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RUCD 101

Innovation and User-Centered Design

This course introduces students to foundational user-centered design methodologies and processes that are currently being used to drive innovation across a wide variety of modern industries. We will primarily focus on how an embedded, organization-wide, design-driven mindset leads the way for innovation in on-screen experience design and development, while also leaving room for non-screen-based considerations. Students explore the theory and practice of user-centered design as a means of leading innovation through design; critical qualitative and quantitative research; collaborative, interdisciplinary project work; conversations, reviews and interactive team-based activities; iterative design and development cycles; development of personas, use case scenarios and human-centered stories; usability testing and analytics; as well as other aspects of experience design. Students explore a collection of standard, fresh practices for informing and guiding design decisions throughout each iteration of the process.
Throughout the course, students will leverage experience-driven, immersive activities to sketch and design at various levels of refinement; drive and guide conversations around design decisions and rationale; research and create project-relevant personas; pull together preliminary research to inform initial design work as well as assess iterative designs with quick and dirty usability assessments; create napkin sketches, flow diagrams, wireframes, maps, visual comprehensives and prototypes to facilitate logical and productive design conversations; discuss organizational UX maturity and develop strategies for building better awareness, mindset and culture for user-centered design methodologies; as well as document your process, deliverables and collaborations to help guide, optimize and promote the value of innovating through user-centered design.
At the end of the course, students will be able to:
Describe the value of user-centered design approaches to innovation
Develop measurable goals and objectives to support the effective assessment of design strong, collaborative design culture in professional organizations; outcomes.
Research, develop, optimize and leverage personas throughout the user-centered design process.
Incorporate core aspects and relative value of: daily activities; iterative deliverables; usability, research and testing; curatorial facilitation; building a user-centered culture; and leadership.
Recognize the importance of interdepartmental, collaborative research and design.
Assess the effectiveness of design through research, feedback, interviews and usability throughout the entire process.
Build UX soft skills to negotiate, persuade and guide design decisions based on research and interdisciplinary collaboration.
Evaluate the current level of user-centeredness of an organization and develop a set of tactical strategies to deepen the cultural commitment to UCD for innovation.
Develop human-centered, informed stories to guide the entire, holistic, helical UX design process.

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