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Introduction to Design Assignments 1 to 3

Introduction to Design Assignments 1 to 3

The main assignments for week 1 to week 3 are based on a design project that you will develop as you progress through the course. There are two reasons that the assignments are structured this way. First, UX design is first and foremost a skill. You will only get better at design if you start designing things. Hearing and reading about design is one thing; doing it is another thing altogether. As such, assignments in this course are intended to help you begin to do design—by guiding you through the steps of conceptualizing a design problem and then working through the process of developing and iteratively refining a solution to that problem. Second, the assignments are intended to help you develop your design portfolio by focusing on creation of design artifacts—sketches, personas, and scenarios—that you can include in your portfolio.

Design Problem

Much of the work we do, we do with other people. Be it professional projects, or more complex home activities such as planning a trip or a move, we often need to coordinate our activities with activities of others, such as coworkers, friends, or family members. Some of this coordination is relatively simple: we can just talk to them or exchange a few emails or text messages. Coordination of more complicated projects, however, often requires more detailed tracking of who is doing what, when individual activities need to be completed, the status of various tasks and so on.

In this course, your job will be to begin to design a system that can help you work on projects with other people. You will be able to decide on many of the specifics of the design problem, such as who the system is for—for instance, whether you want to focus on projects done by family members, friends, members of a team or a club, or coworkers in a professional setting. You can also decide on such issues as whether the system will support specific types of projects (e.g., trip planning) or be more a more general tool, how complex you want your system to be, what kind of technology it will use (e.g., is it web-based? Mobile?), and so on. As long as you are designing a collaborative project-management tool of some sort, it’s all fair game. What matters most is that you come up with a design problem that you think is interesting, so you are motivated to work on it and practice your design skills.

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UX Design: From Concept to Prototype

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