Scenario-based Design Courses

I’m looking for syllabi or links to online courses focused on scenario-based design. Instructive case studies, methods, tools, techniques, and assignments. All of it. If there aren’t lots of resources out there, then I’m also curious to know whether there is an interest for such a course.  

Academic Job Interview Questions

I went on the academic job market last fall, and, with help and support from friends, colleagues, and people I’ve never met, I managed to succeed in finding a position at a primarily undergrad institution in Milwaukee, WI. Hooray! More about that soon. Navigating the interviews before arriving at an offer was challenging. I prepared […]

Amazon.com Product Ratings

I teach an introductory course on human-centered design here at Penn State, and the students in my class recently completed a redesign of the product rating system on Amazon.com. I gave them an abstract design brief, which meant that they were responsible for scoping the problem and generating a solution. This is a great cohort […]

Visual Thinking + Discourse Analysis

One question many discourse analysts ask when they’re familiarizing themselves with data is: how could things be different? If you’re comfortable messing around with Photoshop and your text includes images, then you can create sketches as a way of making these hypothetical differences more concrete. Sketching is a powerful way to explore the effects of, […]

design course development

I’ve been sketching some new ideas for undergraduate design courses, and, although I came up with these with a particular program in mind, they could easily be iterated on to fit within many other curricula, as electives, etc. I’m sharing them here so that you might be inspired to take an idea and run with […]

human-centered design education

I piloted an in-class activity with my human-centered design class today. In preparation for class, students read Don Norman’s essay, Human-Centered Design Considered Harmful. Then, in class, I presented them with the following brief: Using Adobe Photoshop, create a one-sheet explaining/describing the main principles of human-centered design to non-designers. Export the one-sheet as a PDF […]

the first design problem

There’s a great line in a recent exploration of near-future UX issues. It goes: Design is about solving problems. And deciding how to solve a problem is the first design problem to be solved. I like this report, but I want to offer a different perspective here. Deciding how to solve a problem could in […]

Revised HCD Syllabus

I’m close to stabilizing the 2019 version of my human-centered design course. This is an 300-level undergraduate course that I teach here at Penn State’s College of Information Science and Technology. Students do a lot of sketching, prototyping, and design work. The course progresses from conceptual discussions of HCD, design principles, interpreting briefs, and pitching […]

sketching discourse

I’m tinkering with metaphors to explain/teach discourse analysis to an undergrad human-centered design class. One way to explain it might be in terms of an iceberg. Discourse is sort of like an iceberg in the sense that there is a lot going on beneath the surface that we don’t see when we encounter talk and […]

The Design Exchange

Today I discovered the design exchange. Think Wikipedia but for design methods and case studies. It seems like a great resource for students (and practitioners) curious about different design methods—especially their strengths, weaknesses, and relevance to different design projects and project stages. I’ll be using it in my spring semester course and wanted to broadcast its […]