Abstract

User interaction and experiential aspects of electrical and electronic product design are complex areas for design students to grasp, requiring integration of industrial design (ID) and interaction design (IxD) knowledge and skills. This paper reports on a specific educational challenge that arose during the planning of a new Master of Science programme: how should a highly-compact (14-week, 8 ECTS) introductory graduate course in ‘design for interaction’ (D4I) be effectively framed and delivered? The paper reviews the boundaries of ID and IxD for clues about the implications of each profession on D4I education, revealing the centrality of user experience (UX) for envisaging successful interactive products and systems. The reported new D4I course is conceived with a structure divided equally between part 1 (theory/foundations) and part 2 (practice/design projects). A novel orientation framework comprising five interconnected elements is introduced to assist delivery of part 1, comprising: (i) user experiences, (ii) domains of interaction, (iii) usage cues, (iv) technologies, and (v) contexts of use. The content of each element is articulated and its contribution to D4I education explained. Student learning culminates in the carrying out of an interaction-focused conceptual design project. The paper is argued as a valuable source for instructors who are considering establishing an introductory D4I course or revising an existing course.

Keywords:

interaction, digital products, user experience, framework, design education

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Jul 9th, 12:00 AM

Accelerating students’ capability in design for interaction

User interaction and experiential aspects of electrical and electronic product design are complex areas for design students to grasp, requiring integration of industrial design (ID) and interaction design (IxD) knowledge and skills. This paper reports on a specific educational challenge that arose during the planning of a new Master of Science programme: how should a highly-compact (14-week, 8 ECTS) introductory graduate course in ‘design for interaction’ (D4I) be effectively framed and delivered? The paper reviews the boundaries of ID and IxD for clues about the implications of each profession on D4I education, revealing the centrality of user experience (UX) for envisaging successful interactive products and systems. The reported new D4I course is conceived with a structure divided equally between part 1 (theory/foundations) and part 2 (practice/design projects). A novel orientation framework comprising five interconnected elements is introduced to assist delivery of part 1, comprising: (i) user experiences, (ii) domains of interaction, (iii) usage cues, (iv) technologies, and (v) contexts of use. The content of each element is articulated and its contribution to D4I education explained. Student learning culminates in the carrying out of an interaction-focused conceptual design project. The paper is argued as a valuable source for instructors who are considering establishing an introductory D4I course or revising an existing course.

 

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