Process Books

13 Nov 2009 - 10:38am
6 years ago
5 replies
2158 reads
Laura Rodrian

I am planning on entering the Interaction '10 student competition,
which requires submissions in the form of a process book. However, I
am not familiar with the documentation style of process books. Can
anyone recommend any good examples or guidelines to follow when
creating one? I can speculate about what should be included but would
like to be sure that I am on the right track.

Thanks in advance!

Laura Rodrian
MSI Candidate 2010
School of Information
The University of Michigan


13 Nov 2009 - 12:48pm
Daniel Zollman

For my submission, I plan to organize the report (largely)
chronologically and include: problem definition, user needs,
questions for research and prototyping, research findings, initial
objectives and specs, a description of each iteration with the
reasoning behind each design decision, information about the final
product and its implementation, and next steps for
research/testing/improvements. Except perhaps for an introduction,
I'll write it in third person/passive voice.

This is actually my first project that focuses primarily on
interaction design (I'm mostly studying product design in school),
so the above outline is based on my generic approach rather than
experience doing this for IxD...I don't know what other interaction
designers would do. But, I think that'll fit my particular process.

I could be completely off the mark, so I'm curious to see what
others say.


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Posted from the new

13 Nov 2009 - 2:02pm

Havent a clue but had a little time on lunch hour to attempt learning
about - take a look at these and see if that helps provide you any
ideas. Appears it is a deliverable for design schools or such. good
luck to you both.

Process books are used by all students in studio-based courses that
have projects.
Students use these books to record their thinking and their process
throughout all phases
of the project. Some things that are recorded in the books include:
%u2022 The framework of the assignment,
%u2022 The ways in which students came to choose a particular design,
%u2022 The ways in which they worked through the various design
problems, and
%u2022 An evaluation of how the final product did or did not do what
it was supposed to do.

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Posted from the new

13 Nov 2009 - 6:34pm
Daniel Zollman

Those look interesting. Thanks for the links.

The CMU page seems to refer to design notebooks rather than
deliverables. The others appear to have a strong focus on layout and
graphic/information design, but they have the same types of content
that I'd put in a design report.

I also found this--considering that Dave Malouf is on the competition
committee, it's at least an indicator of what they had in mind when
they asked for a process book:

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Posted from the new

14 Nov 2009 - 12:44am
Dave Malouf

Dan! I was just about to post that example. Since that is a team
project I know they can't post the work for themselves so it can't
be entered. And it covers the work of an entire class project (well
two separate classes), but yes, is in the right format and the right

The jury had some talks about what to call this deliverable and went
back and forth with some names: case study didn't feel right, but
was the closest contender.

As I tell my students whenever they are looking for "too much
direction". The assignment is to tell the story, not just of what
the design is in its final condition but the story of how you arrived
to your focus, who you considered, how you considered them, how you
arrived to your design, and why is it the right design. Oh! and
enough of the final condition so that I can appreciate it and
probably tell it to someone else w/o you in the room.

We are actually looking for people to innovate on the deliverables
themselves for doing this.

Please also note that while this first part of the competition is
about judging the design & process, the second part is about the

If people have more questions about the competition, please do ask
here in front of everyone, so when I or someone else answers,
everyone can see it.

For people who have no idea what this thread is about, go to to learn more.

-- dave

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Posted from the new

15 Nov 2009 - 6:06pm

Dan Zollman wrote:
> The CMU page seems to refer to design notebooks rather than
> deliverables. The others appear to have a strong focus on layout and
> graphic/information design, but they have the same types of content
> that I'd put in a design report.

Process was a deliverable within class -- when you turn in an assignment
you also have to turn in all of your process along with it. Some of us
kept multiple sketchbooks because grading might not happen right away
and we didn't want to be sans sketchbook. The ID types leaned towards
traditional sketchbooks, the CD types seemed to have more formal
portfolios filled with process.

J. E. 'jet' Townsend, IDSA
Designer, Fabricator, Hacker
design:; hacking:; HF: KG6ZVQ
PGP: 0xD0D8C2E8 AC9B 0A23 C61A 1B4A 27C5 F799 A681 3C11 D0D8 C2E8

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