Review of the Cooper Communicating Design Course

10 Apr 2006 - 2:58am
760 reads
Petteri Hiisilä


Here's a review of the Communicating Design Course that I took two
weeks ago. I hope you find it helpful, if you're trying to convince
your boss that you need to take it:

I'd recommend to take the Interaction Design Practicum before this
course, even if you're an experienced designer, because a detailed
understanding of the GDD process helps to put things in the right
context. I took the practicum in 2004, and this course fills the gap
between creating the design and "selling" and documenting it to other

The course was as good as advertised. The handouts will be especially
valuable for me. They gave us more than 500 slides of instructions
and tips on how to communicate and document the design in the Goal-
Directed design process. We spent a lot of time on how to defend the
design without being defensive, and how convince people that this is
the right way to go. This means less opinion wars and more civilized
and focused discussion about the design and the research behind it.

They also gave us a thick pile of example documentation with
permission to photocopy and reuse, as long as the copyright is there.
User and Domain Analysis, Form and Behavior spec, design presentation
examples are all there.

Their standards for documentation are so high that there's simply no
need for me to reinvent the wheel after the course ... following
their example gives me results that look and feel (and hopefully are,
most of the time! :) world-class.

I showed the example docs to some of my potential clients and they
were impressed, both coders and managers, because these docs are
helpful and make sense. They actually hired me for a pilot project,
starting two weeks from now.

The Cooper staff (Jonathan Korman in particular) had time to chat
with us during the breaks, and the snacks and drinks were free.

I paid the course & expenses from my own pocket (I'm a one-man design
studio in Finland, the city of Nokia), and the investment was well
worth it. In terms of money, it has kind of paid itself back already,
because of the new client, and in terms of stress and blood pressure
when communicating (defending) design, I'll probably live a bit
longer now ... :)

--> 5/5 stars

Feel free to ask me, if you want to know something else about the

- Petteri

Petteri Hiisilä
Senior Interaction Designer
IX Design / +358505050123 / petteri.hiisila at

"Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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