reflection improves communication

tl;dr If you’re not reflecting on your product practices, then you’re going to have a hard time improving them. Today I reflect some more on communication. When you’re the communicator, you have the power to establish a clear frame of reference for your audience in order to minimize the possibility of misunderstanding, accurately convey research […]

New Human-Centered Design Syllabus

We’re closing in on the end of the spring semester here at Penn State University, and, unlike in year’s past, I’ve already finished my syllabus revisions. Download the new version here. The speediness of these revisions is due to a stellar graduate student who is also the instructional assistant who helped me teach the class […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Towards Good Collaboration

This is a list of rules for collaboration from an expert on what doesn’t work: Be compassionate. If you’re in a design critique, for example, then you ought to be both critical and encouraging. Good critique should be encouraging. If you’re making someone less excited to work on their project then you’re doing it wrong. […]

a short reflection on writing and failure

there’s this line in a song that goes something like, “please don’t confront me with my failures. i have not forgotten them.” (Nico – These Days) something motivated me to revisit some writing i did in the earlier days of my studies in Bloomington, and i really didn’t like what i read. some of it […]

Course Design

I’m really excited about an introductory HCI course I’m developing (with some amazing collaborators) for the spring semester. For the last week or so, I’ve been working with several practicing designers to establish a set of core skills interns and/or entry-level designers ought to know in order to succeed in the workplace. Their comments and […]