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briefs

Operating System Project

An assignment by R.J. Thompson, discovered while listening to episode 51 of the DesignEduToday podcast. This project fills an entire semester in Graphic & Interactive Design at Youngstown State University.

Thompson describes the project at 15 minutes into the podcast:

I wanted a project that they could really sink their teeth into, completely wrap their head around and by the end of the semester, fully explain and articulate every design decision that they made. So, the OS project actually starts in Intermediate Interactive, it’s the last project in that class and it’s a five week long project where all they do is they design a universal operating system for smart-phones, tablets, desktops and laptops and video game consoles.

They effectively invent this concept and they use Photoshop and Illustrator to design the user interfaces for all of them.There are some specific caveats on what screens I want to see. Then they put all of that work into a presentation and we present it at the Youngstown Business Incubator. And we also globally live-stream those presentations so I really put the pressure on the students to excel here.

Here’s the live stream where students present their concepts (static mockups):

The Live Stream of the 2016 presentation

That’s only the first part. The project goes on:

They have to create a few different prototypes of their OS project. So generally, students create what I call a non-controlled walk-through. So they use Adobe Animate and they use the work that they had done previously with the OS project and they create a non-controlled walk-through of their operating systems, so boot up, type in your log-in, welcome screen loads, desktop loads, open a program, articulate a task in that program, close it and then shut down the OS. That’s the whole sequence and it could take a minute, it could take five minutes; it’s really up to student and what their narrative is.

Some of the non-controlled walk-throughs

The next step:

The non-controlled walk through leads to a controllable walk-through where we use Adobe XD and in some cases we use InVision. I leave that up to the students to determine which tool is best for them, but effectively they create a clickable walk-through, so we sit people down in front of an operating…an OS project and say, OK, here’s your task: you need to turn it on, log in, open a program, close the program and then close the OS. So, we bring in people to test.

Ometsys OS Controlled Walkthrough

Links

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briefs

reverse-engineer an interface

In this assignments, students have to reverse-engineer a digital interface, such as an app, a website, or a digital terminal (e.g. an ATM).

They need to :

  • Identify a workflow they will analyse and reverse-engineer.
  • Select the screens they will work on.
  • Re-create the screens, using an interface design software.
  • Create wireframes.
  • Create a raw sketch.
  • Create a basic style guide / pattern library / interface inventory.

Some write-ups of similar exercises:

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briefs

Worst of the Web

An assignment in User Interface Design, by Prof. Claudia Jacques, at Bronx Community College.

Identify what is bad interface design, navigation, functionality, interactivity, content distribution in a website or app and find a positive solution to that site.

Source: http://bccart87.claudiajacques.com/project-1-worst-of-the-web/

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briefs

Future Retro

An assignment by Boris Müller, Professor for Interaction Design at FH Potsdam

In 2017, I gave a web design class at the Interface Design Programme in Potsdam, Germany. Each team was asked to come up with a redesign for an existing website. The assignment was very clear: Treat the browser as a blank canvas and create expressive, imaginative visual experiences. Use the technological potential of current web technologies as a channel for your creativity. Do not be constrained by questions of usability, legibility, and flexibility. Have an attitude. Disregard Erwartungskonformität.

The results: https://interface.fh-potsdam.de/future-retro/

Source: Why Do All Websites Look the Same?, Medium, Oct 30 2018

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briefs

20-minute music app

A brief created by Hike One, a digital product design company from the Netherlands:

We gave 32 of our designers the assignment to create a music app in 20 minutes, in teams of 4. Every group was provided with a set of basic music icons and some music related imagery that gave them a head start.

Source: Medium, February 2017.