Information design with text and images
• Communicating informational and emotional content
• Sketching

A3: Egg Drop Device (2 Weeks)
In this project, students will work in pairs to design, build, and test a device capable of protecting an egg dropped from a predetermined height.

Design issues:
 Rapid ideation
 Iterative sketching to explore feasibility of designs
 Working with physical design materials 
 Rapid lo-fidelity physical prototyping
 Testing and assessing prototypes
 Satisfying design constraints

A4: Handheld Device Warmup (1 Week)
In this project, each student will rapidly prototype and build a handheld device that demonstrates interactivity. 

Design issues:
• Making using off-the-shelf components
 Form factors and ergonomics
 Incorporation of interaction
 Connecting interactive physical components to on-screen elements
 Rapid lo-fidelity physical prototyping

The goal of this team-based assignment is to envision and build an interactive, intelligent, and innovative Point of Purchase (POP) Kiosk that supports the goals and context of a design brief and user research. Students will work in teams to translate research findings—gathered via online research, interviews, and iterative testing—about a target population and context, and then rapidly ideate design concepts to solve for problems and opportunities they identify. The teams will create and use personas, storyboards, wireframes, paper prototypes, moodboards, color schemes, and design language specs (in addition to methods and skills learned in earlier assignments) to conceive and realize a novel user experience. The final deliverable is a physical kiosk, poster, and slide deck designed for a tablet.

Design issues:
• Synthesizing and interpreting user research
 Ideating and refining concepts
 Integrating sensors, displays, and other interactive technologies
 Sketching and storyboarding
 Conducting interviews and user testing
 Cultivating empathy toward users and creating personas
 Creating a moodboard and color scheme
 Developing a design language 
 Pitching ideas to others (clients, managers and developers)

For the final crit, you will need to present/demo your physical kiosk, create a large poster that explains the key challenge your team addresses and displays all final materials created throughout the process. Also, be ready to show your slide deck on a laptop or tablet device.