A wide shot of a ceramics studio, featuring students working with pottery wheels and other tools.

Interface Design Seminar


DES OB 2028 001

Faculty: George Guffey

'You are not the user. As objects become 'smart,' a designer should not only think about its form but also think about how others will interface with it. These days, a user can interact directly with an object, talk to an object, or interact remotely through a smartphone or hub. It is also important that the designer has a general understanding of the technology that makes an object "smart" and how that can be used to construct a desired experience.

Through presentations and discussions, this studio-seminar rapidly introduces methods to understand objects, technology and their relationship with users. Projects in this class can also explore how an app can be used to enhance an object and not replace it. Weekly presentations will focus on various interface technologies or user interface (UI) development methods and examples that will be explored in the assignments.

Work examples will consist of both historic and current objects as well as samples of professional work. Suggested readings: 'Enhanced Objects' by David Rose, 'Don't Make Me Think Revisited' by Steve Krug, and the writings of Donald Norman. Over the course of the semester, students can expect to produce at least two different interface projects. Weekly assignments will explore various steps in a UI development process such as persona development, flow diagramming, graphic design, iconography, typography, concept simulation, and user testing. The assignments and projects will be reviewed and critiqued with the class. Please note that this is not a programming class, and the projects only require the development of a simulated interface.