Spring 2012

Lecturer: Zahhar Kirillov, MSc. You may contact me by skype, phone +372 5650 2282 or e-mail zahhar@gmail.com

Spring course consist of 14 contact sessions, 4 academic hours each (56h in total) plus 48 independent work hours. Location: this blog and T-321 computer class at TLU.

During the course students form smal teams to come through design and development process from idea of interactive application to implementation of its functional prototype.  Students are required to actively participate in a group project by contributing to its design, implementation and presentation and final report, in order to be assessed. Participation in at least 30 out of the 40 foreseen contact hours for hands-on practice sessions is required.

Group project is advised (but not limited!) to be any mobile application (completely new one or porting existing web/desktop application to mobile device). All group ideas are appreciated (desktop/web/tangible computing, new media, etc) and will be discussed. Groups are limited with 3 members max (and 2 min).  Each group should account for at least one student with programming skills who is capable to implement working prototype of proposed idea.

Kick-off meeting, introduction to course.
Theory: introduction to design of ICT products and services. Interaction design principles and paradigms. User-centred design.
Practice: lift exercise (in groups of two).
Tools: paper and pencil.
Home task: obtain a copy of Dan Saffer’s “Designing for Interaction” and start reading (please, make notes when facing something new, arguable or obscure). Get familiar with this blog and its resources (links to the right).

Theory: scenarios-based design. Concept maps and state-transition diagrams. Low fidelity prototypes and wireframes.
Practice: context cards exercise (in groups of 3)
Tools: open mind and a bit of creativity 😉
Home task: Make teams and start thinking about your project idea. Each project group should account for at least one student with programming skills, who knows (or is capable to learn) how to implement it as functional prototype. Continue to read Dan Saffer (and making notes!)

Theory: high-fidelity prototypes, testing on real users, product development cycle. Presenting working prototype. Future of interaction design (ubiquitous computing, alternative input- and output devices).
Practice: usability testing sample session – new feature exploration exercise.
Tools: PC (optional: Camtasia and Flipcam)
Team present their initial ideas. Discussion on design and development issues and tools selection.

Theory quiz (20 questions with options based on previous theory for 45 minutes).
To accomplish the test it is recommended to read Dan Saffer’s book Chapter 2, pages 31-46; Chapter 7, pages 127-138 and 143-156; Chapter 8 pages 174-191.

Group project works start.
First design session. Theory flashback: creating personas and scenarios.

First design session continues. Summarizing scenarios as concept map.
First milestone outcomes presentation, feedback and discussion.

Second design session. Summarizing requirements. Creating state-transition diagrams or process diagrams.
Theory flashback: information architecture and its visualization.

Second design session continues. Defining input and output methods, menus and navigation.
Milestone outcomes presentation, feedback and discussion.

Third design session: low-fidelity prototyping.
Theory flashback:  Paper prototypes. Wireframes.
Tools: Balsamiq, MockingBird, Mobile Templates (see right panel and ask lecturer).

Third design session continues. Early user testing. Heuristic evaluation.
Milestone outcomes presentation, feedback and discussion.

Forth design session: creating high-fidelity prototype.
Theory flashback: Prototyping and user testing.
Tools: graphical processor, HTML-editor or IDE.

Forth design session continues. Expert evaluation.
Milestone outcomes presentation, feedback and discussion.

Fifth design session: interactive (“clickable”) prototype development.
Theory flashback: product development cycle.
Tools: your favourite programming language, web framework, etc (HTML, CSS, Javascript, PhoneGap, PHP, Python, Flash, etc)

Fifth design session continues. Hallway usability testing. Preparing project presentations (speech, video, slides, technical report).
Milestone outcomes presentation, feedback and discussion.

Project presentations, discussion, cross-evaluation.
Deadline for book review submission (via e-mail).