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RUCD 150

Prototyping and Evaluation

Prototyping, evaluation and iterative design refinement make up the cornerstone of any meaningful, well informed product development process. Without the valuable feedback loop these research methods provide, there is no other more tangible and effective way to directly assess whether or not our users' needs will be met through our design work. Testing product features through prototyping and usability can provide critical insight to inform our design decisions and ultimately launch the best products possible in extremely efficient and cost effective ways.
In this course we will discuss and explore how frequent, prototype driven user feedback cycles bring value: to the design process; to the business; and — most importantly — to the intended end users of the experiences we design. This course will provide students with direct exposure to the evolutionary process of user-centered design methodologies through prototyping, evaluation and iteration. Topics covered in the course include: prototype design and development (including rapid prototyping), various levels of visual and interactive prototype fidelity; basic usability practices for testing prototypes with users and stakeholders; as well as evaluation methods to continually assess and iteratively optimize an experience throughout the entire design lifecycle.
Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:
1. Explain the purpose of prototypes in a product development lifecycle
2. Design prototypes that are testable to gain insight into current product issues
3. Apply best practices to proper evaluation of product features through prototype testing
4. Determine which level of fidelity is needed to gain understanding at different levels of product development
5. Analyze and interpret prototyping testing results in order to make informed product feature decisions

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