GroupMe Projects

For the final project in my undergrad human-centered design class this year, I gave students a design brief focused on GroupMe. The challenge was broad, and the deliverables were diverse and interesting. In addition to generating presentations, I asked students to create one-sheets showcasing their projects. One of the teams (David Lu, Alex Yun, Kevin […]

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 […] 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 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, […]


We are making great progress with the Dive mobile app. Adi and Adam have created some stellar mock-ups and a clickable prototype, we’re close to finishing the manuscript for our first paper, and app development is underway. In short, people should be able to read about our work and download Dive on the app store […]

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 […]

Typography Class

I’m going to be teaching a class on typography next week, and here’s how I’m planning the class: after a brief recap of the assigned readings for the day, we’ll do an informal critique exercise in which we look at different examples of typography whose meaning seems to conflict with the project/client such that it […]

You Can Always Start Designing

Over the past few days, I have heard a few students and colleagues say a variation of the following: I don’t know enough to start designing yet. I want to challenge this idea. I don’t think that there is some threshold of knowledge that must be passed before one can start designing. You can always […]

Image-based Reference Management

Here are some true statements. (1) Some of my colleagues share paper copies of interesting, relevant research with me. (2) I find new literature on devices that aren’t mine. (3) Manual entry of new literature is sort of a pain on a mobile device. I want to be able to quickly add relevant literature to […]

Designing Authorship

One of the coolest things about the PLOS paper I was reading this morning — citation at the end of this post — is the way it distinguishes the different author contributions:   Sort of like the credits at the end of film/television shows, no? This is a model that other venues ought to adopt. […]