Project #89394 - Concept Exploration


The purpose of this assignment is to help you:

• Synthesize what you have learned about the design challenge, the users, and the context relevant to this challenge

• Practice creating a design direction from user research (i.e., identifying insights and creating design principles)

• Practice generating ideas from principles and representing them in scenarios, storyboards, and sketches

 Related Learning Objectives

• Learning Objective 2: Students will be able to apply user-centered research methods for need finding, generating

insights, and developing concepts for interactive systems.

• Learning Objective 3: Students will be able to apply user research to design a digital application (website or mobile app)

and create an interactive prototype.


What to Hand In - Submission Requirements:

This document should be written as a professional form of communication. You should consider yourself a design consultant

that needs to provide a project update to the client, demonstrating what has been learned so far, and the possible directions

for moving forward. Your document should include the following components:

Introduction. Introduce your document and the context. Remind the reader what the general challenge is and the purpose

of the document (to present some initial concepts that address the challenge).

Design Principles. What are the design principles that are driving your design? A list summarizing the principles is

sufficient, but be sure to explain what you are presenting with a few sentences (placed before the list). These are not

design principles like “affordance,” but the ones you are using as design goals for the product. You should have at least

5 principles.

Concept Representations. Present your three favorite ideas (or “concepts”) for a web site/application that will address the

challenge and the needs of your users. They can be different approaches or details/variations of one idea - this is up to

you/your team. Include 3 concepts (one narrative storyboard, one scenario, and one interface sketche). For the

storyboards, use annotations to help explain your ideas. The representations should do a reasonable job of

communicating intent; that is, they should not require your verbal explanation. Instead, the visuals and annotations

should be enough for the reader to understand the idea. In the case of a written scenario, the reader should have a clear

idea of the interaction or activity you are describing. You must communicate at least six concepts, but may include



 Other Notes

• I prefer to read single-spaced, well-formatted and readable submissions over double-spaced!

• Storyboards and sketches should be drawn by hand. When including a scanned or digital image of your sketches,

please make your best effort to crop, rotate, and adjust your images so that they are easy to read within the context

of your document. Unreadable images will not be assessed (credit deduction).

• Pay attention to the presentation as well as the content. If you have visual design skills, use them!

• I prefer one document over a folder of many documents (your future clients probably will too!)

• Make this document easy and enjoyable to read.



You/your team should follow this process to complete assignment:

1.  Synthesize findings and create design principles. Using the worksheets and process described in class,

analyze your user research and create design principles. Design principles should be short phrases that are

specific enough to help inform design decisions. For example, “Be user friendly” is not specific enough.

Design principles should finish the statement, “A successful solution will...” Design principles should also

NOT prescribe specific technological solutions (for example, “A database of available courses that presents

detailed information.”) See the worksheet and presentation slides for tips on writing design principles. You

should have at least 5 design principles to drive your concept exploration.

2.  Generate design concepts. Using your design principles, generate ideas for the product your team will

design. Refer to the brainstorming methods described in class and in the worksheets. A concept can be

“big” or “small.” That is, you might describe a high-level idea for a web site or application; or, you may

describe a smaller scale idea, such as a particular feature. A big idea might be: “An all-in-one app for DePaul

students.” A smaller scale idea might be: “An alert notifying the user that an event of interest is coming up.”

Don’t be concerned about evaluating the feasibility or desirability of ideas at this time. Working in a group is

ideal for idea generation.

3.  Create concept representations. Select three of your favorite ideas that you believe will address the general

design challenge and will address the needs and design principles you identified. If working as a team, you

will need to agree on your strongest ideas. Decide how you would like to communicate those ideas. You

may choose to use a narrative storyboard, a scenario (textual narrative), or an interface sketch. The purpose

is rapid (but effective) communication - not high fidelity intended to represent what your final design will look




This assignment is worth 100 points. An assignment that reasonably responds to all of the instructions will generally receive 83 to 89 points.

An assignment that represents thoughtful work and is well-presented will merit 90-93 points, and, for some outstanding assignments that

represent “above and beyond” effort, attention to detail and presentation, creativity, and professionalism, 95-100 points. The assignment will

be graded according to the following criteria:

• All required elements as described above are included.

• The document presents its logic in a clear and organized way. There is a logical flow from the introduction through to the description

of concepts.

• Introduction adequately describes the overall context for the reader.

• Users section provides a description of users and their needs.

• Design principles are written in a way that follow the provided guidelines. They should offer specific ways to guide the design but are

not prescriptive about which technologies to use.

• At least six concepts are described clearly with adequate annotation. Must include at least two narrative storyboards, two scenarios,

and two interface sketches. These should be easy to understand and read (poor photos of drawn images or very sloppy handwriting

are hard to understand!)

• The assignment has an appropriate writing style, ideas are expressed clearly, grammar is correct, and is free of typos and spelling


• Creativity and visual presentation contribute to an effective and compelling presentation and is therefore considered in the scoring ofthis assignment.

Subject Computer
Due By (Pacific Time) 10/28/2015 12:00 pm
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