Full Syllabus

A class with David Platt

Day 1

    1. Introduction: Case Study, MBTA Commuter Rail Mobile App. See all the items we’ll be discussing in an end-to-end format.
    2. Who
      Lecture: The fundamental principle of all user experience design is understanding WHO the users really are – not who you wish they were or hope they’ll somehow morph into. Finding user information. Understanding your user population works best with an artificial person called a persona. We will study the elements of personas and how they work together.
      Lab: Develop personas representing your user population. Present them to the class for critique.


Day 2

    1. What
      Lecture: We now work on interviewing users to determine their needs, and expressing these needs in the form of stories. We’ll study the concept of stories, the hallmarks of good ones. Even if you already use stories for development, the ones that we will generate and refine today are more detailed and user-oriented.
      Lab: Quickly interview actual users or role-playing students. Select the two most important needs. Generate a story for each. Present them to the class for critique.
    2. How
      Lecture: We will discuss the principles of UX sketches and prototypes, and the need for fast, cheap iteration in the early stages of the project. We’ll learn how to use the Balsamiq mock-up editor to quickly produce screens and storyboards.
      Lab: Produce mock-ups sketches for the stories we did in the previous lesson. Present them to the class for critique.


Day 3

  1. Try It Out:
    Lecture: We’d discuss the principles of usability testing, and the items that contribute to its success or failure. We’ll cover the selection of test users and the writing of test scripts, the actual test runs, and the debriefing afterwards.
    Lab: We’ll set up an in-house lab and actually run a usability test on a quick prototype. Class will then critique the operation.
  2. Students’ Choice
    Lecture and Lab: Topics requested by the students based on their experiences in the class
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