How to introduce experience design in high schools?

21 Jan 2009 - 11:48am
5 years ago
7 replies
1185 reads
Martin Rayala
2009

We have a group of K-12 teachers interested in introducing students to experience design. Do you have any recommendations on how to begin and what to include?

Thanks.

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Comments

21 Jan 2009 - 2:47pm
Angel Anderson
2010

What a great idea! Probably the most important thing is to make the
discussions relatable to the kids. Talk about the design of devices and
websites they use (iPods, cell phones, MySpace, etc.). Get them thinking
about what aspects they like or don't like and exploring the reasons why.
Maybe do group exercises where the kids have an opportunity to design
something for the school, like a homework depository, or other features on
the school intranet. Perhaps a senior project could be to create an online
yearbook? Maybe use Steve Krug's "Don't Make Me Think" as reading material
to get the wheels turning?
Good luck and let us know what they end up doing.

Kind regards,
Angel Anderson

On Wed, Jan 21, 2009 at 8:48 AM, Rayala, Martin <rayala at kutztown.edu> wrote:

> We have a group of K-12 teachers interested in introducing students to
> experience design. Do you have any recommendations on how to begin and what
> to include?
>
> Thanks.
>
> Check out our magazine at http://andDESIGNmagazine.blogspot.com
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
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21 Jan 2009 - 3:00pm
SteveJBayer
2008

Good Question,

I'd suggest introducing UXD in art classes rather than computer
classes since computer teachers then to focus more on coding than
designing solutions.

Art classes (as I remember it the early 90's) had been more about
expressing oneself or one's view about the environment around them
and had very little to do with problem solving.

Perhaps a new subject which combined art with problem
solving/technology design could be used as a way to introduce UXD/IXD
at the school level. Basic HFE principles could also be introduced in
the art/technology design classes as well.

Perhaps from year 7 onwards, students can be introduced to wire
frames in their art class and then tasked with designing visuals
within the parameters of the wire frame layout? From year 9 onwards
students could start learning (if they haven't figured how to
already) to build basic wire frames for solving layout issues?

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21 Jan 2009 - 3:43pm
Robert Hoekman, Jr.
2005

I'm going to be speaking to my niece's high school web design class in
March, so I'm really glad someone brought this up.

> Probably the most important thing is to make the
> discussions relatable to the kids. Talk about the design of devices and
> websites they use (iPods, cell phones, MySpace, etc.).

Great ideas!

-r-

21 Jan 2009 - 3:59pm
Angel Marquez
2008

That is a great idea.
I have a friend who is a grade school teacher in Northern California and she
asked her students what they wanted to do when they grew up and she said
they all went ape for video games.

You might want to use PS3, XBox, Nintendo, DS, etc...as a model.

Maybe have the students define their goals and design an interactive game
that achieved the goal.

-A

21 Jan 2009 - 9:11pm
Charles Hannon
2008

Ask them to talk about the lunch room--how large numbers of students
are able to get their trays filled in a short period of time, where
the bottlenecks are, what does and doesn't seem logical about the
current design.

Since the the topic is "experience" design, you should stay away
from technology until after you get a good list of principles on the
board from a more physical experience like this.

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21 Jan 2009 - 10:47pm
DampeS8N
2008

I second Angel,

Games are the best way to introduce students to interaction design.

Not always video games, however. Having them develop a board, card,
word, number, or other kind of game, perhaps is small teams or even
solo, would be a great project.

Let them chose. If they pick a video game, push for a mod of an
existing game if you can, and if not, try a simple programing
language like Blitz Basic, or a prototyping tool. There are many for
a variety of kinds of games.

Avoid letting them make an RPG. They won't learn anything about
interaction design if you don't.

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22 Jan 2009 - 7:42am
Michael Quibuyen
2003

I imagine it would be fun and relevant for current students to perform
an ethnographic study on the "new student" high school (and middle
school) experience.

They can, from afar and up close, observe new students as they
assimilate into high school. For example, how do they they use maps
and handouts to familiarize themselves with campus layout? Do students
gets lost easily on the first day and how do they recover? What kind
of resources they use to plan their curriculum, and do they work well?
Are important buildings centralized and easy to find? Which campus
officials are the most helpful? To what degree are parents involved in
shaping the high school experience and does it affect their planning
in a positive/negative way?

As the year proceeds, how does new student behavior evolve? Interview
those new students on a bi-weekly basis with questions which can help
evaluate the effectiveness of those previously mentioned maps and
handouts. Observe other behaviors: have certain bathrooms more popular
than others and why? Which resources go unused? At this point, it
might be good for the research students to explain why they're asking
these questions and plug the "experience design" studies they've been
doing to generate future interest.

After all the fieldwork, you can have the researchers evaluate and
make changes to the maps, handouts, new registration process, etc.
Test them on transfer stuents or on new students who enroll midterm.
Refine and evolve.

This would be very useful in providing the best possible experience
for nervous freshman, while also making current students more
empathetic towards them. The result might be mindblowing (and could be
another study in itself). This idea might have been more timely in
August/September, but I'm sure much of this can be performed now.

Mike Quibuyen
mike at thinkcloud.com

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