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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

From Bibliographies to Iconographies

Research through Design (RtD) can be influenced by written text (academic papers) and visual content (images of designs, photos, paintings). So, why not account for the latter in reference lists? Communicating RtD publications could mix bibliographies with iconographies, which would give image-based influences their due credit. Some sketch-proposals (made w/Adobe Sketch on an iPad) for […]